European shares test two-year highs, yen volatile before BOJ

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares inched towards two-year highs on Monday, as a political attempt to break a budget impasse in the United States and expectations of aggressive Japanese stimulus bolstered the appetite for shares.

U.S. House Republican leaders said on Friday they would seek to pass a three-month extension of federal borrowing authority in the coming days to buy time for the Democrat-controlled Senate to pass a plan to shrink budget deficits.

European shares <.fteu3> were supported by the news <.eu>, but with no clear response from the Democrats and a thin session expected due to a market holiday in the United States, the impact on assets such as bonds and commodities was limited.

By 1500 GMT London's FTSE 100 <.ftse>, Paris's CAC-40 <.fchi> and Frankfurt's DAX <.gdaxi> were up 0.4 to 0.6 percent, leaving the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 within touching distance of a two-year high and MSCI's world index <.miwd00000pus> steady at a 20-month high. <.l><.eu/>

Expectations that the Bank of Japan will deliver a bold monetary easing plan at the end of its two-day meeting on Tuesday also supported shares and created choppy conditions in the currency market.

According to sources familiar with the BoJ's thinking, the government of new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the central bank have agreed to set 2 percent inflation as a new target, supplanting a softer 1 percent 'goal'.

The yen, which has fallen 13 percent against the dollar over the last two months as the shift in Japanese policy has taken shape, touched a new 2-1/2 year low in early trading but then firmed as traders cut short positions given the BOJ has often fallen short of market expectations.

"Investors are being mindful that the moves we have seen over the course of the last month or two are just worth locking in at least until we understand how the BOJ are really going to play in the future," said Jeremy Stretch, head of currency strategy at CIBC World Markets.


Japanese equities have surged in recent weeks in anticipation of a more aggressive monetary policy stance, but not everyone is happy.

The slump in the yen has prompted Russia's deputy central bank governor to warn of a new round of 'currency wars' and the medium-term risk of running ultra-loose monetary policies is likely to be a theme of the World Economic Forum in Davos, which opens on Wednesday.

With little in the way of economic data or debt issuance and U.S. markets shut for the Martin Luther King public holiday, the rest of the day was expected to be a fairly quiet for investors.

As the first European finance ministers' meeting of the year got under way, most euro zone government bonds were trading virtually flat and the euro was steady at $1.3316.

Market pressure on Europe is now less intense thanks to the European Central Bank's promise to prevent a collapse of the euro. Policymakers are set to discuss Cyprus's plight and plans for the euro zone's bailout fund to directly recapitalize banks.

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said as he arrived at the Brussels meeting that a proper recapitalization strategy was very important.

"Negotiations will be complex, and a final decision is unlikely to emerge soon. Risks for sovereign spreads in the periphery should be limited, but we have some concerns that the long-term solution may fall short of what a real banking union needs," said UniCredit economist Marco Valli.


The efforts by Republican lawmakers to give the U.S. government leeway to pay its bills for another three months dented demand for safe haven assets and pushed German government bond yields near the top of this year's range.

The U.S. Treasury needs congressional authorization to raise the current $16.4 trillion limit on U.S. debt sometime between mid-February and early March. A failure to achieve that could lead to a debt default.

"This is part of the political game, it remains to be seen whether the Democrats will accept it," KBC strategist Piet Lammens said, adding that investors' working scenario was that a solution to raise the ceiling would be eventually found anyway.

One of the key factors that drove 2-year German yields higher last week was also the prospect of sizeable early repayments of the 1 trillion euros euro zone banks took from the ECB roughly a year ago.

The central bank will publish on Friday how much banks plan to return at the optional first repayment date on January 30. A Reuters poll on Monday showed around 100 billion euros are expected to be repaid although some predict it could be as high as 250 billion.


German markets showed no reaction after the country's center-left opposition party edged Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives from power in a regional election on Sunday, reviving its flagging hopes for September's national election.

