BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Italy's auction of long-term bonds leads your quick fix of company, market, economic and investing news for Thursday, Dec. 29.

Thursday's 5 Biggest Stories

Italy sold some short-term bills yesterday, but today's auction of the

longer-term Italian bonds

was the real test.


Everyone smile! Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti is "relieved" by the results of the auction. Let's check back with him in a month.


Like no one saw this coming: Banks will face

liquidity problems

if they exhaust collateral they can offer to the ECB.


The last few economic reports due in 2011 are today's

jobless claims data

, Chicago PMI and pending home sales.



(BP) - Get Report

is about to get slapped with criminal charges over the Gulf oil spill.


Company News

Maybe 2012 could be particularly painful for shareholders of recent IPOs


(ZNGA) - Get Report



(GRPN) - Get Report



Believe it or not, investigators are still piecing together the money moves of

MF Global





stock market volatility

is fading and will disappear, based on history.

Crossing Wall Street

A grim forecast for corporate earnings with so many companies cutting fourth-quarter guidance.


Investment Strategy

On the hunt for the best

portfolio tracking software

? Make sure to check the comments for more ideas.

Big Picture

What happens when

sentiment turns really ugly

, with natural gas as an example.

Stock Sage

Odds and Ends

The exploding

wealth gap in Congress

is corrupting Capitol Hill.

Daily Beast

Your Thursday morning wake-up video comes from the

Butthole Surfers

. It still amazes me this song topped the Billboard Modern Rock charts in 1996.


-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston


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