Chicago CTA Volatility, $95M Budget Hole, Service Cuts, 1100 Laid Off (Video)

CTA services will be cut on Sunday with 1,100 workers laid off.  The video below is from ABC7 Chicago. They have a $95 million budget shortfall. I guess the 25 cent fare increase didn't help the situation. This is a disaster for Chicago workers and commuters.

Bus union official: CTA cuts will be 'horrific' (ABC7 Chicago)
No deal to save CTA from service cuts (ChicagoTribune)
CTA: Plan trips as service cuts take effect (JG-TC Online)
CTA bus barn shut as bus, train cuts loom (ChicagoBreakingNews)
Illinois Insolvency, Chicago Commercial Real Estate Outlook [Warehouse Vacancies Hit 12.1%]

Weekend Reads On Credit Default Swaps, CDOs, AIG/Goldman

Read this post at "The Market Ticker" blog by Karl Denninger, You Had Better Cage The Monster CONgress (AIG/GS/CDS).  For more on CDS and CDOs go to this post with links to Tavakoli Structured Finance. Here are other interesting articles:  Testy Conflict With Goldman Helped Push A.I.G. to Edge by New York Times (h/t @deepakshenoy) and Dear Senator Corker: Meet The HVol 4 And Basis (Prop) Trades That Destroyed Merrill Lynch, Guest Post: AIG's Banks - Market Makers Or Flippers Of CDOs? by Zero Hedge.  CDS n' CDOs son...

January Option Trades Timed Sell Off Perfectly Using Cheap Volatility (IWM, SPY, IYT, UUP, SLV, SRS)

When the S&P and Dow knocked up against long term downtrend resistance I thought there was a decent chance of a sell off so I started watching put action in detail.  If $SPY corrected at a minor downtrend resistance level in July, 2009 why wouldn't it at the ultimate 3 year downtrend? With the volatility index ($VIX) making new lows (16) and traders chasing market upside on breakouts it was hard to pinpoint the exact top. I'm sure that's why traders were buying, on a net credit basis, out of the money VIX options in November expiring in December.  The VIX futures curve was also steep.  The market broke out yet again during the Santa Clause rally.  In the beginning of January the Transports, Industrials, Russell 2000 and S&P 500 Indexes all ran out of breath right at downtrend resistance.  During this time I saw interesting option trades.  For example, $SRS (Inverse Real Estate ETF) April calls, IWM (Russell ETF) February puts (with a put/call ratio spike), IYT (Transports ETF) February puts (extremely low put/call ratio but rising short interest) and UUP (US Dollar ETF) June calls were active.  In December, SLV (Silver ETF) February puts, SPY (S&P ETF) puts, IWM puts and UUP calls were active at higher premiums.  Traders in January timed their speculative or protective positions perfectly using cheap volatility.  Protective meaning hedging a long portfolio of ETFs which was, in this case, a decent kicker.  The FEB puts expire in two weeks (2/19).

January 2010 Action: (Expirations 2010 except one Jan 2011):

1/5/2010: SRS APR 7 call $1.36 to $1.69 (+24%)
1/6/2010: IWM FEB 60 put $0.92 to $1.63 (+77%)
1/12/2010: UUP JUNE 23 call $0.58 to $0.90 (+55%)
1/13/2010: IYT FEB 75 put $2.10 to $6.10 (+190%)

December 2009 Action:

12/30/09: SLV FEB 15 put $0.23 to $0.46 (+100%)
12/30/09: SLV APR 15 put $0.53 to $0.96 (+81%)
12/15/09: UUP JAN 2011 24 call $1.00 to $0.96 (-4%)
12/14/09: UUP March 23 call $0.55 to $0.66 (+20%)
12/11/09: IWM, SPY Put Positioning (noted volume on ISE)
12/11/09: SPY Exotic Way Out Of Money Dec 55 put $0.60 to $0.43 (-28%) 
12/2/09: SPY MAR 110 put $5.20 to $5.46 (+5%)

