10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

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

  • Asian markets were mostly up in overnight trading with the Hang Seng up nearly 1% after a major sell-off the previous day. Europe is higher as the Italian Senate passes its budget law and U.S. futures opened higher.
  • The Italian Senate has passed its 2012 budget law, and a new emergency government is expected in the days to follow. Former European commissioner Mario Monti who was made life senator earlier this week, is expected to replace prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Meanwhile, Italian 10-year government bond yields plunged to about 6.6% today. Don’t Miss: How similar, really, is Italy to Greece?
  • Lucas Papademos will be sworn in as prime minister today, and the new Greek unity government is expected to be announced today as well. Greece’s unity government has to implement budget measures and manage a voluntary debt swap to get the next trance of loans. It will hold elections on February 19. Check out 19 countries most likely to default >
  • UK producer-price inflation eased to 5.7% in October, from 6.3% the previous month. PPI fell to its lowest in five months after commodity costs declined. Meanwhile, Q3 construction output fell 0.2%. Now here are the 15 most bizarre economic indicators in the world >
  • The Spanish economy stalled in the third quarter, as GDP was unchanged from Q2 when it grew 0.2%. The statistical office said the contribution of external demand to GDP was negated by declining domestic demand. Meanwhile, this negatively impacts Spain’s budget-deficit goals.
  • Allianz posted an 80% drop in net income to €258 million after the insurer was hit by investment losses. Allianz took a €198 million hit on writedowns of its holdings of Greek sovereign debt, and other losses on equity stakes and investment in several European banks including Commerzbank, UniCredit and Spain’s Banco Popular.
  • Consumer sentiment data for November will be released at 9:55 AM ET. Consensus is for a rise in the sentiment index level 61.5. Follow the release at Money Game >
  • Chinese state-owned oil company Sinopec Group is paying Portuguese oil firm Galp Energia $3.54 billion for a 30% stake in its deep-sea oil asset in Brazil.
  • Nvidia Corp.’s Q3 earnings more than doubled to $178.3 million or $0.29 per share, as demand for its computer chips increased. Revenue rose 26% to $1.07 billion. Meanwhile, homebuilder D R Horton is expected post earnings of $0.15 per share today, and Atlantic Power is expected to post earnings of $0.12 per share. Now here are nine things you must know if you are going to be investing these days >
  • In more earnings news, retailer Nordstrom posted Q3 net income of $127 million or $0.59 per share, but it annual profit forecast missed estimates. Rare-earth miner Molycorp announced Q3 earnings of $48.7 million or $0.52 per share. Revenue was boosted by higher prices, and the company is investing $114 million in its rare-earth facility in Mountain Pass, California, to increase its production rate. Now here are 15 stocks that everyone is shorting like crazy >
  • BONUS – Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were named Vogue’s most stylish sisters in 2011, beating out the Middletons.

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