The Bundesbank's latest report delivered an upbeat message on the country's economy, saying a recent slump should be short-lived and may have already bottomed out.

Oil prices took their cues from a report in the United States at the end of last week that showed consumer sentiment at its weakest in a year as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the country's debt crisis.

Concerns about demand overshadowed supply disruption fears reinforced by the Islamist militant attack and hostage-taking at a gas plant in Algeria, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Brent futures were down by 40 cents to $111.47 per barrel by mid-afternoon. U.S. crude shed 43 cents to $95.13 per barrel after touching a four-month high last week.

"The over-riding fundamental feeling in the market is that crude oil is over-supplied in 2013," said Tony Nunan, an oil risk manager at Mitsubishi.

Last week's data showing a pick-up in the Chinese economy helped keep growth-sensitive copper prices steady at roughly $8,056 an ounce. Gold, meanwhile, reversed Friday's losses to stand at $1,688 an ounce.

(Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Marious Zaharia and Anooja Debnath; Editing by Peter Graff)

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Harbaugh brothers take 49ers, Ravens to Super Bowl

This Super Bowl will be filled with firsts — and one significant last.

The Harbaughs, San Francisco's Jim and Baltimore's John, will be the first pair of brothers to coach against each other in the NFL title game.

Quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers and Joe Flacco of the Ravens each will be playing in his first Super Bowl — where success is the ultimate measure of elite QBs.

It'll be Baltimore's first crack at a championship in a dozen years, San Francisco's first in 18. They are a combined 6-0 in Super Bowls (the 49ers own five of those victories), so one club will lose the big game for the first time.

And middle linebacker Ray Lewis, Baltimore's emotional leader and top tackler, will be playing in the final game of his 17-year career before heading into retirement.

"This is our time," Lewis pronounced.

For all of those story lines, none is expected to command as much attention as Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh. The game in New Orleans on Feb. 3 was quickly given all manner of nicknames: The Brother Bowl. The Harbaugh Bowl. The Har-Bowl. The Super-Baugh.

The Harbaughs' sister, Joani Crean, wrote in a text to The Associated Press: "Overwhelmed with pride for John, Jim and their families! They deserve all that has come their way! Team Harbaugh!"

As John prepared to coach the Ravens in the AFC championship game Sunday night, he watched on the stadium's big video screen as Jim's 49ers wrapped up the NFC championship.

John looked into a nearby TV camera, smiled broadly and said: "Hey, Jim, congratulations. You did it. You're a great coach. Love you."

Less than four hours later, the Ravens won, too. Some siblings try to beat each other in backyard games. These guys will do it in the biggest game of all.

Who's a parent to cheer for?

During the 2011 regular season, the Harbaughs became the only brothers to coach against each other in any NFL game (the Ravens beat the 49ers 16-6 on Thanksgiving Day that year).

The NFC West champion 49ers (13-4-1) opened as 5-point favorites, seeking a record-tying sixth Super Bowl title to add to those won by Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young.

Lewis was the MVP when the AFC North champion Ravens (13-6) beat the New York Giants in 2001.

With Kaepernick's terrific passing — he was 16 of 21 for 233 yards and a touchdown in only his ninth career NFL start — and two TD runs by Frank Gore, San Francisco erased a 17-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 28-24 Sunday.

Baltimore then fashioned a comeback of its own, scoring the last 21 points to defeat the New England Patriots 28-13, thanks in large part to Flacco's three second-half touchdown tosses, two to Anquan Boldin. Lewis and the rest of Baltimore's defense limited the high-scoring Patriots to one touchdown.

In the often risk-averse NFL, each Harbaugh made a critical change late in the regular season in a bid to boost his team's postseason chances. Clearly, both moves worked.

After 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, the starter in last season's overtime NFC title game loss to the Giants, got a concussion, Jim switched to Kaepernick for Week 11 — and never switched back. Now San Francisco has its first three-game winning streak of the season, at precisely the right time.