Coppock Curve on S&P 500 Predicts Bottoms On Monthly Chart, Similar to MACD on Daily

Anyone notice how the "Coppock Curve" and S&P 500 converged before the March lows and diverged all throughout the massive rally?  It looks similar to the MACD.  Here is the definition from Wikipedia:
"The indicator is designed for use on a monthly time scale. It's the sum of a 14-month rate of change and 11-month rate of change, smoothed by a 10-period weighted moving average.  "Coppock, the founder of Trendex Research in San Antonio, Texas, was an economist. He had been asked by the Episcopal Church to identify buying opportunities for long-term investors. He thought market downturns were like bereavements and required a period of mourning. He asked the church bishops how long that normally took for people, their answer was 11 to 14 months and so he used those periods in his calculation.  A buy signal is generated when the indicator is below zero and turns upwards from a trough. No sell signals are generated (that not being its design)......" (Coppock Curve on Wikipedia)

First, I used it on the daily chart and saw higher lows and a 0-line cross to the upside right after the S&P March bottom. Thereafter, I saw lower highs on the Coppock Curve from March to January, 2010.  The curve just made a new low below the zero line at -9.48.  Not sure if there is structural significance.  Just saying it could have been sensing the recent sell off like the MACD.

Chart courtesy of

Moody's Warns US on AAA-Rating, Peter Schiff Update on Sovereign Credit Risk, California

I wanted to hear what Peter Schiff had to say about today's events. He talks about the sovereign debt crisis in Greece, the US and it's derivative California. Also Moody's warned that the U.S AAA-credit rating was at risk of downgrade because of deficits and Congress today raised the Federal debt limit by $1.9 trillion to $14.3 trillion. A lot going on in public finance land.

US credit rating at risk, Moody's warns (
Congress Approves $1.9 Trillion Debt-Limit Increase (BusinessWeek)
Taleb Says ‘Every Human’ Should Short U.S. Treasuries (Update2) (Bloomberg)

Watch S&P Get Smoked Into The Close, Down 3.1% ($SPX Video, 2/4/2010)

Watch the S&P get smoked today into the close.  It ended down 3.11% and took out 1072 floor support. It looks like 1040 is the next support level and ultimately the 2009 summer highs at 954.  We shall see folks, whatever the algos want to do. Hopefully you are riding cheap index puts from early January. Recap on the day:

Greek Union Strike, Spain, Portugal CDS Widen, Sovereign White Knight Needed (Blog Post)
Initial jobless claims at highest level since mid-December (MarketWatch)
Productivity, Jobless Claims Rise (WSJ)
Congress OKs $1.9 trillion boost in debt limit (CNNMoney)
From yesterday: U.S. May Lose 824,000 Jobs as Employment Data Revised: Analysis (Bloomberg)
New York sues Bank of America over Merrill Lynch merger (CSMonitor)
Get Ready:  PREVIEW-US Jan payrolls seen +5,000,jobless rate 10.1 pct (Reuters)

Chart/, Instrumental/Who Shot Ya

Greek Union Strike, Spain, Portugal CDS Widen, Sovereign White Knight Needed?

Euro aid coming? Who will be the sovereign white knight.

