Opening Bell: 1.14.08

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China's Government Could Hamper Citigroup's Plans to Raise Capital (WSJ)
The Chinese government is said to have put the breaks on a plan by the China Development Bank to invest in Citibank. It's not clear what the issue is, or if this is just a minor delay. Perhaps they're worried about having too much influence. Or maybe they're concerned about all this money going into capitalist countries. Or maybe they just don't think it's such a good investment and they want a couple more days to do their DD.
Wallstrip has a new Host - Julie Alexandria (Howard Lindzon)
It's true, it's true. Lindsay is leaving Wallstrip to start some new show at CBS. Apparently it will be called Moblogic.tv, which doesn't sound Wall St. related at all. Realistically, this can't be a big surprise, seeing as Lindsay's star seemed destined for bigger things (like moblogic.tv?). The new host is Julie Alexandria, who has filled in before. Giver her a chance before you get judgmental.
SEC Looks at Merrill Trading, In Search of 'Front-Running' (WSJ)
Did you do it? You know who you are. Probably best to fess up now.
Ford and Chrysler Unveil Their Redesigned Pickups (NYT)
Hybrdids schmybrids. Ethanl schmethanol. Yeah, for the sake of the press, the automakers are all showing off their alt-energy concept cars, which are promised to be on the road by 2017. But in the meantime, the real story are the trucks, because they'll actually be on the road, making money, by next year. Analysts say it's a bad time to be launching pickups, given the economy and fuel prices. Well, that's like telling a homebuilder it's a bad time to be building homes. Not really much choice, is there?


Sears Holdings Says Sales Fell During Holiday Shopping Season (Bloomberg)
Rough holiday sales and another warning from Sears. Please, no comments on this one.
'Atonement,' 'Sweeney' win Globes (Variety)
We watched bout 3 minutes of the Golden Globes presser yesterday. One word: weird. Everyone says they'd like awards shows more if it weren't for all the time wastin'. Seriously, no you wouldn't. It's like people who say they'd prefer to watch football without the announcers. If that's true, put it on mute next time. See how long you last.
China Mobile Ends Talks With Apple to Sell IPhone (Bloomberg)
At some point, Apple will probably get the iPhone into China, but that point isn't now. Talks with China Mobile have reportedly ended without a deal, supposedly because Apple's demands were too high (not surprising). Google, meanwhile, says it's seeing boffo traffic from iPhone users, far disproportionate to the population of iPhone users. The lesson: iPhone users surf the web.
Liberty Takes Bigger Stake in IAC (NYT)
In case you missed this after the bell on Friday. The king of complicated, Liberty Media, has upped its stake in the rather complicated IAC, which is set to get even more complicated, following its proposed crack up into five companies.

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