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By Jason Stipp and Jeremy Glaser | 01-16-2015 06:00 AM

Friday Five: The Ones You Don't See Coming

We break down this week's Swiss surprise. Plus, our take on big bank results, Tiffany's sell-off, and Priceline's new 5-star status.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar and welcome to The Friday Five, Morningstar's take on five stories in the market this week.

Joining me with The Friday Five is Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser.

Jeremy, thanks for being here.

Jeremy Glaser: You're welcome, Jason.

Stipp: Up first this week, a big surprise on Thursday as the Swiss National Bank said that it was going to stop actively intervening in the currency markets to keep the Swiss franc from appreciating against euro.

Glaser: This one really was a surprise. Back in 2011 the Swiss Central Bank put a policy into place to hold the Swiss franc at 1.2 to the euro, and not allow it to rise above that, because they were worried about the impact that too much appreciation, too quickly, would have on the Swiss economy. The Swiss franc is seen as a safe-haven currency, and during the euro crisis that was going on in 2011, the inflows into the Swiss market were worrying the Central Bank very much. Throughout the past couple of years, they have been vigilant about this, and you could see their balance sheet getting larger and larger as they bought euro-denominated assets in order to keep this pledge.

I think what happened here was that, as the European Central Bank gets ready to do its quantitative easing program to get more euros out there, the Swiss Central Bank saw that it probably wasn't going to be able to keep defending this. It was going to become too expensive and too unpopular of a policy. So, they scrapped it overnight. The franc immediately appreciated dramatically against the euro and also against the dollar.

This is going to have a lot of ramifications for Swiss businesses. It's something we'll talk about for a while. But I also think it's just important to note that this really came as a surprise, and it shows that as much as you try to think and worry about every contingency, there is always going to be something that comes out of left field, and those are the things that could have a big impact. This just speaks to why it's important to have a long-term focus and not try to make these short-term bets, because things like this, which you really do not expect to happen, can materialize.

Stipp: Earnings season kicked off this week, including a raft of big bank earnings that were pretty disappointing.

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