Baltimore, meanwhile, was in the midst of a three-game losing streak when John fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and promoted quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell to replace him.

The 50-year-old John is 15 months older than Jim and generally the less demonstrative of the pair, although John certainly did not lack intensity while making his case with officials a couple of times Sunday.

The ever-excitable Jim — who was treated for an irregular heartbeat in November — was up to his usual sideline antics in Atlanta.

He spun around and sent his headset flying when the original call stood after he threw his red challenge flag on a catch by the Falcons. He hopped and yelled at his defense to get off the field after their key fourth-down stop with less than 1½ minutes left. He made an emphatic-as-can-be timeout signal with 13 seconds remaining.

Expect CBS to fill plenty of time during its Super Bowl broadcast with shots of Jim, that trademark red pen dangling in front of his chest, and John, who usually wears a black Ravens hat. That is sure to be a focal point, right up until they meet for a postgame handshake in two weeks' time.


AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributed to this report.


Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at


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How Obama made opportunity real


  • LZ Granderson: Specifics of Obama's first term may not be remembered

  • He says his ability to win presidency twice is unforgettable

  • Granderson: Obama, the first black president, makes opportunity real for many

  • He says it makes presidency a possibility for people of all backgrounds

Editor's note: LZ Granderson, who writes a weekly column for, was named journalist of the year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and is a 2011 Online Journalism Award finalist for commentary. He is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN the Magazine and Follow him on Twitter: @locs_n_laughs.

(CNN) -- In his first term, President Barack Obama signed 654 bills into law, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by about 70% and the national debt by $5.8 trillion.

And in 10 years -- maybe less -- few outside of the Beltway will remember any of that. That's not to suggest those details are not important. But even if all of his actions are forgotten, Obama's legacy as the first black president will endure.

And even though this is his second term and fewer people are expected to travel to Washington this time to witness the inauguration, know that this moment is not any less important.

For had Obama not been re-elected, his barrier-breaking election in 2008 could have easily been characterized as a charismatic politician capturing lightning in a bottle. But by becoming the first president since Dwight Eisenhower to win at least 51% of the vote twice, Obama proved his administration was successful.

And not by chance, but by change.

A change, to paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr., that was not inevitable but a result of our collective and continuous struggle to be that shining city on a hill of which President Ronald Reagan spoke so often.

Best of 2013 inauguration


























For much of this country's history, being a white male was a legal prerequisite to being president. Then it was accepted as a cultural norm. Because of that, we could not be the country we set out to be.

But today, somewhere in the Midwest, there is a little Asian-American girl with the crazy idea she could be president one day, and because of Obama, she knows that idea is not very crazy at all.

That's power -- the kind of power that can fade urgent numbers and debates of the day into the background of history.

Gergen: Obama 2.0 version is smarter, tougher

Few remember the number of steps Neil Armstrong took when he landed on the moon, but they remember he was the first human being who stepped on the moon. Few can tell you how many hits Jackie Robinson had in his first Major League Baseball game, but they know he broke baseball's color barrier. Paying homage to a person being first at something significant does not diminish his or her other accomplishments. It adds texture to the arc of their story.

I understand the desire not to talk about race as a way of looking progressive.

But progress isn't pretending to be color blind, it's not being blinded by the person's color.

Or gender.

Or religion.

Or sexual orientation.

Somewhere in the South, there is an openly gay high schooler who loves student government and wants to be president someday. And because of Obama, he knows if he does run, he won't have to hide.

That does not represent a shift in demographics, but a shift in thought inspired by a new reality. A reality in which the president who follows Obama could be a white woman from Arkansas by way of Illinois; a Cuban-American from Florida; or a tough white guy from Jersey. Or someone from an entirely different background. We don't know. Four years is a long time away, and no one knows how any of this will play out -- which I think is a good thing.

