10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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

  • Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading, with the Nikkei down 0.11%. Major European indices are down this morning and U.S. futures suggest a negative open. Check out the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
  • The eurozone continues to be under pressure this morning. The euro is falling, now down to $1.33 and the Spanish 10-year bond is now yielding over 5%, again. Here’s why markets are so worried about the situation in Spain >
  • China is expecting inflation to rise no more than 5%, year-over-year, in December, according to government authorities, with the November number to be similar. In October inflation surged 4.4%. Here’s why surging Chinese inflation is just the beginning >
  • Part of what is putting pressure on the euro today is continued uncertainty about the size and potential expansion of the eurozone bailout. Germany is in opposition to any plan that would see the bailout fund increased beyond €750 billion or the creation of ECB bonds. Here are the next dominos at risk in the eurozone debt crisis >
  • Bondholders in Anglo Irish Bank are preemptively planning on suing the Irish government for the cuts thy intend to force upon investors. The suing parties are bond funds, insurers, and fixed income funds, but not more speculative bondholders, like hedge funds. Here’s how Ireland became the biggest basketcase in Europe >
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke opened the door to further quantitative easing beyond the $600 billion limit last night when speaking on 60 Minutes. Bernanke also called for the closing of tax loopholes and the simplification of the tax code. Here’s why QE is a key driver of investing trends in 2011 >
  • 3M has acquired Winterthur Technologies for $448 million. 3M plans for the Swiss company to add to its earnings when the deal is finished in Q1 2011.
  • The municipal bond market will be under further stress this week, as $13.5 billion in debt comes to market. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority alone is bringing $1.5 billion to market. Here are 15 states with bulging deficits muni bond investors need to watch >
  • Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler has resigned and been replaced by Ian Reed. Kindler’s tenure saw Pfizer’s stock price decline 35%.
  • There are rumours of AOL breaking itself up into two divisions and potentially combining with Yahoo, though has yet to contact Yahoo. The strategy would involve the spin-off of the company’s internet service and combination of its content business with Yahoo.
  • Bonus: Gisele says she wants more kids with her husband Tom Brady. She currently has a son and a stepson.

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