Massive deficit in Greece and Portugal threatens banks (Sydney Herald)
ECB chief says Greece takes steps in right direction (MarketWatch)
REFILE-UPDATE 1-IMF would help Greece if asked -Strauss-Kahn (Reuters)
UPDATE 1-Greece not planning to seek IMF help -minister (Reuters)
IMF chief-Spain's Zapatero in tough spot on pensions (Reuters)
IMF calls Greek austerity program 'appropriate' (AFP)
Greece's Biggest Union Sets Strike; Tax Collectors Stage 48 Hour Walkout (Benzinga)
Greek taxmen kick off wave of strikes against austerity (Reuters)
Greece’s Biggest Union Sets Strike, Threatens Cuts (BusinessWeek)
Greek debt woes spread to Portugal and Spain (
RBS's Cailloux on Greece, ECB (Bloomberg Video)
Spanish Borrowing Costs Jump at Three-Year Note Sale (Bloomberg)
Portugal and Spain CDS prices at fresh high (
Portugal's CDS prices at new high (
Fears of 'Lehman-style' tsunami as crisis hits Spain and Portugal (Telegraph)
European Stocks Fall Most in Two Months as Portugal, Spain Sink (Bloomberg)
Portugal stocks slide amid debt worries (BusinessWeek)
Greek Strike Deepens Debt Crisis Fears (ABC News)
Trichet Says ECB ‘Confident’ Greece Can Cut Deficit (Bloomberg Video)
Greek officials start walkouts over cuts (Digital Look)
Crisis in the currency club (EuropeanVoice)

To escape the madness visit Lagos and Ponta de Sagres, Portugal, é muito legal na minha opinião.

Ashraf Laidi: If Yen Stronger Than Dollar and Dollar Stronger Than Euro.. (Video)

Ashraf Laidi of CMC Markets gives an update today on currencies, gold and oil.  Below is a one year chart of EUR/JPY (Euro/Yen). 117 looks supportive. - EUR/JPY

Jim Chanos Presentation Video On China, Shanghai 200DMA Chart ($SSEC)

Short seller Jim Chanos (Kynikos Associates) has been bearish on China for a while now.  Below he makes his case in a 57 minute presentation. I first found this at Big Picture.  I also put up a 3 year chart of the Shanghai Composite ($SSEC) below which is trading 2 points above the 200 day moving average.  Below that level, if confirmed, would be bearish with heavy overhead resistance. I looked at $FXI and $SSEC a week ago and provided different views of China's economy. Chanos thinks "there are classic pockets of overheating and overindulgence".  It is not a secret that China is tightening a bit. Is it already priced in or is there more adjustment ahead?

China Banks Tightening Standards for Loans To Property Sector (iMarketNews)
Shanghai equities at lowest since Oct (People's Daily Online)
Economic fears pull US copper futures below $3/lb (Reuters India)
China curbs companies’ capital raising (
Tightening fears give rise to China 'buy' opportunities (
Chinese Tightening Unlikely to Cause Copper Collapse (
Chinese mortgage rates rise as loan clampdown bites (Reuters)

There are also geopolitical tensions going on between China the US about Obama's Dalai Lama visit, internet censorship, Yuan pressure, trade and arms sales to Taiwan.  So interesting times folks. Jim Chanos correctly shorted Moody's while Buffett was buying in May 2007. Today he is taking the other side of "BofA Merrill Lynch, CLSA Ltd., Morgan Stanley and Macquarie Group Ltd." who believe that "Chinese equities may soon rebound." (BusinessWeek, 2/3/2010).

June $UUP 23-26 Call Spread Up 52% In 20 Days (Net Debit .52 to .79)

To those of you who despise $UUP, I present to you a trader who is up 52% (net debt .52 to .79) so far on a $UUP June $23-26 call spread initiated a couple weeks ago.  At that time UUP held on to 50dma support (22.63) and it closed at 23.40 today, up 3.4%.  The USDX (US Dollar Index) move from December is another story, you can thank Jim Rogers (Jim Rogers Betting On US Dollar Rally, Would Buy Gold At $1000).

