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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- Asian markets were mostly down in overnight trading, though the Shanghai Composite was up 3.18%. European markets are mostly higher in early morning trading and U.S. futures suggest a flat opening, except on the NASDAQ which is up thanks to Google earnings. Click here to see the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest in the pre-market >
- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made a case for more quantitative easing in a speech this morning. Check out the awful recovery Bernanke is trying to fix >
- Consumer price index data came in lower than expectations, at 0.1%. Retail sales beat expectations, rising 0.6%.
- GE announced less than impressive results this morning, beating estimates on earnings, but disappointing on revenue. The stock is trading down in the pre-market.
- Cotton prices are now at record highs due to Chinese demand and weak crops in Pakistan. Prices are currently much higher in China than the U.S., due to local shortages there. What if these shortages impact food too? See the 25 countries that get hit in a massive food crisis >
- Singapore’s GDP contracted 19.8% in Q3 over Q2. This drop was partially due to a slow down in the pharmaceutical industry. Singapore’s government tightened monetary policy yesterday.
- HSBC looks set to abandon its talks to buy Nedbank in South Africa. This will likely open the door for emerging markets competitor Standard Chartered to make a deal for the bank.
- Italian utility company Enel SpA has valued its green energy business at $14.8 billion ahead of its IPO. The IPO of Enel Green Power SpA is aiming to raise €3.4 billion for the company.
- French protesters are blocking the release of fuel supplies, though authorities may now have the upper hand. The protesters are dock and refinery workers against the increase of the retirement age from 60 to 62.
- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has expressed her worries about British national defence cuts. The UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron has planned cuts that may leave a “capability gap” for the UK’s forces. See what the U.S. Air Force is really worried about >
- Bonus: The first film Angelina Jolie has ever directed is in crisis after access to film in Bosnia was revoked over Bonsian concerns the film’s plot, which sees a Serbian soldier fall in love with a Muslim woman, was inappropriate.
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