Despite the OPEC chatter, crude continues to struggle. It is technically up on the day, but has made two runs down below $52, to as low as $51.575. When it comes down to it, what has OPEC done for the bulls lately? Thought that would make you laugh! Who wants to be holding crude ahead of the long weekend? Things should get more interesting as the day progresses. The February contract will be outgoing next week (last trading day is 1/19), who knows what kind of high jinx that will lead to in the coming days.
John Browne will retire at the end of June as CEO of BP. Tony Hayward, exploration head, wins the contest to suceed Browne. BP shares are up 4% as speculation sets in on whether BP becomes a merger candidate. A long talked about scenario has been BP linking up with Royal Dutch Shell.
Alcan (AL), despite denying an Indian company would buy one of its units, continues to fly higher - on the verge of taking out $50 a share.
Web sites like GOOG and CNBC.com may soon be able to offer free real time NYSE stock quotes, but it will come at a cost for those sites: link.
SIRI and XMSR are both on the rise today... but that's the only news, no other headlines.
Gold, up another $5 as the dollar has taken a breather. March Eurofx futures is up 39 points today. BOE telegraphed an important reminder yesterday about the position Helicopter Ben is in vs other central bankers.