10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

scarlettjohansson tbi

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Asian markets were mostly up in overnight trading, with the Hang Seng the only exception, down 0.16%. European markets are all down in morning trading, and U.S. futures suggest a lower open. See 10 Unusual Stocks Attracting Huge Interest In The Pre-Market >
  • Out this morning: CPI up 0.2% and retail sales rise for the first time in three months. Check Money Game for breaking analysis >
  • AIG’s IPO of its Asian division AIA could be lacking several top bidders for shares as it has emerged that China Life and two other firms are unwilling to bid. The bidders are concerned that AIA shares are being overpriced. Don’t miss: 10 Chinese brands set to take over by 2020 >
  • The U.S. government’s planned weapons sale to Saudi Arabia looks set to cost to Gulf country $60 million. The deal will include F-15s, but also Boeing Apache helicopters and United Technologies Black Hawk helicopters. Don’t miss: The threats the U.S. Air Force is really concerned about >
  • Germany’s economy grew by 2.2% in Q2 2010, beating the governments 1.4% growth forecast. Germany’s growth is its fastest in Q2 for 23 years. 
  • And Germany’s growth has pushed eurozone growth as well, with Q2 GDP growth at 1.7% over the previous year’s Q2. Economists expected growth of 1.4% for Q2, year-over-year.
  • But the eurozone remains concerned about the situation in its fringe states with a weak 15-year Italian bond auction today. The result of the auction was a rise in the price of the German Bund.
  • Weakness in fixed income trading is leading to a hiring freeze at Barclays, Credit Suisse, and RBS. Profits for many banks’ trading divisions have declined, and they now may be considering laying off employees. 
  • The U.S. Department of Justice is conducting a broad investigation into the activities of big pharmaceutical companies to see if they have been involved in corruption or bribery. The companies include Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Bristol-Meyers Squib, and Eli Lilly. 
  • BP is set to spend $50.6 million on a record fine for the safety violations at a refinery in Texas City. The refinery exploded in 2005, killing 15. Check out Whitney Tilson’s take on BP >
  • Bonus: Scarlett Johansson and her husband, Ryan Reynolds, are purchasing a $2.8 million two-bedroom home in L.A..
  • Follow up to the minute markets coverage at Money Game >

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