Friday's 5 Biggest Stories
Fitch Ratings cut the ratings on seven banks Thursday. Nobody was surprised. [Reuters]
Give it up for Congress! Our lawmakers actually avoided a government shutdown again this year! [NYT]
By my count, it was the 782nd debate between the GOP presidential candidates last night, and the last before the Iowa caucuses. [CNN]Spanish and Italian government notes are surging on speculation the ECB will offer three-year loans next week. [Bloomberg] United Rentals (URI) ponies up $1.9 billion to buy RSC Holdings (RRR)[WSJ]
Quote of the Day"Historically, short-sellers have tended to be right a surprising amount of the time, at least in cases where the company grew upset enough to publicly complain," New York Times reporter Floyd Norris writes in an article questioning the curbing of short sales. [NYT]
Company NewsAfter a weak outlook from Research In Motion (RIMM), investors want co-CEOs' heads to roll. [Paid Content] Zynga (ZNGA) raises $1 billion with its IPO. That's gonna buy a lot of cows in Farmville.  How good is the CEO change for Amgen (AMGN)? Goldman Sachs analysts have removed their "sell" rating already. [Street Insider] Speaking of CEO turnover, New York Times (NYT) Chief Executive Janet Robinson is leaving the paper at year-end. [NYT] More rumors of an Apple (AAPL) iPad Mini coming in 2012. [Digitimes]
MarketsWhy the collapse of MF Global makes no sense. [Bloomberg] The U.S. economy may be on the mend, but the warning signs keep piling up for China. [WSJ]
Investment StrategyWhy now is the time to buy U.S. equities. [Sober Look] Can bond king Bill Gross stop investor outflows from his fund? [Reuters]
Odds and EndsJournalist and political critic Christopher Hitchens has died at the age of 62. [BBC] Self-promotion alert: Check out my NFL picks against the spread for Week 15. [TheStreet] Happy Friday! Here's a video from Bloc Party to bring you into the weekend. [YouTube] -- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.
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