For a long time, we've conceived of America as the land of opportunity. Eight years ago, when it came to the presidency, that notion was rhetoric. Four years ago, it became a once in a lifetime moment. Today, it is simply a fact of life.

Ten years from now, we may not remember what the unemployment rate was when Obama was sworn in a second time, but we'll never forget how he forever changed the limits of possibility for generations to come.

Somewhere out West, there is an 80-year-old black woman who never thought she'd see the day when a black man would be elected president. Somehow I doubt Obama's second inauguration is less important to her.

Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.

Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of LZ Granderson.

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“Les Miserables” soundtrack tops UK albums chart

LONDON (Reuters) – The soundtrack of the Oscar-nominated movie “Les Miserables” climbed to the top spot in the UK albums chart, the first film cast recording to do so since Madonna’s “Evita” in 1997, the Official Charts Company said on Sunday.

A film version of a hugely successful stage musical based on a novel by 19th century French writer Victor Hugo, “Les Miserables” has already picked up a Golden Globe award for best movie musical, and is nominated for a best picture Oscar.

The recording of songs performed by the actors in the movie, including Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman, had entered the UK albums chart in fifth position a week ago. It knocked Emeli Sande‘s “Our Version Of Events” off the top spot.

Hathaway, who plays a character called Fantine, also had the 22nd spot in the singles chart with her performance of “I Dreamed A Dream”, one of the most popular songs from the musical.

At the very top of the singles chart, U.S. producer’s collaboration with Britney Spears, “Scream & Shout”, held onto the number one ranking, fending off stiff competition from new entrants 50 Cent and Justin Timberlake.

U.S. rapper 50 Cent’s new release, “My Life”, featuring Eminem and Maroon 5′s Adam Levine, came in at number two while Timberlake, the former ‘N Sync star, nabbed the number three spot with his “Suit and Tie” featuring Jay-Z.

(Reporting By Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Sophie Hares)

Music News Headlines – Yahoo! News

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What’s In An Inch? Subway Comes Up Short

Don’t be so literal; the “Subway Footlong” is a registered trademark, not an actual measurement. So wrote Subway Australia on its Facebook page on Jan. 16, after customer Matt Corby’s photo of an 11-inch sub sandwich, measured against a ruler, went viral.

According to ABC News, the Subway response, which is no longer posted on the page, read: “The length of the bread baked in the restaurant cannot be assured each and every time as the proofing process may vary slightly each time in the restaurant.” A representative told ABC News on Friday that while the bread is baked at each store, the company strives for each sub to be 12 inches long.

It might seem nitpicky to complain about getting cheated out of 1 inch, or possibly less than an inch, of Italian Herbs & Cheese bread. But an inch can mean everything. Take golf: In the 2004 HP Classic, Joe Ogilvie missed sinking his blast out of the sand trap by an inch, handing the victory and $ 918,000 of the $ 5.1 million purse to Vijay Singh. And to companies that deal in hundreds of thousands of transactions a day, that small measurement adds up fast:

• When Southwest Airlines (LUV) reduced passenger legroom by an inch (to 31 inches) to add six seats to each plane last year, it estimated the $ 60 million redesign would add $ 10 million per year in ticket sales.

Radio City Entertainment (CVC) raised the maximum height to be a Rockette in 2000 by 1 inch, to 5 feet 6 1/2 inches. That extra bit of leg might just help draw more viewers to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, which brought in $ 72 million in ticket sales during nine weeks in 2004.

• In 1997, the Washington Post decided to shrink the width of the paper by an inch (to 12 1/2 inches) and the length by 1 9/16 inch (to 22 inches) to save “millions of dollars,” according to Michael Clurman, the Post‘s production vice president.

Subway customers, meanwhile, can take comfort that the “Five-Dollar” part of the slogan is holding firm. — Top News

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Canadian companies feel the world’s pain

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) – Financial results from Canada’s biggest companies are likely to disappoint investors in the coming weeks with weak global growth and mixed commodity prices expected to have pummeled the quarterly earnings of oil companies and miners.

