Markets have been choppy since the ECB finally announced details of its expanded asset purchase program. The Dax has rallied to a new all-time high then slumped back, while the EUR fell toward $1.1500 then rebounded slightly. Gold took another run at $1,300 but has been unable to get through as of yet. ECB announced plans to purchase €60B per month of public and private assets starting in March, more than the €50B that had been rumoured yesterday. This would mean €600B in purchases this year, near the middle of the €500-800B that had been tossed around over the last few weeks. At that pace, the ECB should hit its goal of adding €1 trillion to its balance sheet in May of 2016, pretty much on schedule with two years from when the central bank started talking about stimulus. The ECB noted purchases will be investment grade only, that purchases will be based on each country’s contribution to the ECB and that 20% of the purchases will involve risk sharing. So far trading since the news has shown a lot of indecision with a battle underway between those who had entered trades on rumour and are now looking to exit on the news, as is typical, and those looking to trade what the announcement means for markets going forward. European indices had risen dramatically and EUR fallen dramatically in recent weeks on anticipation of this announcement so much of the program may have already been priced in. As we saw in the US and Japan, QE programs may continue to support share prices and weigh on the currency over the long term, in the short term we may still see quite a bit of volatility especially with five weeks at least until the money actually starts flowing. Corporate News Royal Bank of Canada agreed to acquire City National for $5.4B or $93.80 per share through a combination of cash and stock Blackberry takeover rumours continue to swirl around the company this week, with reports of Samsung and LG among potential suitors despite denials Agrium increased its target dividend payout ratio to 40-50% of free cash flow from 25-35% previously Canadian Pacific $2.68 vs street $2.56 Union Pacific $1.61 vs street $1.52 Travelers $3.11 vs street $2.54, revenue $6.7V vs street $5.8B American Express $1.39 vs street $1.38 SanDisk $1.30 vs street $1.27, guides Q1 revenru to $1.40-$1.45B below street $1.60B eBay $0.90 vs street $0.89, guides Q1 to $0.68-$0.71 vs street $0.76 Kinder Morgan agrees to purchase Hiland Partners for $3B, indicates consolidation in the oilpatch (pipelines in this case) getting underway. Economic News ECB deposit rate (0.20%) no change as expected ECB interest rate 0.30% no change as expected ECB new QE program speculation has varied between €500B and €800B Brazil interest rate 0.50% increase to 12.25% as expected US jobless claims 307K vs street 300K NZ Business PMI 57.7 vs previous 55.2 NZ consumer confidence previous 126.5 Australia new home sales 2.2% vs previous 3.0% Spain unemployment rate 23.7% vs street 23.5% Sweden unemployment rate 7.0% vs street 7.4% Italy industrial orders (4.1%) vs street (0.6%) Italy retail sales (2.3%) vs street (0.9%) Economic reports due later today include: 3:00 pm GMT Eurozone consumer confidence street (10.5) 9:00 am EST US house prices street 0.3% 10:30 am EST US crude oil inventories street 2.5 mmbbls