- China set a lower growth target, of 7% annually, while raising its budget deficit ceiling to around 2.3% of GDP, the highest since 2009. This means Beijing plans to lift government spending to 17.15 trillion yuan ($2.74 trillion) in 2015, an increase of 10.6% on 2014.
- AbbVie (ABBV) will buy Pharmacyclics (PCYC) for about $21 billion. This will give it access to what is expected to be one of the world's top-selling cancer drugs and expand its reach in the profitable oncology field. AbbVie will pay $261.25 per share in cash and stock, a 13% premium to Pharmacyclics stock's closing price on Wednesday.
- The euro hit an 11-year low vs. the U.S. dollar and European stocks rose ahead of the European Central Bank's meeting later on Thursday that will give more details about its plans to buy sovereign bonds.
- The U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office is investigating whether efforts to prop up banks in the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 have been rigged. The investigators are looking at documents passed on by the Bank of England that detail how the decisions were taken at the time.
- Former Xstrata chief executive Mick Davies raised $5.6 billion for his mining fund, X2 Resources, and plans to buy mining assets from mining giants such as BHP Billiton (BHP), Rio Tinto (RIO) and Anglo American (AAUKY), the Wall Street Journal reports quoting people familiar with the fund.
Get an email alert each time I write an article for Real Money. Click "+Follow" next to my byline on this article.