Energy and materials shares make up about half of the value of the Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark S&P/TSX composite index and include such blue chips as Suncor Energy Inc, Teck Resources Ltd and Goldcorp Inc.

All three companies are expected to post year-on-year drops in fourth-quarter earnings per share when they report in February.

Overall, companies in the TSX are expected to report quarterly earnings growth of only 0.3 percent from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine SmartEstimates. Analysts see full-year 2012 earnings dropping 1.4 percent, but they expect profits to climb around 9 percent next year.

“This earnings season might be a mild disappointment in some cases, or a mild disappointment overall,” said George Vasic, chief economist and strategist at UBS Securities Canada.

Vasic noted that TSX valuations are higher than they were last year, increasing the risk that stock prices could fall on negative news. He said investors will be especially sensitive to earnings outlooks, and that capital spending plans will be scrutinized.

In the United States, where the fourth-quarter earnings season is already well underway, shares of such top financials as Bank of America and Citigroup have fallen on disappointing results.

By the time reporting is done, S&P 500 fourth-quarter earnings are expected to have increased just 2.5 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data, but that is still far better than what is expected from TSX companies.

Philip Petursson, a managing director of the portfolio advisory group at Manulife Asset Management, said the market has already priced some negative news into Canadian share prices.

Even so, he said, “you can have a couple of shocks that will take things a little bit lower”.


With the global economy struggling because of political gridlock in Washington, Europe’s debt crisis, and a slowdown in Asia toward the end of last year, it’s little wonder that growth-sensitive sectors such as energy and materials were the worst performers on the Canadian market in 2012.

Toronto’s S&P/TSX composite put in a much weaker performance last year than the more-diversified S&P 500 index. The TSX was up 4 percent in 2012, while the S&P gained 13.4 percent.

Many analysts see the trend extending into 2013. The TSX is expected to rise about 4.5 percent in 2013, while the S&P is seen doubling that at 9 percent, according to Reuters polls.

Global economic weakness has translated into weak commodity prices, particularly for energy. As a result, oil and gas producers are expected to show an earnings decline of 18 percent in the fourth quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data.

But Canadian-specific issues are hitting domestic producers as well. With limited capacity to move Canadian crude oil abroad, crude pumped out of Alberta and other provinces sells at a steep discount to international prices, especially for heavier grades.

“Commodity prices and oil we think are going to be more flat over the next year or so and that’s going to be a tremendous headwind for the energy sector,” said Shailesh Kshatriya, senior investment analyst at Russell Investments Canada.


The TSX index’s materials sector, home to miners of potash and industrial and precious metals, is expected to have had profit growth of just 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter.

But commodity prices are not entirely to blame for this. The price of spot gold, which traded around $ 1,686.10 an ounce on Friday, is up from a year earlier. Yet shares of Canadian precious metal miners lost 16 percent last year.

“As these companies find more gold, it’s getting more and more costly to pull it out and get it out of the ground,” said Allan Small, senior investment adviser at DundeeWealth, noting that a similar problem for oil companies has caused their stocks to lag the commodity prices.

Even shares of Canada’s still-healthy banks, which don’t start reporting results until late February, could start to lag after performing relatively well since the 2008-09 global recession.

“We’re looking for low single-digit kind of gains for the reasons that pretty much everybody knows – the slowdown in the housing market and then the mortgages,” said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.

Analysts expect banks’ loan losses could increase because Canadian household debt is near record highs.

“The saving grace I guess is the dividends,” he added. All of Canada’s six biggest banks trade with dividend yields of more than 3 percent, a level that is expected to support their stock prices even if the earnings outlook darkens.

(Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson; and Peter Galloway)

Business & Finance News – Yahoo! Finance

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Wall Street Week Ahead: Earnings, money flows to push stocks higher

NEW YORK (Reuters) - With earnings momentum on the rise, the S&P 500 seems to have few hurdles ahead as it continues to power higher, its all-time high a not-so-distant goal.

