Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - March 18

IBM in Talks to Buy Sun Microsystems - IBM is in talks to buy Sun Microsystems according to a Wall Street Journal published on Wednesday. If the deal goes through, IBM is expected to pay at least $6.5 billion in cash to acquire Sun Microsystems.

CPI, Fed Statement - The dollar was under slight pressure against major counterparts early Wednesday, after a report showed consumer prices rose more than expected in February, while traders awaited the policy statement from the Federal Reserve this afternoon. Consumer prices rose 0.4% in February, more than economists' expected. Excluding food and energy prices, the core CPI increased 0.2% for the second month in a row, boosted by higher prices for new cars, clothes and cigarettes.

Gold Falling as a Safe Haven - Gold futures fell Wednesday for a third straight session to below $910 an ounce on reduced safe-haven needs, as investors continued to move funds away from the metal.

Oil Falls Before Inventory Data - Oil futures dropped slightly to $48.84 as the market awaited a report on current inventories. Most analysts are predicting a 2 million barrel increase in crude inventories.

Bank of England Minutes - The minutes from the Bank of England's March meeting show that the central bank voted 9-to-0 in favor of a half point rate cut to 0.5% and the decision to buy 75 billion pounds of asset purchases via central bank reserves.

Valero Wins Auction to Buy 7 Ethanol Plants from VeraSun - VeraSun Energy which is a producer of ethanol, said late on Tuesday that it selected Valero Renewable Fuels and its $447 million bid as the winning bidder for seven of its facilities.

RBS Has a Positive Start to 2009 - Royal Bank of Scotland has benefited from "buoyant" corporate banking activity since the start of the year, the Financial Times reported Wednesday, citing an interview with the bank's Chairman Philip Hampton. The bank, which is now majority owned by the U.K. government, has seen other positives in 2009, including an increase in business as a result of the rise in corporate debt issuance and equity underwriting, the report added.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Financial Times, Reuters, Associated Press

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