What We’re Reading: Greece is the Word

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Today’s Markets

  • In Asia, Japan +1.5% to 9797. Hong Kong flat at 22061. China -1.1% to 2728. India +1.1% to 18694.
  • In Europe, at midday, London +1.4%. Paris +1.9%. Frankfurt +1.8%.
  • Futures at 7:00: Dow +0.5%. S&P +0.6%. Nasdaq +0.6%. Crude +0.9% to $93.69. Gold +0.6% to $1509.20.

Wednesday’s Economic Calendar

AP

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek deputies are set to back more austerity measures Wednesday, as riot police clashed with protesters outside Parliament ahead of the vote on a bill that must be passed for the country to get crucial bailout funds.

The bill needs a simple majority to pass and Prime Minister George Papandreou appears to have enough votes even though one of his deputies said he would not be backing the package.

A no vote would push Greece to the brink of default as soon as next month with potentially huge repercussions for Europe’s banking sector and global markets.

Bloomberg

U.S. stock-index futures climbed before a report that may show home sales increased and amid speculation that Greek lawmakers will pass an austerity package needed to avoid a default.

DShort

The S&P 500 topped yesterday’s (Monday) 0.92% gain with a 1.29% advance, but again on low volume. The index is now up 3.10% year-to-date but down 4.91% from the interim high set on April 29.

From an intermediate perspective, the index is 91.7% above the March 2009 closing low and 17.2% below the nominal all-time high of October 2007.

FT

On Tuesday we got a glimpse of the so-called French proposal to save Greece, resembling a mix of super-complicated SPV and Brady bonds. German, Dutch and Austrian banks are now reportedly backing the plan, aimed at delivering private sector involvement while averting a Greek default

WSJ

In ECB-speak, “strong vigilance” almost always equals a rate increase, which is why comments Tuesday by European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet are the clearest signal to date that the ECB will up its key policy rate at next week’s meeting.

The ECB is in “strong vigilance mode,” Trichet said at a press conference in Amsterdam, repeating a phrase the ECB used at its June 9 meeting that initially set the stage for a July rate increase.

Reuters

(Reuters) – Google Inc is making its boldest move to take on Facebook in the fast-growing social networking market and to maintain its dominance on the Web.

Google, which has been frustrated by a string of failed attempts to crack the social networking market, introduced a full-fledged social network on Tuesday dubbed Google+. It is the company’s biggest foray into social networking since co-founder Larry Page took over as chief executive in April.

Page has made social networking a top priority at the world’s No. 1 Internet search engine, whose position as the main gateway to online information could be at risk as people spend more time on sites like Facebook and Twitter.