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Seven Things You Need to Know Right Now

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1. Greek Default May Create Domino Effect
Derivatives are pricing in a nearly inevitable default by Greece, according to Bloomberg. Credit default swaps on Greece have widened to a spread of 975 basis points, suggesting a 57% chance of default according to CMA data. Today Portugal has widened to 569 basis points today, signaling a nearly 40% chance of default. "If Greece restructures, it will be very difficult for Ireland and Portugal to impose a very strict austerity program and not restructure. It's a domino effect," Marie-Anne Allier, head of the euro-aggregate group at Amundi Asset Management told Bloomberg.

2. McDonald's (MCD) to Hire 50,000 on April 19
McDonald's has plans to fill 50,000 jobs on its first "National Hiring Day" on April 19. Both full and part time jobs will be filled, according to the company, translating into about three to four hires per store. A similar event was held for the Western region last year and more than 60,000 people applied for 13,000 openings, according to Associated Press.

3. Southwest Airlines (LUV) Grounds Most of Its Fleet

Southwest Airlines has grounded most of its fleet after "widespread cracking" was discovered in other Boeing (BA) 737s the airline flies. A Southwest flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Arizona on Saturday after a hole developed in the cabin. The airline canceled 300 flights on Saturday and another 300 on Sunday. Meanwhile, Australia's Qantas announced it will be eliminating Boeing 737s from its fleet but insisted it was part of an overall modernization and unrelated to the Southwest cracking problems.

4. A Detailed Chronology of the Boeing 737 Family

5. Southwest Attempted to Push Back on FAA-Mandated Inspections of Aging Fleet, Daily Beast Reports
You knew this was coming, didn't you? Southwest reportedly pushed back against FAA-mandated inspections of its aging 737 fleet, according to this piece, saying the inspections would "pose a significant burden." The report is based on a review of government documents, the Daily Beast says.

6. Apple (AAPL), Intel (INTC) End Use of "Conflict Minerals"
With U.S. electronics companies next year required by law to begin disclosing their trace use of so-called conflict minerals (gold, tungsten, tin and other minerals the mining of which go to fund was in Central Africa), Apple and Intel are among companies participating in the Conflict-Free Smelter Program to help ditch the minerals, reports this story in Fast Company. The disclosure is part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

7. Paper vs. Hard Assets Trade Appears to Have Bottomed
Stifle, Nicolaus is out with a technical piece this morning on the Paper vs. Hard Assets trade. This is essentially the S&P 500 relative to the CRB Commodities Index, where outperforming sectors over the past decade have been Non-Energy Minerals, Energy Minerals and Process Industries while the losers have been Consumer Durables, Electronic Technology, Communications, Finance, Health Technology, and Commercial Services. The difference in outperformance is 15% a year for the winners dating back to March 2001 versus just 3.2% for the losers. Potential "value" trades may be found in the last five sectors listed, the firm says. "The Paper to Hard Asset Trade primarily resulted from elevated U.S. dollar quantity relative to commodity supplies, fueled by asset inflation, credit and competitive devaluation, which also fed Chinese construction due to the under-valuation policy of China with respect to its currency," the firm says.

POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.