10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Taylor Swift

Photo: AP

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

  • Asian indices were down in overnight trading with the Bombay Stock Exchange falling 1.84%. Europe is sharply lower and U.S. futures are lower ahead of the market open.
  • Federal reserve chairman Ben Bernanke will speak at Jackson Hole at 10 AM ET today. Various pundits have said QE3 is unlikely, but no one knows what the market has factored in. European Central Bank president Jean Claude-Trichet will also speak at the conference. Check out how world markets REALLY performed during QE2 >
  • UK Q2 GDP growth rose 0.2% from the first quarter. Growth slowed as manufacturing fell and its services sector slowed. Output was up 0.7% from a year ago, but austerity measures and inflation have been blamed for slow economic growth. Now here are 13 countries that are going to grow for decades >
  • The Greek government has now demanded 90% participation from the private sector, and said it might not go ahead with bond swaps crucial to the success of the bailout agreement, if those conditions are not met. 60%–70% of bondholders have reportedly already indicated that they will participate, but the 90% figure is considered too optimistic. Don’t Miss: The 20 institutions most exposed to a Greek default >
  • Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan announced his resignation today, after criticism over his government’s response to the tsunami, earthquake and resulting nuclear disaster. Kan’s term lasted 14-months and his departure will bring in the sixth head of government in five years.
  • Q2 GDP growth was revised down to 1%, in line with expectations of 1.1% >
  • Tiffany reported Q2 earnings of $0.86 per share, against estimates of $0.71, on revenue of $872.7 million. Both revenue and earnings exceeded forecasts.
  • Pandora posted Q2 loss of $3.2 million or $0.04 per share, compared with a $389,000 loss a year ago. Revenue however more than doubled to $67 million pushed by subscriptions and advertising, and its results beat Wall Street expectations.
  • Hurricane Irene has weakened slightly dropping to a category 2 hurricane, but with winds of up to 110 miles per hour. The storm could re-strengthen and North Carolina has braced for a direct hit from the hurricane, which is expected to strike the east coast.
  • Consumer sentiment data for August will be released at 9:55 AM ET. Consensus is for a rise in the index to 56.  Follow the release at Money Game >
  • BONUS – Taylor Swift took an impromptu vacation in South Carolina and took her back-up singers and dancers along with her.

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