“European shares moved sharply higher Monday morning, with financials making strong gains amid deal speculation and renewed hopes for a bailout plan for monoline insurers,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
In the light of employment and retail figures that were better than expected, Forbes offers this advice for investors anticipating an end to the housing crisis: “This is a dead cat bounce. With one or two exceptions I think you should wait a year before buying builder stocks.”
Computer game manufacturer Electronic Arts “made an unsolicited $2 billion cash offer to buy Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., publisher of the hit Grand Theft Auto videogame, in the latest sign of consolidation in the games business,” writes The Wall Street Journal.
“Another winter writedown storm hit Wall Street Monday. Shares in Citi, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sank after analysts predicted another round of multibillion-dollar losses at the struggling financial firms,” CNN reports.
Fidel Castro’s brother Raul was made Cuban president on Sunday. In his first speech as head of state, Raul said of his brother, “He is irreplaceable, and the people will continue his work even though he is not physically here.”
Rising oil prices are an inflationary pressure in the Middle East, causing discomfort among the middle classes and “setting off strikes, demonstrations and occasional riots from Morocco to the Persian Gulf.”
In Gaza, thousands of Palestinians formed a human chain to protest the Israeli blockade on the region, which is creating shortages of fuel and other goods. The Israelis say that the blockade is a response to continued rocket attacks.
The New York Philharmonic has gone to North Korea and will play in Pyongyang on Tuesday. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a classical pianist, told the BBC, “I don't think we should get carried away with what listening to Dvorak is going to do in North Korea.”
The Coen brothers’ dark thriller “No Country for Old Men” took four Oscars last night. All four acting Oscars went to Europeans, and Daniel Day Lewis surprised few by walking away with the award for best actor.
Discover takes a skeptical look at the rash of stories about the spread of sleeplessness afflicting the modern man and woman, concluding, “The insomnia ‘epidemic’ really isn’t worth losing sleep over.”