NEW YORK (
) -- Here are the top stock market headlines for the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009.
Tuesday's Early Headlines
- Consumer Confidence, U.S. Home Price Data Due -- The first pieces of economic data for the holiday-shortened week will be released Tuesday, with the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 major cities due at 9 a.m. EST. The October read on the index is expected to show a decline of 7.2% compared to a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters. Later, at 10 a.m. EST, the Conference Board will release the December reading of its consumer confidence index, which should increase to 53 from 49.5 in November.
- AIG Counsel to Get Millions in Severance -- American International Group (AIG) - Get Report plans to pay outgoing general counsel Anastasia Kelly several million dollars in severance after she resigned over federal pay curbs, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. AIG determined that Kelly was entitled to the money under the company's severance plan, whose terms say certain executives can resign and collect severance if their pay is reduced significantly, the paper reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
- Fed Pushes For Creation of Term Deposit Facility -- The Federal Reserve late Monday pushed for amendments to reserve requirements of depository institutions that would establish a term deposit facility, a tool that would help the central battle inflation by withdrawing money from the banking system when it begins to tighten monetary policy. Under the proposal, Fed banks would offer interest-bearing term deposits to eligible institutions through an auction mechanism.
- JPMorgan Could Drop Plans for London HQ -- JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get Report could nix plans to build its European headquarters in London if a 50% tax on banker bonus is imposed, according to reports. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon reportedly told U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling in a phone call that a 50% tax on banker bonuses would unfairly penalize the U.S. bank. Reports say the bank was considering dropping its plans to build its European headquarters at Canary Wharf in London because of the tax. The Financial Times, quoting a senior JPMorgan executive, reports the bonus tax will be a factor in the decision
- Morgan Stanley to Overhaul Pay Plans: Report -- Morgan Stanley (MS) - Get Report may overhaul the way it pays its top executives, deferring more of their compensation over time and benchmarking their pay against rival firms, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. Morgan Stanley might not go as far as rival Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report, which said its top executives would receive only stock for 2009 bonuses, the newspaper notes.
- GM to Decide on Saab This Week: Spyker -- Spyker's CEO expects a decision before this week on whether it has been successful in its bid to buy Saab from General Motors. "We expect a decision from GM this week," Spyker CEO Victor Muller told daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. "Given that the deadline is Dec. 31, I really expect they will be in contact soon," he said. GM said earlier this month it would wind down Saab, the Swedish carmaker, if a buyer didn't emerge before the end of this year. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports that GM is offering huge incentives to its dealers to speed up the sales of leftover inventory from its Saturn and Pontiac brands.
-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston
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