10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

tiger woods elin nordegren

Good morning, here’s what you need to know:

  • Markets are pretty quiet. Shanghai fell by a notable .8% last night. US futures aren’t going anywhere yet.
  • There’s a “veritable blizzard” of data coming out today in the US. At 8:30 AM we get personal income and spending, durable goods, core prices, and of course initial jobless claims. Update: The numbers are out. See here.
  • At 10:00 AM, new home sales are released. Analysts are expecting annualized sales of just 300K.
  • There are reports out of Germany that the country could actually back a new European stability fund, something the country has been very reluctant to do, but which will be a huge issue in 2011. The country denies that they actually plan to do this, instead insisting that there’s just a “working paper” floating around where that’s been discussed. Here’s a guide to why Europe is doomed to crisis after crisis >
  • Retailer Bed Bath & Beyond reported very strong earnings last night, announcing strong holiday sales, and lifting its guidance. The stock is heading higher. Here’s a guide to why retail sales have been so strong >
  • As oil crosses $90/barrel, Maersk Oil is spending $2.4 billion to acquire Brazilian oil assets from Korea’s SK Energy. For a guide to oil the coming age of oil and water shortages, see here >
  • North Korea continues to make provocative noises. This morning a defence minister talked about a nuclear “sacred war’. What does that mean? Nobody really knows. For more on how North Korea could level Seoul in under two hours, see here >
  • The bond boom continues to burst. Last week saw a massive $8.62 billion in bond outflows, according to the investment company institute.
  • The DC buzz is that Obama is that Obama is “back” thanks to a very productive lame-duck session of Congress, which saw him get victories on DADT, START, the 9/11 billion, and taxes (in which his cave to the GOP proved popular). But bear in mind this happened during a session during which Congress bears no similarity to what’s about to come, and a key measure, the budget, only got passed through March. Expect the new year to be brutal. Check out 20 insane examples of wasteful government spending >
  • Bonus: It looks like Tiger Woods will be alone this holiday season. His kids and former wife Elin Nordegren were seen in Sweden without him, says Us Weekly.

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