10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Jennifer Aniston Reese Witherspoon

Photo: AP

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

  • Asian markets ended the day mostly flat. The Nikkei was off 0.2% while the Hang Seng gained 0.5%. Europe is trading similarly, with both the CAC and DAX up. U.S. futures are pointing to a positive open.
  • Today, is the highly anticipated EU summit.  Expectations have fallen as markets anticipate no high profile fiscal package announcements. Talks will focus on bank recapitalization, Greek debt haircuts, and European Financial Stability Facility expansion. Click here for a full guide to all of the institutions and acronyms in Europe >
  • European leaders are still looking to emerging markets to leverage the EFSF, even after reports yesterday countered those claims. Bloomberg is reporting that the head of the EFSF is heading to China to raise capital.
  • Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi may step down from office this January, as the premier takes further heat for both past economic actions and his growing sex scandal. In his deal with opposing factions over economic reforms, he reportedly agreed to elections early next year. Check out German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy chiding the Italian politician >
  • Former Goldman Director and McKinsey head Rajat Gupta will be criminally charged for insider trading on Wednesday, Dealbook reports. Gupta is expected to surrender to the F.B.I. on the same day, leaving a mark on GE and KKR where he advised.
  • IBM’s board of directors announced that Virginia “Ginni” Rommety will be the giant’s next CEO. She is the first woman to take the post and has been at IBM for more than 30 years, where she led the company’s $3.5 billion acquisition of PricewaterhouseCoopers back in 2003.
  • Durable Goods Orders came out this morning at 8:30 a.m. The headline durable goods number of -0.8% was just a bit ahead of the -1.0% expectations. But growth of 1.7% ex-transport was well ahead of 0.4% expectations.  At 10 a.m. new home sales will be announced. Expectations are for 300,000 sales, up 5,000 sequentially.
  • Amazon.com missed earnings expectations yesterday, sending the stock down more than 18% before recovering. The tech giant is ramping up Kindle production which took a bite out of margins. Amazon posted EPS of $0.14, 10 cents below consensus, on revenue of $10.8 billion. Click here to see the stocks that investors are shorting like crazy >
  • Boeing, Ford, and Sprint all just blew through analyst expectations with quarterly results of $1.46, $0.46, and -$0.10, respectively. Investors had predicted Ford earnings of $0.44 as the company turns its sights further on regaining an investment grade rating. Sprint says that iPhone sales have already passed all expectations.
  • After the bell, Visa, Norfolk Southern, and Ameriprise Financial will report. Analysts are looking for EPS of $1.25 at card processor Visa. Follow all the results live on Money Game.

BONUS: Jennifer Aniston says that she is not pregnant or engaged, just in love with Justin Theroux.

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