The U.S. equity benchmark closed the week at a fresh five-year high on strong housing and labor market data and a string of earnings that beat lowered expectations.

Sector indexes in transportation <.djt>, banks <.bkx> and housing <.hgx> this week hit historic or multiyear highs as well.

Michael Yoshikami, chief executive at Destination Wealth Management in Walnut Creek, California, said the key earnings to watch for next week will come from cyclical companies. United Technologies reports on Wednesday while Honeywell is due to report Friday.

"Those kind of numbers will tell you the trajectory the economy is taking," Yoshikami said.

Major technology companies also report next week, but the bar for the sector has been lowered even further.

Chipmakers like Advanced Micro Devices , which is due Tuesday, are expected to underperform as PC sales shrink. AMD shares fell more than 10 percent Friday after disappointing results from its larger competitor, Intel . Still, a chipmaker sector index <.sox> posted its highest weekly close since last April.

Following a recent underperformance, an upside surprise from Apple on Wednesday could trigger a return to the stock from many investors who had abandoned ship.

Other major companies reporting next week include Google , IBM , Johnson & Johnson and DuPont on Tuesday, Microsoft and 3M on Thursday and Procter & Gamble on Friday.


Perhaps the strongest support for equities will come from the flow of cash from fixed income funds to stocks.

The recent piling into stock funds -- $11.3 billion in the past two weeks, the most since 2000 -- indicates a riskier approach to investing from retail investors looking for yield.

"From a yield perspective, a lot of stocks still yield a great deal of money and so it is very easy to see why money is pouring into the stock market," said Stephen Massocca, managing director at Wedbush Morgan in San Francisco.

"You are just not going to see people put a lot of money to work in a 10-year Treasury that yields 1.8 percent."

Housing stocks <.hgx>, already at a 5-1/2 year high, could get a further bump next week as investors eye data expected to support the market's perception that housing is the sluggish U.S. economy's bright spot.

Home resales are expected to have risen 0.6 percent in December, data is expected to show on Tuesday. Pending home sales contracts, which lead actual sales by a month or two, hit a 2-1/2 year high in November.

The new home sales report on Friday is expected to show a 2.1 percent increase.

The federal debt ceiling negotiations, a nagging worry for investors, seemed to be stuck on the back burner after House Republicans signaled they might support a short-term extension.

Equity markets, which tumbled in 2011 after the last round of talks pushed the United States close to a default, seem not to care much this time around.

The CBOE volatility index <.vix>, a gauge of market anxiety, closed Friday at its lowest since April 2007.

"I think the market is getting somewhat desensitized from political drama given, this seems to be happening over and over," said Destination Wealth Management's Yoshikami.

"It's something to keep in mind, but I don't think it's what you want to base your investing decisions on."

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak and Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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Djokovic plays another Australian Open marathon

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The opponent was different, the match three rounds earlier. Still, the result gave Novak Djokovic a familiar feeling, and another chance to rip off his shirt in celebration.

Djokovic needed just over 5 hours to beat Stanislas Wawrinka 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 12-10 in a fourth-round match Sunday night at the Australian Open, on the same court where he needed 5:53 to beat Rafael Nadal in last year's final.

"I just had flashback of 2012," Djokovic said. "It was maybe 45 minutes less this match than the one 12 months ago, but still it was still as exciting. I tried to enjoy the moment and couldn't ask for more. What a match point ... unbelievable."

He wasn't exaggerating about the match point. On his third attempt to end it, his backhand cross-court shot zipped past the valiant Wawrinka, who, Djokovic conceded, had outplayed him for most of the night.

"He came up with great tactics today," Djokovic said. "He didn't give me a lot of the same rhythm that I could get into the match. He was the one being in charge. I was passive. "

The win was Djokovic's 18th in a row at Melbourne Park after winning the last two Australian titles and advanced the Serbian star to the quarterfinals of his 15th consecutive major tournament.

