10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Lindsay Lohan sentenced.

Photo: AP

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

  • Asian markets were mostly down in overnight trading, with the Nikkei down 1.64%. European markets are all down in early trading, and U.S. futures suggest a lower open. 
  • The Q2 GDP report is out with growth coming in at 2.4%. Follow the release at Money Game >
  • China is expanding credit for the country’s poorest citizens, most notably its poor farmers. Those people will now be able to use assets like tractors as collateral in order to receive loans. Don’t miss: 14 charts that show China’s dangerous housing bubble is far from over >
  • Cheung Kong Infrastructure, the business of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, has purchased $9 billion in energy assets from French company EDF. Those assets focus on English energy infrastructure, specifically electricity networks. Check out the 10 Chinese brands set to takeover U.S. households by 2020 >
  • July has been the deadliest month on record in the U.S. war in Afghanistan, with 63 U.S. soldiers dying. It is the 9th year of that conflict.
  • Total, the French oil giant, announced net profits of $4.05 billion, a 43% increase over Q2 2009. The company is also expecting the price of oil to approach $90 per barrel by the end of 2010.
  • British Airways has announced a $255 million loss over the past three months as a result of labour disputes and the volcanic ash cloud in Europe that disrupted travel. BA still intends to break even for the year, however.
  • Spain’s unemployment rate has increased yet again, to a 13-year high of 20.09%. Spain is also under threat of a downgrade from Aaa by Moody’s. Here’s how Spain got into this mess >
  • The Wyly brothers have been charged with insider trading by the SEC for the use of off shore accounts in transactions. One of the brothers, Sam Wyly, was a close supporter of former U.S. President George W. Bush.
  • Miramax has been sold by Disney for $660 million to Filmyard Holdings. The new owners include Colony Capital, Ron Tutor, and Tom Barrack. 
  • Bonus: Lindsay Lohan’s mother has denied her daughter is receiving special treatment in prison saying that she does not have cell phone access or a pillow.
  • Follow up to the minute markets coverage all day at Money Game >

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