10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Taylor Swift

Photo: AP

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

  • Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.49%. Europe is down heavy in morning trading, and U.S. futures suggest a negative open. Now, here are the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest in the pre-market >
  • ADP unemployment data CRUSHED expectations, with private sector job gains pegged at 297K. Read more here >
  • China is putting in place a new set of rules aimed at controlling price setting actions of industry leaders. The move is part of a broader set of measures aimed at curbing inflation in the country. For more on China’s future, check out Credit Suisse’s vision for China in 2015 >
  • Food prices surged to their highest level ever in December, according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural organisation. An official suggested this would not be the peak for prices, however. These 25 countries would be hit the worst in a world food crisis >
  • Europe’s manufacturing growth remained steady in December, rather than falling slightly as expected. There are some concerns the ECB may be forced to act to combat rising inflation. Here are the 6 key macro themes to watch in 2011 >
  • Portugal sold €500 million in new debt at auction today with yields surging. The 6-month bills yield 3.686%, a similar auction in September produced at 2.045% yield, though the yields weren’t much changed compared to secondary market pricing. These are the next dominos under threat in the eurozone >
  • U.S. auto sales rose by 11% in December, with a broadening of demand to multiple manufacturers. For the year 2010, 7 car manufacturers have more than 5% of the market, including standards like GM and Ford, but also emerging firms like Hyundai.
  • Borders is likely to request suppliers to push back the pay date for its bills while it restructures its debts. There is significant doubt suppliers will actually agree to this, as Barnes and Noble is suggesting it would have to be offered industry wide if they agree.
  • UPDATE: Deal completed. Qualcomm could be on the brink of acquiring chip-maker Atheros for $3.5 billion. The deal could be announced as early as today.
  • ISM Non-Manufacturing data is released at 10:00 AM ET. Consensus is for a rise to 56 from 55 for December’s reading. Follow the release at Money Game >
  • Bonus: Taylor Swift has broken up with Jake Gyllenhall after the pair did not spend New Year’s together.

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