Chart courtesy of

Waiting For $SPY Catalyst, Afternoon Reading, Video, Chart (2/3/2010)

Waiting for a catalyst.
 (Chart courtesy of

Goldman May Lose Record Profit to Bid-Ask Spread: Chart of Day (Bloomberg)
Spain’s Tax-Cheat Landlords Add to Rising State Debt (Bloomberg)
Pimco Says California Yields May Revisit 2009 Peak on Deficits (Bloomberg)
Pimco's El-Erian Sees `Bumpy Journey' as Economy Resets (Bloomberg Video)
Italy Seizes Bank of America, Dexia Assets Amid Probe (Bloomberg)
Greek Bonds Advance as Almunia Says EU Endorses Deficit Plan (Bloomberg)
U.S.'s LaHood News Conference About Toyota Recall (Bloomberg Video)
Manufacturing Way Ahead Of Services As ISM Index Misses Expectations Due To Weak Employment (BusinessInsider)
Payrolls Show First Job Creation Since 2008 For Medium Businesses... (BusinessInsider)
February 2010, Monthly Newsletter From Sundaram BNP Paribas Asset Management (ZeroHedge)
Portugal Bund Spreads Even Wider Following Substantially Reduced Bill Auction, Yield, CDS.. (ZeroHedge)
Pfizer 4Q Net Doubles; Earnings View Below Street (WSJ)
Volcker Plan May Reverse Bank Recovery: CRA (HousingWire)
U.S. May Lose 824,000 Jobs as Employment Data Revised: Analysis (Bloomberg)
Rosenberg: Forget The "Flat" Pending Home Sales Number, Here's The Real Disaster (BusinessInsider)
Gasoline rises after unexpected supply drop (AP)

Paul Volcker Testimony Before Senate Banking Committee (Text/Video)

Paul Volcker testified before the Senate Banking Committee today on the proposed "Volcker Rule" which would ban hedge funds, private equity funds and proprietary trading inside commercial banks.

Full Video at Banking.Senate.Gov

Here is a portion of the prepared testimony:
"Third, I want to note the strong conflicts of interest inherent in the participation of commercial banking organizations in proprietary or private investment activity. That is especially evident for banks conducting substantial investment management activities, in which they are acting explicitly or implicitly in a fiduciary capacity. When the bank itself is a “customer”, i.e., it is trading for its own account, it will almost inevitably find itself, consciously or inadvertently, acting at cross purposes to the interests of an unrelated commercial customer of a bank. “Inside” hedge funds and equity funds with outside partners may generate generous fees for the bank without the test of market pricing, and those same “inside” funds may be favored over outside competition in placing funds for clients. More generally, proprietary trading activity should not be able to profit from knowledge of customer trades.

I am not so naive as to think that all potential conflicts can or should be expunged from banking or other businesses. But neither am I so naïve as to think that, even with the best efforts of boards and management, so-called Chinese Walls can remain impermeable against the pressures to seek maximum profit and personal remuneration." (full testimony)

Doesn't it all come down to risk management?  Small banks are failing just because of bad loan portfolios.  How do you regulate greed, giddiness and flawed risk models to prevent any of this from happening again in 2088?

Business, Finance and Investment News for 2/2/2010

Bullish News Corp result buoys Murdoch (ABC News)
Toyota U.S. sales reel from crisis; GM, Ford surge (Reuters)
Possible loan from China bank keeps high-speed rail plan alive (LasVegasReviewJournal)
Microsoft's Bing will make money: executive (Reuters via Yahoo)
Pragmatic Capitalist Evening Reading (
Ford China January Passenger Auto Sales More Than Double To 30,759 (WSJ)
European Online Retail Sales Up (New York Times)
GM Core brands have 40.6% gain (DetroitFreePress)
Japan indexes climb, with oil shares advancing (MarketWatch)
Twitter Under Phishing Attack? (Mashable)
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Defaults on Redemption of Bonds Issued to Gold Firms (VOAnews)
WRAPUP 4-US pending home sales edge up, vacancies rise (Reuters)
Home buyers' negotiating power gains: Zillow (Reuters)
Iran: We can live with U.N. uranium deal (MSNBC)
Moody's Sees US Rating Under Pressure After $3.8 Trillion Budget (ZeroHedge)
Unemployment rises in most metro areas (AP via Yahoo)
Digital doomsday: the end of knowledge (NewScientist)
Rupert Murdoch needs to be convinced Conan O'Brien can make money for Fox (LATimes)
Banker caught on TV looking at topless girls instead of charts (Youtube) h/t @WeeklyTA
Palestinians: 3 hurt in IDF strike in southern Gaza (
PNC to Repay TARP, Sell $3 Billion in Common Shares (Bloomberg)
Build America Subsidy Cut May Spur $150 Billion Taxable Munis (Bloomberg)
Volcker defends bank rules (

