- The European Central Bank (ECB) fired a warning shot to Greece late on Wednesday when it announced it would refuse to accept its bonds as collateral starting with Feb. 11. The ECB said it was because Greece would no longer be under a program that ensures its bonds are safe. Stocks took a hit in both Europe and Asia, while the euro fell on Thursday morning.
- Swiss bank UBS (UBS) faces a fresh probe into whether it helped Americans evade taxes through investments largely banned in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported. UBS paid $780 million in 2009 to settle a separate Justice Department tax-evasion probe.
- U.S. regulators are probing oil giant BP (BP) to see whether it broke anti-fraud and reporting rules on using oil pipelines. The investigation is related to crude shipped on Enbridge's (ENB) Mainline system, Enbridge said on Wednesday.
- BT (BT), the biggest fixed-line telephony company in the U.K., said Thursday it has agreed to acquire mobile operator EE from Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY) and Orange (ORAN) for 12.5 billion pounds ($18.98 billion).
- Profit at BNP Paribas (BNPQY), France's largest listed bank by assets, topped expectations. Net profit rose to 1.3 billion euros ($1.48 billion) in the fourth quarter vs. 110 million euros a year earlier, when the bank had to set aside a provision of 798 million euros to cover potential U.S. penalties. Analysts had expected the bank to post a profit of 1.18 billion euros.
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The big question now is whether the selling over the new variant was severe enough to produce some bounce action next week?
My view is to eat some leftovers, let the rest of the day play out, and come in fresh on Monday.
Because things are changing in the world, make sure your portfolio is protected with real returns.
When traders start to look harder for those names that are being sold without justification, that's the time to be more aggressive.