Wawrinka, who had been receiving treatment to his upper leg muscles from late in the fourth set, said he would take more positives than negatives out of the match. He led 5-2 in the second set after outplaying Djokovic in the first.

"For sure, I think the best match I have ever played," Wawrinka said. "I fought like a dog like always. At 4-4 in the final set, I thought I might have won the match, but he was just better."

Djokovic will next play No. 5 Tomas Berdych, who needed five match points in the tiebreaker before beating South Africa's Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (13).

Fourth-seeded David Ferrer won 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 over No. 16 Kei Nishikori of Japan to set up a quarterfinal against fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, who was leading 6-2, 5-1 when No. 8 Janko Tipsaveric retired from their fourth-round match.

The Djokovic-Wawrinka match overshadowed Maria Sharapova's accomplishment earlier in the day.

Sharapova advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Kirsten Flipkens in another impressive display — last year's French Open champion has lost just five games through four rounds, breaking the Australian Open mark of eight held previously by eventual champions Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.

"A couple that I've won, I felt like I was playing great from the beginning and I was able to carry that through the whole tournament," said Sharapova, who won titles in 2004 at Wimbledon, 2006 at the U.S. Open and 2008 in Australia before completing her career Grand Slam with a victory at last year's French Open.

She can't remember ever winning so few games through four rounds of a tournament, but realizes this means nothing if she doesn't make it to the latter stages.

"Well, I'm certainly happy to be playing this well but ... it only gets tougher from here," said Sharapova, who is playing her first tournament of 2013 after withdrawing from a warm-up event at Brisbane because of an injured right collarbone.

She next plays fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who beat fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-4. Sharapova defeated Makarova in the quarterfinals here last year on her way to the final, which she lost in straight sets to Victoria Azarenka.

Li Na, who reached the final here in 2011 and won the French Open later that year, saved a set point in the tiebreaker before beating Julia Goerges 7-6 (6), 6-1. She'll play No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat No. 13 Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 6-4 for her 13th consecutive win. Radwanska won the Auckland and Sydney titles before coming to Melbourne.

On Monday, Roger Federer plays Milos Raonic, and U.S. Open champion Andy Murray faces Gilles Simon. Azarenka, Serena Williams and fellow American Sloane Stephens also have their fourth-round matches.

Thy will have a tough time matching the spectacle of Sunday's late-night encounter.

Djokovic had beaten Wawrinka — the perennial No. 2 among Swiss tennis players to 17-time major winner Roger Federer — in their 10 previous matches. He hadn't lost a head-to-head since 2006 and had won 11 straight sets between them.

Wawrinka stunned the top-ranked Djokovic with three service breaks in the first set and had that 5-2 lead in the second before the 25-year-old Serb rallied by winning six consecutive games. But just as Djokovic seemed to be taking control, Wawrinka launched his own comeback to win a long tiebreaker and force a fifth set.

Djokovic got to serve first in the fifth, giving him a psychological edge as long as he held his serve.

Wawrinka had game point in the 22nd game but let Djokovic get on a roll. He saved his first match point with a service winner, then saved another two minutes later.

At 1:40 a.m. local time, Wawrinka was whacking his head with the racket and biting the ball after giving Djokovic another match point.

Moments later, he was slumped on the court, exhausted. Djokovic raised both arms, walked to the net and embraced his beaten rival, then pulled of his shirt and flexed.

"Give him credit, he made me run all over the court," Djokovic said. "He never gave me the same ball. He was aggressive from both sides. I didn't know what was coming next."

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Obama's speech: Learn from Lincoln


  • Julian Zelizer: Second term inaugural addresses are always a challenge

  • He says the public has had four years to make a judgment about the president

  • Obama can learn from second term speeches of Lincoln, Wilson, FDR

  • Zelizer says they did a good job of unifying America and sketching vision of the future

Editor's note: Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter" and of "Governing America."

