Hello friends and Fortune readers.
U.S. stock futures are slightly down this morning after a stellar showing Monday. Both the S&P 500 index and Dow Jones industrial average set records, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed above 5,000 for only the third time since the dot-com bubble of 2000.
European shares are largely flat in trading today, while Asian indexes closed mostly lower.
Here’s what else you need to know about today.
1. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses Congress.
Netanyahu will take to the floor of Congress this morning at the bequest of Republican leaders. He’s expected to reveal U.S. compromises made in its dealings with Iran in an effort to derail negotiations to curb Iran’s nuclear program. The Israeli Prime Minister fears that any compromise could lead to Israel’s nuclear annihilation. Netanyahu’s relationship with President Obama and the White House has grown increasingly tense as he undermines U.S. efforts to work with the Islamic nation. Secretary of State John Kerry is continuing those negotiations today when he meets with his Iranian counterpart in Geneva.
2. Alibaba in hot water in Taiwan.
Alibaba (BABA) crossed the line with Taiwanese officials after it violated investment rules by registering its business in Taiwan as a Singaporean entity, thus hiding its Chinese ownership. Alibaba was told to withdraw from the market within six months and fined $3,800. An Alibaba spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that the company set up shop in Taiwan in 2008, before the nation allowed investment by Chinese companies. Alibaba.com’s Singapore unit is a subsidiary of its Cayman Islands-registered Alibaba.com Ltd.
3. Did U.S. auto sales heat up in February?
U.S. auto sales numbers come out today, and analysts anticipate that last month was another good period for carmakers. New car sales could reach almost 1.3 million, an 8% boost compared to February last year, according to auto research company Kelley Blue Book. That would make February the 12th straight month of sales growth. General Motors (GM) is expected to maintain its lead in the market share battle with Ford (F) and Toyota (TM) coming second and third, respectively.
4. Springleaf buys Citigroup’s OneMain.
Subprime lender Springleaf (LEAF) will shell out $4.25 billion in cash for Citigroup’s consumer finance unit OneMain Financial. OneMain is part of Citi Holdings, the unit Citigroup (C) created during the financial crisis to hold its unwanted assets. It has been slowly selling or closing the units within Citi Holdings as the bank looks to focus on wealthier clients. OneMain provides small loans for unexpected personal expenses like medical bills or a new washing machine. OneMain will add to Springleaf’s reach with the growing number of non-prime customers.
5. Live from Beijing … it’s Saturday night!
After 40 years on U.S. televisions, “Saturday Night Live” will launch a Chinese version in partnership with Sohu.com, which operates video streaming sites. Sohu.com already streams the U.S. version to its Chinese viewers, but now they will have their very own show featuring comedians and musicians from across China. The deal was struck by Broadway Video Entertainment, a company created by SNL creator Lorne Michaels that also produces such shows as “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Portlandia.”