10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Lindsay Lohan

Photo: AP

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

  • Chinese indices were higher in overnight trading, while the Nikkei was closed. Major European indices are lower, and U.S. futures indicate a negative open. Now, here are the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge attention this morning >
  • December’s U.S. trade deficit jumped, but was pretty much in line with expectations. Read about it here >
  • Protests continue in Egypt today after President Hosni Mubarak refused to step down and, instead, passed his powers to the vice president. Egypt’s army has not moved against the President and is saying it will support future democratic elections. Check out the 11 countries at risk of becoming the next Egypt >
  • Vietnam devalued its currency, the dong, by 8.5% last night. The move is intended to spur export growth in the country, where inflation is high and debts are large. Here’s why Citi thinks no sovereign is absolutely safe >
  • Nokia has announced its intention to work with Microsoft on its new smart phone. Shares are down heavy as a result, just days after a revealing letter indicated confusion about the company’s future. These are the most crowded and conventional trades of 2011 >
  • Spain’s government has issued an ultimatum to the country’s regional banks, demanding they raise tier 1 capital to 10% by September. If they don’t meet this demand, the government will step in and take them over. Don’t miss: The complete guide to the Spanish debt crisis >
  • Kinder Morgan’s IPO has raised $2.86 billion, with shares priced at $30 each, above expectations. The deal is backed by the PE arm of Goldman Sachs and the Carlyle Group.
  • The Obama administration will release its plans for the winding down of Fannie and Freddie today. The plans with offer three scenarios, all aimed at decreasing the government’s presence in the mortgage market. Here are the 20 huge spending cuts the Republicans want to make right now >
  • Consumer sentiment for the month of February is released at 9:55 AM ET. It is expected to rise to 75.0 from 74.2. Follow the release at Money Game >
  • The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment will call on the President to nix the deal between China’s Huawei Technology Company and 3Leaf Systems. The committee thinks it is a national security risk. Check out the details on the modernization of China’s military >
  • Bonus: Lindsay Lohan is trying to work out a plea deal that would see her not face any jail time for her alleged theft of a necklace.

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