10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Nicole Richie

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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

  • Asian markets were slightly higher overnight, with the Nikkei up 0.22%. European markets are slightly lower this morning. U.S. futures had turned lower after disappointing earnings from Best Buy, but have turned around on positive retail sales data. Here are 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
  • Producer price index (PPI) data came in slightly hotter than expected, at 0.8% month-over-month. Check out the analysis here >
  • Retail sales data came in much better than expected, rising 1.2% month-over-month. Check out the analysis here >
  • China’s government has set inflation and loan targets higher than expected, in a sign that the country isn’t yet going to engage in an aggressive tightening program. The move comes after inflation spiked to 5.1%, year-over-year, in November. Check out why China is actually a debt burdened builder of bridges to nowhere >
  • Germany has hinted it will back an expansion of capital for the European Central Bank. The country has been in opposition to the expansion of the region’s bailout fund, but the ECB has said it may need more money in case it incurs losses on its sovereign debt dealings.
  • Belgium’s outlook has been downgraded to negative by S&P due to political problems and high sovereign debt levels. The ratings agency says it could downgrade the country in 6-months. Here are the next dominos under threat in the eurozone debt crisis >
  • The yield on 10-year Spanish sovereign debt is spiking today after a bond auction this morning sent prices higher. Part of the explanation for rising yields may lie with a concurrent global bond selloff. Check out why everyone is so worried about Spain >
  • Inflation in the UK came in hotter than expected, with the CPI rising 3.3% year-over-year in November. The month-over-month increase of 0.4% was the largest since 1996. Here’s why the world is on the brink of an inflation deluge >
  • HCR is selling nursing home facilities to HCP in a deal worth $6.1 billion. The sale will allow HCR to focus on providing nursing home care and adds to HCP’s real estate portfolio.
  • The Federal Open Markets Committee is likely to announce no change in interest rates today, at 2:15 PM ET. It is also likely to leave its bond purchasing program, also known as quantitative easing 2, unchanged. Here’s the deflation threat the Fed is so worried about >
  • Bonus: Nicole Richie did not invite Paris Hilton to her wedding this past weekend because she did not want the event to become about their friendship.

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