10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Lindsay Lohan

Photo: AP

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

  • Most major Asian indices were closed overnight, but the Hang Seng was open and up 1.74%. European indices are higher in early trading, and U.S. futures suggest a positive open. Now check out the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
  • The ISM Manufacturing Index is released at 10 AM ET. The consensus is for a rise to 57.2. Follow coverage of the release at Money Game >
  • Data on Construction Spending is also released at 10 AM ET. Spending is expected to rise by 0.1%. Follow coverage of the release at Money Game >
  • Bank of America has eliminated a large portion of its mortgage putback risk by coming to terms with Fannie and Freddie. The bank will take a $3 billion charge to settle claims related to Countrywide’s portfolio. Click here for a guide to the bank’s possible exposure >
  • The Australian flood crisis continues this morning, with the national government providing supplies and aid to the Queensland region. This portion of the country is key to the country’s mining and cattle industries. Australia may have bigger problems than floods, check out the details of its housing bubble here >
  • The euro is falling this morning due to continued uncertainty over the stability of the currency union. Today’s particular trigger is a French debt auction worth €8.5 billion. Watch out, these might be the dominos next to fall in Europe >
  • China had pledged to continue to buy Spanish debt as the country comes under further stress in sovereign debt markets. China’s Vice Premier will be visiting Spain for three days this week. This is why the Spanish debt situation is so worrying >
  • Eurozone PMI surged in December, rising to 57.1 for the region. Germany continued to lead the region, but Ireland and Spain both showed month-over-month expansions in manufacturing.
  • Porsche shares surged this morning, and are now up over 13% on the dismissal of two lawsuits against the firm. The ruling has to do with the company’s purchase of Volkswagen stock in 2008, and now increases the chances of a merger between the two firms.
  • Goldman Sachs has invested $450 million in Facebook, valued the firm at $50 billion, and will be raising an additional $1.5 billion for the company. The move likely puts Goldman in the lead to run the company’s eventual IPO. Read more about the deal here >
  • Bonus: Lindsay Lohan gets out of rehab this week, and her mum hopes there is “no car chase.” The artist has launched a new website to prepare the world for her return.

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