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  • Energy may see further weakness as key names report

    A street sign for Wall Street hangs in front of the New York Stock ExchangeThe group has been falling alongside crude oil prices, which are down about 60 percent since June. For the full year, earnings are seen down almost 45 percent, nearly twice the decline of 23.3 percent forecast on Jan. 1.


  • Germany, ECB play hard ball with Greece

    Dijsselbloem, head of the euro zone finance ministers' group, and Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis shake hands after their common press conference at the ministry in AthensBy Paul Carrel and Jussi Rosendahl BERLIN/HELSINKI (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out a debt writedown for Greece on Saturday, and a European Central Bank policymaker threatened to cut off funding to Greek banks if Athens does not agree to renew its bailout package. The euro zone's paymaster and the ECB are both taking a tough line with Greece's new leftist government, whose leader swept to victory last Sunday promising that five years of austerity, "humiliation and suffering" were over. Alexis Tsipras has also promised to renegotiate agreements with the European Commission, ECB and International Monetary Fund "troika" and write off much of Greece's 320 billion euro ($360 billion) debt, which at more than 175 percent of gross domestic product is the world's second-highest after Japan.


  • U.S. economy cools in fourth quarter, but consumer spending shines

    Man gets gasoline at a BP station in St. Louis, MissouriBy Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter as weak business spending and a wider trade deficit offset the fastest pace of consumer spending since 2006. The slowdown followed two back-to-back quarters of bullish growth and is likely to be short-lived given the enormous tailwind from lower gasoline prices. Other data on Friday showed consumer sentiment jumped to an 11-year high in January. "We look for strong domestic consumption to continue supporting growth momentum in the coming quarters even as investment suffers due to falling oil prices," said Gennadiy Goldberg, an economist at TD Securities in New York.


  • Shake Shack IPO vaults shares into 'nosebleed' territory

    Passersby walk in front of the Shake Shack restaurant in the Manhattan borough of New YorkShake Shack's debut is the latest in a string of blockbuster IPOs from trendy restaurant chains that cater to younger and more affluent diners willing to pay a bit more for fresher and higher quality food. Growth-hungry investors are hoping to replicate the red-hot run of industry darling Chipotle Mexican Grill . Its IPO followed the successful listing two months ago of fellow premium burger seller Habit Restaurants . Based on 2013 earnings, the company that grew out of a hotdog cart in New York's Madison Square Park is trading at an eye-popping price-to-earnings ratio of about 325, with each restaurant valued at about $27 million.


  • Oil surges 8 percent as U.S. rig count plunges, shorts scramble

    A pumpjack brings oil to the surface in the Monterey ShaleBy Barani Krishnan NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices roared back from six-year lows on Friday, rocketing more than 8 percent as a record weekly decline in U.S. oil drilling fueled a frenzy of short-covering. In a rally that may spur speculation that a seven-month price collapse has ended, global benchmark Brent crude shot up to more than $53 per barrel, its highest in more than three weeks in its biggest one-day gain since 2009. The late-session surge was primed by Baker Hughes data showing the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States fell by 94 - or 7 percent - this week.


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