10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Scarlett Johansson

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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

  • Asian markets were down in overnight trading, with the Hang Seng down 1.95%. European indices are all down this morning, and U.S. futures suggest a negative open. Check out 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
  • Consumer Price Index (CPI) data is released at 8:30 AM ET. It is expected to rise 0.2%, month-over-month, for November. Update: We got 0.1% on the core and the headline.
  • The Empire State Manufacturing Index came in better than expecations, at a 10.6. Check out the details here >
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in China surged 18% in the first 11 months of 2010, year-over-year. The total FDI for 2010 could go over $100 billion, and hot money inflows may be partially to blame. Check out these insane satellite photos of Chinese ghost cities >
  • China is raising taxes on the export of rare earth metals for 2011, beyond the 15 to 25% rates that already exist on the materials. The U.S. government is expected to release a report today detailing the country’s over reliance on imports. But rare earths may be nothing more than a bubble ready to explode >
  • Moody’s has threatened a Spanish downgrade, and the result has been a selloff in the euro. There is also uncertainty in Ireland, where the parliament votes on its €85 billion EU-IMF bailout deal today. This is why Spain has everyone worried >
  • Angela Merkel’s opposition in Germany is calling for the restructuring of Greek, Irish, and Portuguese debt as well as the introduction of a eurobond. The Social Democrats believe the eurobond will provide some sense of long-term stability to the region, though Merkel has been opposed. These are the next dominos to fall in the eurozone crisis >
  • Unemployment has surged in the UK, rising to a rate of 7.9%, with over 2.5 million out of work. Job growth was flat across the eurozone, with the rate still rising on the fringe, but Germany gaining. There may be no escape from crisis in Europe, here’s why >
  • Novartis finished its acquisition of Alcon, buying the rest of the company for $12.9 billion. The company intends to fund the buy through a share sale.
  • Factory production and capacity utilization came in better than expected, rising to 0.4% and 75.2 %, respectively. Check out analysis here >
  • Bonus: Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds are divorcing after being married for two years.

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