10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

kim jong il north korea vladimir putin russia

Photo: www.kremlin.ru

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

  • World indices are down overnight ahead of the U.S. market open, with the Shanghai composite a notable loser. Commodity futures are also largely off, with palladium and platinum much weaker. Gold and oil are also off.
  • 8:30 UPDATE: Thigns are getting worse. Futures are off 2%. Jobless claims came in worse thane xpected.
  • New strikes have broken out in Greece today, crippling the country’s transport system. Strike organisers plan to have nearly 100,000 workers in attendance. European markets are slightly down in early trading. Check out these insane photos from a previous Greek protest >
  • The fallout from yesterday’s violent Thai protest clashes continues, with public estimates of 7 dead, though in reality that death toll is likely much higher. Bangkok remains under curfew and media lockdown, so full details of the events remain scarce. Check out these graphic photos of the Thai protests >
  • North Korea has threatened war against South Korea if it imposes retaliatory sanctions against the country. South Korea has accused North Korea of a torpedo attack that destroyed one of its warships.
  • Dubai World has finally restructured $23.5 billion in debt, which had plagued the firm and cast a shadow over all of Dubai. The final deal will see the company in only $14.4 billion of debt to creditors. 
  • Progress towards financial reform legislation has slowed, somewhat with two democrats breaking party ranks yesterday to insist on tighter measures. Senate leadership still plans to hold another vote today to try to end debate on the bill.
  • China has attacked the U.S. over its fiscal position in the continuing tit-for-tat on the revaluation of the yuan. China suggests the U.S. focus on its own sovereign debt situation and be mindful of its borrowing levels.
  • The Chinese real estate market continues to show signs of a bubble with prices in April increasing by a 53% annualized rate. This survey was conducted in 36 Chinese cities, so may downplay the recent weakening in Beijing and Shanghai sales.  
  • The new government in the UK is seriously considering the split of retail and commercial banking in the country as a move to reform the financial system. The UK is also planning a specific banking sector tax and regulating the size of financial services bonuses.
  • Australia’s mining tax and reliance on China is pushing the currency downward this morning, and also raising concerns other countries may follow suit on a 40% mining sector tax. See these charts of the global commodity collapse >
  • Bonus: Courteney Cox may be cheating on long-time husband David Arquette with her co-star on the show Cougar Town.

Follow up to the minute market coverage all day at The Money Game > 

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