Wharton's Siegel Thinks Market Will Like Oil below $70 (Video)

I've been monitoring what Wharton Professor Jeremy Siegel's been saying on Bloomberg TV since the beginning of 2010. First off here is his 2010 outlook that he gave on Bloomberg. Before the bank prop trading ban was proposed by Obama, Siegel thought we would see a mid-year correction when the Fed started raising rates. He said equities would rise 10-15% in 2010. Today Siegel still thinks we are headed higher (post correction) and if oil breaks below $70 to $65 it will be positive for equities.  Below are quotes from the video. He also mentioned that a stronger Dollar could affect equities in the short run but is good for the long run.
"A strong dollar is good in the long run for the U.S but it can give the stock market problems in the short run, and that strengthening Dollar does make our exports less competitive, does lower the Dollar value of revenues coming from abroad. The little bit of portfolio re-allocation that comes so.."

"Now the good aspect of that is it's bringing down oil. I'd love to see oil under $70 I was disturbed when it was $83. We get oil under $70, $65, bring those energy prices down I think that will be a base for the stock market."

For more info on oil technicals, Adam Hewison at MarketClub sees a potential sell off. Here is the free video. Also if interested in Gold they have a 2 part video series on the Gold super cycle (1, 2). Full FTC disclosure, I am an affiliate.

Video: Obama Answers Q&A at Republican Retreat in Baltimore, Full Speech

This was an interesting Q&A session. President Obama was in Baltimore at the House Republican Conference and answered questions from Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin talking budget and spending, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and many more.   FYI: The Senate approved to raise debt ceiling by $1.9 trillion to $14.3T and Obama proposed a $3.83 Trillion budget.  Videos below from CSPAN.

$SPY Near Term Uptrend Channel and Long Term Downtrend (Charts, 2/2/2010)

SPY is riding the uptrend channel again.  It is above the 100 day moving average and testing October ceiling resistance.  The 50dma is not that far away either.  Waiting for decisiveness... Keep an eye on the long term 3 year downtrend as well (2nd chart).

SPY (SPDRs S&P 500) Courtesy of

SPY Testing 100DMA, Is Correction Pricing In Soft Patch Or Just Market Dynamics (SPY, DIA, RBA Leaves Cash Rate, AUD/JPY, AUD/USD, US ISM, FXI, SSEC)

This is a continuation from my previous post about the March S&P E-mini future testing its 100 day moving average.  The e-mini right now is trading just above the 100DMA (1081.68) at 1083.25. It is down 2 points or 0-.18%.  Below is trend and 100dma analysis on the S&P ETF ($SPY) and Dow ETF ($DIA) with charts.  Tonight the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its cash rate unchanged at 3.75%. Economists were expecting 25bps according to the Sydney Morning Herald. AUD/JPY just died in a sea of red, down 1.21% to 79.92.  AUD/USD followed (chart below).  Today we also saw decent US ISM numbers ("ISM hits 58.4%, best since Aug. '04" - MarketWatch).  If I recall, China's December PMI hit its highest level since 2004 and a few weeks later the Shanghai Composite and $FXI (China ETF) both were under their 200 day moving average!  Were we just massively overbought or are these corrections pricing in a global soft patch?

SPY is currently testing 100DMA resistance in an immediate term downtrend channel but is riding a longer term uptrend.  The immediate term downtrend and longer term uptrend will force SPY to make a decision at some point.   107.23 is the next support level if it rolls over.  DIA is right on channel support and just above the 100DMA.

