10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell


Photo: ap

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

  • Asian markets were mostly down in overnight trading. Major European indices are all lower this morning, and US stocks have opened sharply lower. See 10 Stocks Attracting Huge Interest In The Pre-Market Right Now >
  • North Korea launched an attack on South Korea overnight. The attack targeted islands off the coast of South Korea. Two South Korean soldiers were killed. For background, here are details of North Korea’s military capabilities >
  • Global markets have responded with resiliency to the attack. While many indices in Asia were down prior to the attacks, and sunk further when the news was first released, several rebounded before the close. The Korean Won has fallen 2.5% against the dollar, however. For background, here are details on South Korea’s economy >
  • Q3 GDP growth was revised upward to 2.5% from 2%. Read analysis here >
  • Uncertainty over the Irish bailout remains high this morning, and Irish shares are tanking as a result. The crisis appears to be spreading, with Spain’s debt auction this morning coming well short of the expected sale size. For background, here’s how Ireland became the worst crisis in Europe >
  • But Portugal is the first target for Irish contagion, and it had more bad news this morning, when it was confirmed its deficit was larger than expected. Portuguese government expenditures increased by 2.8% from the first 10 months of 2009 to the same period in 2010. Check out Niall Ferguson’s guide to sovereign debt crises >
  • Hong Kong’s CPI has increased 0.5% month-over-month, the fastest such increase in 2-years. The Chinese special administrative region is starting to experience the inflation mainland China is already grappling with. Here’s why the world is on the brink of an inflation deluge >
  • Q4 sales for HP spiked 8%, on a sharp increase in server sales. The company did, however, fail to reach its projections for profits.
  • Two private equity groups are close to a $3 billion deal to buyout J Crew. TPG Capital would hold 75% of the company while Leonard Green and Partners would hold 25%.
  • September existing home sales fell to 4.43 million annualized, slightly below expectations. Check out analysis here >
  • ekly sources, though cried for 5 minutes when fiancee Eric Johnson proposed to her.

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