10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

north korea

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

  • Asian markets fell significantly overnight due to increasing geopolitical fears associated with the Korean Peninsula. European markets are also down hard in early trading on similar news, as well as concerns over the Spanish banking system. U.S. futures are down ahead of today’s trading day.
  • Case-Shiller housing data disappointed this morning. See the numbers as the full details here >
  • Tensions are escalating on the Korean Peninsula as both North and South Korea prepare for war. The North has threatened to destroy the South’s propaganda speakers at the DMZ, and is preparing its troops for war.
  • The situation in Thailand has returned to calm for now, but the country is now charging former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra with terrorism for his relationship with the protest movement in the country. The fighting has left an official total of 88 dead. Click here for a primer on the Thai situation >
  • Concerns over the Spanish banking sector have led to further weakness in the euro and European exchanges as the IMF called for swift consolidation of the country’s banking sector. Over the weekend, Spanish bank CajaSur was bailed out and just yesterday several Spanish banks were partially merged. Here’s why the Spanish economy is about to get gored >
  • All of this uncertainty in Europe is leading to a difficult credit situation for the continent’s banks where the cost of lending between them is rising. The main concern is dollar borrowing in the short term, which now costs European banks more than their Asian and Americas counterparts. Check out these 12 charts on the crisis in European banking >
  • Credit is not just becoming tighter in Europe, but worldwide, as investors are now beginning to fear the threat of European debt contagion and a potential double-dip recession. U.S. government debt is now showing some signs of the distress.
  • The CEO of AIA, the Asian division of AIG, has said he will quit if the company’s takeover by the UK’s Prudential goes through. He sees the deal as “unworkable.”
  • BP has come under further pressure this morning for the slow progress of its cleanup and attempts to stop the flow of oil coming out of the Deepwater Horizon leak. The company has offered $500 million to research the damages of the spill. See our latest update of where the oil slick is headed >
  • Markets seem to be predicting an Australian interest rate cut as a result of a slowing economy brought down by a drag on the country’s mining sector. The country, which was an early rate hiker, is now likely to cut rates.
  • Bonus: Kim Kardashian has admitted to plastic surgery, but only a little botox. She has denied ever having her “nose done.”
  • Follow the markets all day with up to the minute coverage at The Money Game >


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