10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Ashlee Simpson

Photo: AP

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

  • Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading, with the Hang Seng down 1.97%. Major European indices are all lower and U.S. futures suggest a negative open. Now, here are the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
  • Initial jobless claims data came in much better than expected. Read about it here >
  • China national energy company PetroChina just bought a position in a Western Canadian gas field for $5.4 billion. The field is owned by EnCana, and is part of a series of purchases China has made, including one from Chesapeake Energy in the U.S. Check out the 13 states covered in oil and cashing in on higher prices >
  • Cisco’s earnings came in better than expected last night, but revelations on the conference call about government spending hit the stock in after-hours trading. The company’s CEO revealed that his firm had not yet felt the impact of government austerity programs. Here are the budget cuts the Republicans want to make >
  • The Bank of England maintained its key interest rate today. Some were calling for a increase in rates to combat inflation. It is unknown as of yet whether more votes surfaced in support of a hike.
  • Credit Suisse and Danske Bank both reported weaker than expected fourth quarters. Both banks saw an increase in profit, but at a lower than expected rate. Don’t miss: The 10 most overbought stocks on the S&P 500 >
  • Talks continue between Deutsche Borse and the NYSE Euronext on a merger. The potential merger would create the biggest futures exchange in the world. Deutsche Borse shares spiked in German trading today.
  • Whole Foods delivered an extremely strong quarter, beating earnings estimates and raising guidance for its 2011. The company is also increasing the rate of its expansion.
  • Both Facebook and Google have had discussions with Twitter about a possible acquisition. The valuation on Twitter mentioned in the discussions has been between $8 and $10 billion.
  • The miner Rio Tinto announced a $5 billion plan to buy back shares from its investors. The company also plans to increase its dividend, all of this in an effort to get rid of its large profits. Don’t miss: Examples of how weather is impacting global commodity markets >
  • Bonus: Singer Ashlee Simpson has split from husband Pete Wentz.

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