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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- Asian markets were mostly higher in overnight trading, with the Shanghai Composite up 1.58%. US stocks are getting crushed in early going on a strong dollar. See 10 Unusual Stocks Attracting Huge Interest In The Pre-Market Right Now >
- Data on new housing starts came in way better than expected at 610,000. Read analysis here >
- Goldman Sachs beat earnings estimates with $2.98 EPS and $7.9 billion for Q3. Read analysis here >
- China appointed Xi Jinping to the country’s Central Military Commission, a signal that he will be the country’s next president. Xi is currently vice-president. Check out 15 facts about China that will blow your mind >
- China may reduce export quotas for rare earth metals by 30% in 2011. The move comes after China cut such quotas for H2 2010. China controls 95% of the global rare earths market. Get caught up on the rare earth metals story with this overview >
- Japan has downgraded its economic recovery, suggesting it may be in a “soft patch.” There are also concerns the country’s economy is in a deflationary period and may slip back into recession. Here is the mess Japan is trying to escape >
- German investor confidence is now at a 21 month low. The pressure of the rise in the value of the euro and the threat of a global slowdown has knocked confidence, though short term positivity remains. Check out why Germany, and the rest of Europe, is doomed to crisis after crisis >
- French strikes continue today, as gasoline shortages closed over a 1000 stations across the country. Protests continue to turn violent, and more fuel shortages are expected.
- Brazil has increased capital controls on foreign investment, by increasing the tax on foreign investment. The country has raised the tax from 4 to 6% on purchases of Brazilian debt.
- Bank of America and GMAC have re-started foreclosure activities in the wake of the robo-signing scandal. This move will likely bring the massive lenders into conflict with state attorney generals. Here’s why 2011 could be the start of the real foreclosure mess >
- Bonus: Christina Aguilera turned to ex-Lindsay Lohan girlfriend Samantha Ronson for support after deciding to divorce her husband, according to Radar.