NYSE:AIG

Stocks Jump on Renewed Greek Hopes. Stocks to Watch: IPSU, ARUN, CLWR, AMLN, AEO, AIG, NFLX

Stock FuturesStock futures are sharply higher as the risk-on appetite returns to the street. Investors are optimistic that the Greek debt-swap will go off without a hitch, and that is sending the market higher. The central banks of Europe are scheduled to meet and jobless claims reign over the market this morning.

Dow futures are currently up 85 points to 12,926. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 17.50 to 2,626. The S&P 500 futures are rounding out the pre-market gains, up 11.25 to 1,364.

Jobless claims jumped 8k from last week. The number still remains under the 400k barrier that is a signal for positive labor growth. This shows that the recovery, while taking hold, is rather anemic. If the market was a looking for the catalyst to blow by Dow 13k, this is not it.

Internationally it is all about Greece. A successful auction will give rise to optimism the market desperately needs. Asia also broke their three-day losing streak on the back of the domestic rally yesterday. [Read more...]

Futures Set To Push Dow Past Barrier. Stocks to Watch: CHTP, AIG, NOK, DRYS, DECK, CROX, CLWR

Stock FuturesLooks like it may be time to break out the Dow 13k hats. A series of upbeat economic reports is helping push the futures past that psychological barrier. One possible hindrance in the short and medium term is the price of oil. Already shooting past $105, any gains in consumer confidence can be quickly erased if gas prices get out of hand.

The euphoria in the rally is helped by the belief by investors that there are sufficient firewalls in place to protect the market against default events. Namely Greece. While it may be able to absorb Greece, one has to wonder about contagion spreading to other EU countries such as Span and Portugal.

The economic data calendar to end the week is fairly stacked. Both consumer sentiment and new home sales data are expected to be released at 10am EST. [Read more...]

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK/A) On The Verge Of Federal Oversight

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) may be on the verge of Federal reserve oversight under a new proposal by regulators that increases the chances that American International Group Inc. (NYSE:AIG) and MetLife, Inc.(NYSE:MET) will receive heightened scrutiny.

Berkshire Hathaway had $29.7 billion in credit-default swaps linked to its debt as of Oct. 28, putting it just under a $30 billion threshold proposed last month by the Financial Stability Oversight Council. AIG, now majority-owned by the U.S., had $45.3 billion in swaps written against it, and MetLife, the New York-based insurer, had $32.9 billion.

The council led by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, is responsible for deciding which non-bank financial firms are systemically important and require Fed oversight, plans to evaluate those that have $50 billion or more in assets and meet any one of five other criteria, including the credit-default swap threshold. Berkshire, AIG and MetLife all meet the asset minimum, and all have credit-default swaps to contend with.

The council, which also includes fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, will consider which firms are significant enough that their failure would pose a significant risk to the broader financial system in the United States. The panel stated in its Oct. 11 proposal, that the criteria would have “captured” Bear Stearns Cos., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEHMQ), Countrywide Financial Corp. and IndyMac Bancorp Inc. (IDMCQ) had the criteria been in place and used during the 2008 financial crisis.

Warren Buffett, now 81, built Berkshire Hathaway into a multi billion dollar business over the course of four decades. Berkshire reported on Nov. 4 that third-quarter profit fell 24% to $2.28 billion as its derivative bets declined in value.

Shares of Berkshire Hathaway were trading 115,806.00 at the close of trading last Friday.

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