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Asia Weak, Commodities Taking A "Break"

Asia is weaker (Japan down over 3 percent). Some chatter abouta unit of KKR asking for restructuring of billions of dollars in short-term debt,reported overnight by the Wall Street Journal in Tokyo.

Commodities--including energy, base and precious metals--taking a breather this morning.

Unlike UBS,ING reported only a small impairment charge. Net profit was up 18 percent from a year ago. BNP Paribas also had a decent report.

Credit Suisse , a day after the big writedown of $2.85 billion, saw its price target cut by Lehman. HSBC, and Goldman Sachs.

Host Hotels beat on top and bottom line earnings (the metric for earnings is Funds From Operations), but gave guidance for the year below expectations. They are one of the biggest hotel REITs in the country and partner with the biggest luxury brand owners--Ritz-Carlton, Westin, St. Regis, Four Season.

Hewlett Packard up 4 percent as they beat both earnings and revenue estimates for the quarter. According to Pacific Crest Securities, notebook unit growth was 49 percent (!), deskktop sales also increased 15 percent. U.S. consumer demand softened in January, but international demand was strong. International sales account for about 69 percent of total sales for Hewlett. Bottom line: Global demand for PCs remains strong.

Chinese solar firm Suntech Powermissed on top and bottom line, down almost 20 percent as they provided very poor revenue guidance.They said they were impacted by the poor weather in China, as well as the Chinese New Year.



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