DIA 1 Year Chart (Courtesy of

SPY (SPDRs S&P 500 ETF) 6 Month Chart

AUD/USD After RBA Announcement, BOOM

Quick Look at EURUSD Hourly, Daily and Weekly Charts, 1.3912 (Chart Video)

EUR/USD is down tonight after a nice rally today with the equity markets.  The situation in Greece could be putting pressure on the Euro.  I'm waiting to see how it gets resolved and who gets bought and sold.  EUR/USD broke the hourly downtrend but it looks like a disaster from December, 2009 to Feburary (big legs down).  If it doesn't hold here, 1.35 looks supportive imo.  I didn't show you this in the video but on the monthly chart it is just under the 20 month moving average.  Go to for this live streaming forex chart.

Chart courtesy of

News links from today:
EUR/USD capped by 1.3930 (
Forex: EUR/USD, expected to bottom at 1.3300 in 4Q - Rabobank (
Euro: Can the ECB Make Conditions Even Worse for the Currency? (DailyFX)
Euro Remains on Track Lower Below 14000 (DailyFX)
Euro Finds Limited Support From Risk Appetite, As Correlation Weakens (DailyFX)

S&P E-Mini March Future Under 100 Day Moving Average, First Time Since March 2009 Lows, Watch How Contract Reacts To That Resistance Level

The overnight S&P March E-Mini Futures (ESH10) is currently up 0.30% and trying to regain a channel from September (black lines).  The contract is trading below its 50 and 100 day moving average in a steep downtrend from January 19.  So if there is a relief rally (or continuation) watch how it reacts to the 100 day moving average (orange) which currently stands at 1,082.  The March future hasn't been below that level since the March 2009 lows.  If the market gets punished again here, 1022, 1000 and 933 (June, 2009 highs) look like support levels imho.  Chart courtesy of OptionsXpress.

Pricing of Greek CDS, 10Y Bond Yields Sense Risk (CDS 399bps, 10Y 6.85%)

Interesting times folks.  Here is an update on Greece and Euro-land.  ZeroHedge has a detailed post showing a flow chart of potential scenarios (via Barclay's).  The recent move in the US Dollar Index above the 200dma could be related to all of this.  Remember institutions were building USD positions in Nov/Dec? Credit risk is reflected in Greek CDS as well as 10 Year Bond Yields.  CMA Datavision houses data on credit default swaps (insurance premium to protect against debt default) for a fee but provide most active wideners/tighteners, sovereign CDS and index fair values to the general public for free.  Greece 5 year CDS closed at 399.23 basis points on Friday, up from 175bps in November, 2009 (Chart).  Currently Dubai trades at 493.13bps and Venezuela at 1017.13 basis points!  It is a reminder of what happened in 2008 when Lehman, credit default swap sellers and counterparties all went bust.  Read the articles and watch the Davos video below.  From the first video, European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Greece will NOT DEFAULT, there will be a "fiscal adjustment for imbalances".  I also put up a chart of the Greek 10 Year Yield hitting 6.85% on Friday, up from 4.6% in November, 2009.  It will be interesting to see what happens with EUR/USD and Gold when news is eventually sold.

News Links
Greek Debt Swap Counterparty Risk May ‘Spook’ Market (Bloomberg)
A Greek [Default/Bailout]: Flowcharting The Dominoes (
Who’s selling Greek CDS? (FT Alphaville)
Germany’s Bruederle Rules Out Bailout for Greece (Bloomberg)
BNPP: Domestic And Foreign Banks Exposed To Greece (
Greece 5-Year CDS Reaches New Record Wide Of 397 BPs -CMA (1/28/10, WSJ)
Randolph (IHS Global Insight) Says Greece Won't Default on Debt Obligations, CDS (Bloomberg Video)
Billionaire Soros Says Confident Greece ‘Will Make It’ (Bloomberg)
The Greece Dilemma (Nouriel Roubini at
Joaquin Almunia: we don't need a Greek bail-out because the country won't default (Telegraph)
2nd UPDATE: Greek-German 10-Year Yield Spread Hits New Highs (1/27/10, WSJ)
Greek 10-Yr GGB Spread Over Bunds Hits 300 BPs; CDS Widens(1/20/10, WSJ)

Below are Bloomberg videos at Davos featuring EU and Greek leaders.

