10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Britney Spears

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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

  • Asian markets were mostly lower in overnight trading, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.04%. Major European indices are mostly lower, and U.S. futures suggest a mixed open. Check out 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
  • China has made its change in monetary policy official, by announcing that in 2011 the country will move from a “moderately loose” policy to a more “prudent” one. This statement is a precursor to further tightening measures aimed at controlling inflation. Chinese inflation is one 2011 trend to watch for, here are some more >
  • The jobs report came in very weak at 39K, while analysts expected 140K. Read analysis here >
  • South Korea has threatened to “definitely use aircraft to bomb North Korea,” if the country attacks again. The comments, made by the South’s new defence minister, were made in the context of what the U.S. has referred to as an “immediate threat” from North Korea. For more detail on the North Korean threat, check out this guide to their capabilities >
  • The price of crude oil is now at a two-year high, above $90. Further liquidity measures from the ECB and snowy conditions throughout Europe are fueling its advance. Rising oil prices is one 2011 commodities trend to watch, check out some more here >
  • Walter Energy has purchased Western Coal Corp in a $3.3 billion deal. The deal will bring an American and Canadian coal producer together, with a total of 385 million tons of coal. For more on rising coal prices, check out this presentation on peak coal >
  • In its latest international expansion, Sinopec has bought an 18% position in Chevron’s Indonesian deepwater gas fields . The deal, valued at $680 million, has yet to be signed off on by officials in China and Indonesia.
  • The battle over the extension of the Bush tax cuts continues in the Senate this weekend, with several votes planned. It is likely these votes will not pass, and both parties will have to come to a compromise in which the Republican position for total extension, regardless of wealth, is accommodated. Here’s how the deficit would be cut if it were up to liberals >
  • Factory orders came in just below expectations, down 0.9%. Click here for analysis >
  • The ISM non-manufacturing index for November came in just above expectations, at 55. Click here for analysis >
  • Bonus: Britney Spears intends to sue Star Magazine over what she claims are false accusations Jason Trawick, her current boyfriend, abused her.

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