A Patent Showdown and Open Season on Credit-Rating Agencies: Morning Buzzers

The U.S. markets were reserved on Friday morning, even though positive data out of China had the European markets in the green at mid-day. Chinese exports surged 28.8 percent year over year in January, while imports climbed 25 percent for the period.

Futures at 8:50 a.m.: DJIA: -0.03%, S&P 500: +0.03%, NASDAQ: +0.24%.

Here’s what’s buzzing on Friday morning:snowmageddon

Winter Storm Nemo, a blizzard of “historic size,” is slated to pretty much shut down the Northeast starting on Friday and heading through the weekend. Already top airlines are cancelling flights and officials are urging residents to stay off streets. With public transportation in New York City, Boston, and everywhere in between shutting down in advance of the storm, many businesses will be calling an early Friday. Nearly 3,000 flights have already been cancelled.

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Apparently it’s open season on credit-rating agencies, as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reportedly opens an investigation into Standard & Poor’s (NYSE:MHP), Moody’s (NYSE:MCO), and Fitch Ratings. Schneiderman will be investigating whether or not the agencies complied with agreements made in 2008 to make certain reforms. If not, he may open a case for fraud or misconduct.