10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

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

  • Asian markets fell in overnight trading, with the Shanghai Composite down 1.41%. Major European indices are higher this morning, and U.S. futures are higher as well. Now here are the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
  • The Korean Peninsula remains tense with the South Korean military conducting military drills overnight. North Korean officials, who previously threatened to respond to such drills, have not this time.  Here are the details on the military threat of North Korea >
  • China just inked deals worth $35 billion with Pakistan, $20 billion in government contracts and $15 billion for the private sector. The aim for the two economies to become more connected, mainly through infrastructure. These are the Chinese ghost cities that have investors concerned about a bubble >
  • Two major Russian potash companies are on the brink of merging in a deal worth $23.9 billion. The combined company of UralKali and Silvinit would be the largest potash producer in the world. This is why potash is suddenly so important >
  • Iran just increased the price of bread and oil in a bid to combat price pressure brought on by sanctions against the country. Subsidies on oil and gas cost Iran $100 billion a year, according to the government. If a food crisis emerges, here are the countries that would get crushed >
  • The head of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, has expressed concerns about the impact of the Irish bailout on the bank’s liquidity programs. Trichet, however, thinks any dissolution of the eurozone is an “absurd hypothesis.” These are the dominos that could fall next in Europe >
  • 12 men have been arrested in the UK on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack. The individuals were arrested in London, Cardiff, and Stoke.
  • Ernst and Young is to be charged with civil fraud charges by the state of New York. The charges are associated with the firm’s business with Lehman Brothers ahead of its collapse.
  • Sara Lee could be close to selling itself to Brazilian food company JBS. Talks are currently stalled between the two, so it remains uncertain.
  • Vote on the latest START treaty, meant to reduce the nuclear arms holdings of Russia and the U.S., is likely to occur this week. Democrats hope to get the bill passed, even though it faces Republican opposition.
  • Bonus: Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds had dinner on Friday just days after announcing their split.

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