10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

britney spears smile 2009

Photo: AP

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

  • Asian indices were up in overnight trading with the Nikkei up 0.48%. Major European indices are in the red and US futures indicate a lower open.
  • The Japanese government has announced that it will increase monitoring for radiation on land and sea. This comes after levels of radioactive iodine-131 detected in sample sea-water were 4,385 times the legal limit. The IAEA has also detected radioactivity outside the 20 km evacuation zone. Here Are The First Pictures Of The Heroic Fukushima Workers >
  • Initial jobless claims came in above expectations at 388K. Read analysis here >
  • Eurozone inflation for March rose 2.6% year-over-year, ahead of expectations. Now the European Central Bank is likely to raise its rates on April 7. Don’t Miss: 8 Shocks Slamming The Global Economy >
  • Anglo Irish Bank had its worst performance in history when it announced a loss of €17.5 billion for 2010. The bank attributed its overall expenses to restructuring costs in the wake of the Irish property collapse.
  • Berkshire Hathaway announced that David Sokol, once expected to be Warren Buffet’s heir, has abruptly resigned. Sokol’s position in Lubrizol ahead of a Berkshire buy raised questions about insider trading. Check Out The 5 Men Who Could Replace Warren Buffet >
  • Chicago PMI data is due out at 9:45 AM ET. Consensus is for the index to hit 70. Follow the release at Money Game >
  • Microsoft has lodged its first official complaint with EU regulators accusing Google of engaging in actions that unfairly hinder competition. Amongst other things, Microsoft has accused Google of “walling off” content on YouTube and preventing advertisers from using their own data about customers obtained from Google on other sites.
  • The USDA prospective planning report showed above estimate corn and wheat planting. Read analysis here >
  • Swedish retailer H&M reported a 30% drop in Q1 profits because of surging cotton prices. The company said margins were hurt as it tried to hedge consumers from rising costs. H&M’s margin was also hurt by the appreciation of the krona. Don’t Miss: The 10 stories you need to start watching right now >
  • BONUS: Brand Sense Partners LLC has sued Britney Spears and her father for $10 million claiming the duo skipped out on a 35% commission on Spear’s fragrance.

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