10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

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

  • Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading, though the Nikkei was closed for holiday. European indices are mostly higher in early morning trading, and U.S. futures suggest a slightly higher open. See 10 Unusual Stocks Attracting Huge Interest In The Pre-Market Right Now >
  • The ADP unemployment report showed huge 43K gains, thanks to a growing service sector. Read analysis here >
  • The ISM rose to 54.3, beating expectations. Read analysis here >
  • The FOMC will be making its monetary policy announcement at 2:15 PM ET. It is expected to expand the Fed’s quantitative easing program, though specifics on how big the expansion will be are limited. Markets are anticipating as much as $1 trillion in new asset purchases, though a lower number on an incremental, FOMC meeting-to-meeting basis is expected. Here’s why monetary policy won’t work anymore >
  • The Republicans made large gains in yesterday’s Congressional elections taking control of the House of Representatives from the Democrats. The Democrats retained slim control of the Senate, however. Click here to see the big spending cuts the GOP has planned >
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev missed profit expectations for Q3 due to increased advertising spending, according to the company. Earnings were expected to rise 9.6%, but only managed 9.1% growth. Here’s why Whitney Tilson is bullish on Anheuser-Busch InBev >
  • Societe Generale doubled profits in the last quarter, with net profits of $1.26 billion. Gains in the banks’ international and consumer businesses helped overcome losses in its investment banking division.
  • Mitsubishi Financial Group is in discussions to buy £4 billion in assets from RBS. The deal would see Mitsubishi, the Japanese bank, acquire assets in infrastructure throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa if the deal goes through.
  • Greek international mail services have been halted after mail bombs reached Italy and Germany. One such explosive reached the offices of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It was detonated safely. Here are the really big terrorism and geopolitical threats worrying the U.S. >
  • Aetna, the U.S. health insurance company, has raised earnings expectations for 2010 after a successful quarter. Net income increased to $497.6 million in Q3 due to declining use of health care services. Here’s what Republicans want to cut spending on, including health care >
  • Bonus: Surprise couple Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal have been on a coast-to-coast date fest, starting in New York and now in Big Sur and Santa Barbara, California.

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