There's some upward bias in stocks this morning but for now the market is without much direction. European markets are higher. Japanese stocks ended higher though Hong Kong slid. The yen is lower against the U.S. dollar as the G7 meets in Essen, Germany today. The yen has widely been expected to be a discussion topic.
OIL: Oil is at its highest price level of the year after jumping 3.5% yesterday following news from Occidental Petroleum that it was declaring force majeure on its field in Elk Hills, California. Oil is a bit weaker today.
BEHIND THE HEDGE: Fortress starts trading today, making it the first publicly traded hedge fund/private equity firm. Fortress was met with big demand and priced at the high end of the range, making it appear other hedge funds might venture into the public equities markets. Our Melissa Lee will look at Fortress and the outlook for other such deals. Meanwhile, there's no limits to the money out there that can be raised for private equity. Goldman Sachs , according to the Wall Street Journal, is expected to raise as much as $19 billion for its new private equity fund.
HEDGE SCRUTINY: G7 is expected to discuss hedge funds, the potential risks to global markets and the idea of tightening regulation while it meets today and tomorrow.
SHOCK OPTIONS: The Wall Street Journal reportsthat Steve Jobs helped negotiate an employment deal between Pixar (owned by Walt Disney ) and director John Lasseter which included a big stock options grant that was timed to the lowest share price of the previous year. The story is attributed to a person familiar with the matter and stressed that it is unclear what role, if any, that Jobs played in relation to the date.