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Situational awareness:

  • BB&T is acquiring rival SunTrust Banks in a $66 billion all-stock merger, creating the 6th biggest bank by assets and deposits. (Axios)
  • PG&E has contained a natural gas leak from a pipe that exploded on Wednesday, engulfing a major thoroughfare in San Francisco in flames. (Bloomberg)
  • House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters called on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to rescind a new proposal easing restrictions on payday lenders just hours after their release. The Obama-era proposal would force payday lenders to ensure borrowers can afford the loans they are offered. (Politico)
  • Chipotle shares rose more than 10% after the company reported better than expected fourth-quarter earnings after the bell on Wednesday. (CNBC)
  • Twitter topped earnings and revenue expectations and added 321 million monthly active users — down from the prior year's 330 million MAUs. (CNBC)

History: Amenhotep III was the ninth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt and one of the greatest African kings in history. He devoted himself to expanding diplomatic contacts and to extensive building in Egypt and Nubia.

His reign was a period of unprecedented prosperity when Egypt reached the peak of its artistic and international power.

Amenhotep III's palace at Thebes was the most opulent in the ancient world. He created monuments that were 70 feet high, weighed 700 tons and carved out of a single rock.

He built the most surviving statues of any Egyptian pharaoh, with more than 250 of his statues having been discovered and identified. Though he ruled in the 14th century B.C., many of his works can still be viewed today.