10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Angelina Jolie

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

  • Asian indices were mostly down in overnight trading, with the Nikkei down 1.65%. European indices are slightly higher in early morning trading and U.S. futures suggest a positive open. See 10 Unusual Stocks Attracting Huge Interest In The Pre-Market Right Now >
  • Federal Reserve Presidents Jeffrey Lacker and Charles Plosser both speak today. They make take the opportunity to speak on future quantitative easing policy. Follow their comments at Money Game >
  • Wells Fargo beat earnings expectations and Morgan Stanley’s revenue fell. Check out the details of Morgan Stanley’s spin-off of the hedge fund Wellpoint here >
  • More details of the mortgage putback request to Bank of America have come out in the letter sent by the NY Fed, PIMCO, and others. The firms allege multiple violations across the process, and acuse Bank of America of purposely slowing down foreclosures in order to keep collecting fee revenue.
  • Mortgage applications plunged 10.5% last week, possibly a result of foreclosure-gate-inspired buyer skittishness.
  • The Japanese Coincident Index rose to 103.3 for the month of August. This is the seventeenth consecutive increase for the index, which indicates business conditions are continuing to improve in Japan.
  • China has denied reports it plans on reducing the amount of rare earth metals it exports. The country’s commerce department will allow exports to increase in 2011, though mining may be more controlled. Here’s why America needs rare earth metals >
  • The U.S. government plans to announce an arms sale to Saudi Arabia worth $60 billion today. The deal will be the biggest in history and benefit Boeing and Lockheed Martin. See here why the U.S. is arming Saudi Arabia >
  • Protests continue in France today after 1 million people took to the streets against President Sarkozy’s retirement reforms yesterday. Fuel blockades are continuing, though airports appear to be spared today. Check out stunning videos of the French austerity riots >
  • The UK’s government will announce massive spending cuts today that will see 490,000 public sector workers lose their jobs between now and 2015. The total spending cut value is set to be around £83 billion.
  • BHP’s hostile takeover of Potash is being stalled by demands from the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The province is requesting further taxes on BHP and Potash in an effort to make up for the revenue it will lose through the deal. Here’s why Potash is such a big deal >
  • Republicans have continued their surge in the polls prior to the November 2 elections. They now lead by 7 points over the Democrats, with more sizable leads in battleground districts.
  • Bonus: Director James Cameron says that Angelina Jolie would make a “hot” Cleopatra in the new Sony film he may direct.

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