EU's Almunia Says 'No Plan B' to Plug Greek Deficit"

Greece Prime Minister: Papandreou Says Rumors Hurt Greece, Not Seeking Aid

Greece Finance Minister Papaconstantinou at Davos, "May Make Deeper Budget Cuts"

Greek 10 Year Bond Yield (from Bloomberg)

Geopolitical News Volatility: China, US, Taiwan Arms Deal, Internet, Europe, Iran, Venezuela (1/31/2010)

Geo-political and corporate related tensions are building, I noticed this when browsing my news feed and twitter stream.  Here are recent news links of interest not in any particular order but in late January 2010.  Squash the beef, we don't want any geopolitical-black swans.  If you see updated news provide a link below.

U.S. companies involved in Taiwan arms sales (Reuters)
China's strident tone raises concerns among Western governments, analysts (Washington Post)
Clinton warns China to stay the course on Iran nuclear sanctions (LA Times)
China suspends U.S. military visits after Taiwan arms deal (CNN)
China threatens sanctions over arms sale to Taiwan (LA Times)
Video: US reacts to Chinese hostility over arms deal ITN NEWS (Youtube)
China condemns the United States over an arms deal with Taiwan (Reuters Video, CCTV)
China, Iran Prompt U.S. Air-Sea Battle Plan in Strategy Review (BusinessWeek)
How should Europe respond to China's strident rise? (
UK's Mandelson: Ludicrous To Compare UK's Situation To Greece (WSJ)
Protesting Firefighters Clash With Police in Spain (SKY Video)
ECFA to endanger Taiwan democracy and human right: warned Chinese democracy activists (TaiwanNews)
Colombia protest over Venezuela 'airspace violation' (BBC News)
Protests continue in Venezuela following 2 deaths (CNN)
Chavez Says Protests May Require ‘Radical’ Response (BusinessWeek)
Canada concerned over free speech rights in Venezuela (AFP)
WTF? Hugo Chavez Mouthpiece Says U.S. Hit Haiti With 'Earthquake Weapon' (FOX)
U.S. surrounds Iran with missile defenses (
Fears that US missiles move may be exploited by Iran's hardliners (
*'Iran will deliver telling blow to global powers on Feb. 11' (PressTV)
Iran Continues Focus on Outside Provocateurs, Now Blaming Germany (New York Times)
Iran accuses U.S. of seeking to use Internet against it (Washington Post/Reuters)
Iran Warns Against Protests During Islamic Republic Anniversary (BusinessWeek)
Israel "responsible" on Iran, Obama adviser says (Reuters)
Iran leader predicts destruction of Israel (AFP)
Critical Infrastructure under Siege from Cyber Attacks (PC World)
Critical infrastructure execs fear China, But they fear the US more (TheRegister)
China fires back at Hillary Clinton on internet restrictions (
China launches its own search engine 'Goojje' in midst of row with Google (Beforeitsnews)
Japan Protests To Russia After Boats Fired At (
Moscow police break up anti-Kremlin protest (
Report: Russia to sell Libya weapons in $1.8 billion deal (CNN)
Political Uncertainty Grips a Russian Republic (New York Times)
Bin Laden deplores climate change, Targets USD (Al Jazeera)
Bin Laden warns US of more attacks (Al Jazeera)
Israel: Hamas commander killed in Dubai was key arms smuggler (ChristianScienceMonitor)
*Palestinians get 1st private equity fund designed to boost economy (CanadianPress) -ETF available?
Leaders of Turkey and Israel Clash at Davos Panel (NewYorkTimes)
Israel-Turkey ties strain again over TV show (AFP)
Video:  Turkish PM storms off in Gaza row (BBC News)