(CNN) -- The second inaugural address is always more difficult than the first. When a president-elect first steps onto the national stage, he still enjoys a certain degree of innocence and hope. Americans are waiting to see if the new president will be different. When a new president delivers his speech, voters don't yet have a record that might make them cynical.

But by the second term, voters are familiar, and often tired, with the occupant of the White House. Even though they liked him more than his opponents, the president has usually been through some pretty tough battles and his limitations have been exposed. It becomes much harder to deliver big promises, when the people watching have a much clearer sense of your limitations and of the strength of your opponents.

Julian Zelizer

Julian Zelizer

So President Barack Obama faces a big test when he appears before the nation Monday.

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Obama now is Washington, and no longer someone who will be able to shake up the way Washington works. Voters believe that Congress is dysfunctional and have little confidence that legislators will respond to his proposals.

Overseas, the instability and violence in the Middle East has shaken the confidence of many Americans that Obama can achieve the kind of transformative change he promised back in 2009.

Obama, who is a student of history, can look back at some past second inaugural addresses if he wants guidance. Three of the best of these addresses offer a roadmap.

Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1865: The strongest was from Lincoln, who gave his talk amid the brutality of the Civil War but chose to stress the theme of healing and unity, Lincoln gave a masterful performance that offered inspiration and encouragement for the reunification of the nation. Lincoln famously said: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." Rather than boasting of military victory or threatening Southern forces, he stepped outside the battle to offer the nation, as a whole, the path forward.

Woodrow Wilson, March 5, 1917: Although Wilson had run on a campaign to keep America out of world war, he was aware that such intervention was inevitable. During his second inaugural address, Wilson took the opportunity to start preparing the nation for what was about to come. He told America to think about the global responsibilities it had to accept, even if much of the nation was not prepared to do so. "We are provincials no longer," he said, "The tragic events of the thirty months of vital turmoil which we have just passed have made us citizens of the world. There can be no turning back."

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Franklin Roosevelt, January 20, 1937: Roosevelt gave a rousing performance that outlined the fundamental vision which shaped the wide array of policies he had put forward in his first term. While many people had criticized FDR for lacking any ideology and for being a pragmatist without principle, in his second address he explained the rationale behind his actions: "I see millions denied education, recreation, and the opportunity to better their lot and the lot of their children. I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished." For Democrats, the speech remains a powerful defense of government and the rationale behind his program.

To replicate some of this success, Obama will need to figure out how to inspire a nation that is frustrated by the gridlock of Washington and the laggard state of the economy and worried about instability overseas.

Obama can learn from all three of these presidents.

Like Wilson, he can talk to Americans about goals they should aspire to achieve, ways in which the country can accept new obligations in a changing world.

Like Lincoln, he can urge the nation to move beyond the discord and division that has characterized political debate in the past four years.

Finally, like Roosevelt, he can use his speech to provide some of the justification and outlook that has shaped his policies. This would undercut the ability of Republicans to define his policies for him, as has been the case for much of his first term, and motivate supporters who have often felt that Obama remained too much of a mystery.

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Julian Zelizer.

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Chastain bests Arnold, Wahlberg at box office

NEW YORK (AP) — Jessica Chastain easily outmuscled Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mark Wahlberg over the weekend, topping the box office with her supernatural horror film “Mama.”

According to studio estimates Sunday, “Mama” earned $ 28.1 million. Chastain held the top two spots with both “Mama” and the Osama bin Laden manhunt drama “Zero Dark Thirty,” for which she’s nominated by the best actress Oscar. In its second week of wide release, “Zero Dark Thirty” took in $ 17.6 million.

Schwarzenegger‘s post-governorship comeback got off to a poor start. His action flick “The Last Stand” opened with just $ 6.3 million, one of the worst debuts for the brawny 65-year-old star.

The Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe New York crime film “Broken City” didn’t fare much better. It premiered with $ 9.1 million.

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