10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Jennifer Lopez

Photo: AP

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

  • Asian indices were mixed in overnight trading, with the Nikkei up 1.44%. Major European indices are higher, and U.S. futures are pointing slightly higher. Now, here are the 10 stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
  • Initial jobless claims for the week of January 1 were up slightly to 409K, which was just a bit worse than expectations.
  • European economic confidence surged in the month of November, rising to 106.2. The sharp, above expectations increase sent the index to its highest point since October 2007. Here are the 6 macro themes to watch in 2011 >
  • The German manufacturing sector continues to soar, with factory orders rising 20%, year-over-year, in November. Month-over-month gains were also impressive, at 5.2%, indicating that the pace of growth is not slowing. Check out Societe Generale’s investment trends to watch in 2011 >
  • China has pledged to buy $6 billion in new Spanish debt in 2011. The move is not having a positive impact on Spanish markets today, as yields continue to widen. This is why everyone, including China, is so worried about Spain >
  • The UN intends to send up to an additional 2,000 troops to the Ivory Coast in an effort to protect the compound of the elected president from President Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to give up power. Cocoa prices remain stable on the news. Don’t miss the Eurasia group’s 10 biggest risks to global stability in 2011 >
  • The U.S. government report on the BP oil spill has blamed the company, as well as Transocean and Halliburton, for the spill. Because the blame is shared, rather than solely placed on BP, shares of the company are rising in London trading.
  • Microsoft has announced its intention to use chips designed by Arm Holdings to run its future Windows operating system. The move intends to make the Windows platform more competitive in the tablet space.
  • RIMM has announced Sprint will be the 4G carrier for its new Blackberry tablet computer. The product won’t reach market until the summer of 2011.
  • Republicans have already backed away from their commitment to cut the Federal budget by $100 billion this year. The party now intends to cut spending by a smaller $60 billion. These are the spending cuts the Republicans really want >
  • Bonus: Jennifer Lopez is under investigation by the IRS for payments she made to her ex-husband Ojani Noa, according to Radar Online.

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