10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Kate Middleton Princess Duchess of Cambridge

Photo: AP

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

  • Asian markets closed the day up, finishing off the rally seen in the U.S. and Europe after leaders came to an agreement on the EFSF. The Nikkei ended up 1.4% while the Hang Seng added 1.7%. Europe is mostly lower, with the CAC and FTSE in the red. U.S. stocks are lower in early trading.
  • Japanese unemployment fell to 4.1%, beating economist expectations for a rise to 4.4%. During the month, the government began including those unemployed in provinces effected by the March 11 tsunami. For a breakdown of global jobless data, look here >
  • U.K. consumer confidence fell to its lowest level since February 2009. The reading came in at -32, down two points from the prior month. The last two times the measure fell below -32, the country fell into recession.
  • Italy auctioned €7.9 billion in bonds to lackluster demand. The 10-year bond sold at a yield north of 6%. Spreads between German and Italian 10-year notes rose to 373.82. At the same time, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he would remain in office through 2013, after reports surfaced of possible elections early next year. Remember, here’s why everyone is angry at Italy >
  • Spanish unemployment hit 21.5%, the highest level in more than 15 years. Government officials say the country could miss economic growth targets for the year of 1.3%. The IMF forecast 2011 growth of just 0.8%.
  • President Obama commented on the results of the E.U. fiscal summit in an op-ed in the Financial Times this morning. He writes: “Given the scope of the challenge and the threat to the global economy, it is important for all of us that this strategy be implemented successfully – including building a credible firewall that prevents the crisis from spreading, strengthening European banks, charting a sustainable path for Greece and tackling the structural issues at the heart of the current crisis.” Here’s where everything stands in Europe >
  • Personal income increased 0.1% for September, below expectations of 0.3% growth, but better than last month’s decline of 0.1%. Spending, however, was in line with expectations of 0.6% growth. Later this morning, The University of Michigan consumer sentiment poll comes at 9:55 a.m., with forecasts for an uptick to 58.0 for October, from 57.5 last month. Follow the releases live on Money Game.
  • Samsung surpassed Apple in smartphone sales during the July-September quarter, as shipments of its devices surged 44%. Samsung took 23.8% of the global smartphone market, while posting profits of 4.25 trillion won, relatively in line with expectations. Check out how  the biggest earners have done so far >
  • HP has decided to keep its personal computer business, reversing an earlier decision to sell or spin off the unit. Chief executive, Meg Whitman, said the division was too integrated with other parts of HP and would be too costly to split.
  • Today in earnings, Chevron, Merck and Whirlpool announce before the opening bell. Whirlpool already released disappointing quarterly results of $2.35 excluding one-time charges, well below analyst expectations of $2.68. Merck, meanwhile, beat expectations by three cents.

BONUS: Princess Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, revealed that the three-inch scar on her head was from surgery as a child.

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