10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Merkel putinREUTERS/Maxim ShemetovGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel says that Russian President Vladimir Putin will definitely not be attending the next G7 meeting.

Good morning! No surprise announcements from the Swiss National Bank this morning, but we still have a busy schedule ahead of the final trading day of the week. Here’s what you need to know:

At Least Two FX Brokers Got Seriously Hit By The Swiss Franc’s Shock Move. Brokerage FXCM said that it may now be in breach of capital requirements, after the massive appreciation of the Swiss Franc. Excel Markets said many of their clients had lost more than their account equity with the broker, according to the Financial Times.

The IMF Wasn’t Told About The Swiss National Bank’s Shocker.I find it a bit surprising that [SNB chairman Thomas Jordan] did not contact me, but, you know, we’ll check on that,” said Christine Lagarde, IMF chief yesterday.

US Inflation Is Data Coming. Expectations are for headline inflation to come in at just 0.7% in December compared to the one year ago, and fall 0.4% from November, which would be the largest month-on-month decline since December 2008. That number is out at 8:30 am ET. Data on industrial production in December and January’s preliminary reading on consumer confidence from the University of Michigan are also set for release on Friday morning.

Oil Job Cuts Are Here. On Thursday afternoon, oilfield services company Schlumberger announced that it would cut 9,000 jobs, “In response to lower commodity pricing and anticipated lower exploration and production spending in 2015.”

Futures Are Lower. Stocks have finished lower each day this week, and on Friday morning stocks appear to be headed lower again. Dow futures are down about 50 points, S&P 500 futures are down about 6 points, and Nasdaq futures are down 27 points. So far this week, the benchmark S&P stock index is down more than 2.5% as the market has had a bumpy start to the year.

BP Just Got Let Off The Hook For Billions Of Dollars. A US judge said energy giant BP faces a maximum fine of $US13.7 billion for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a sum reduced by several billion dollars.

Canada Is Delaying Its Budget Due To Oil Instability. The Canadian government will unveil its budget this year later than usual, waiting at least until April because of market volatility, Finance Minister Joe Oliver said on Thursday. “Given the current market instability, I will not bring forward our budget earlier than April. We need all the information we can obtain before finalising our decisions,” he said.

Germany’s Inflation Was Just 0.2% In December. The second estimate out on Friday morning was unchanged from the first reading, and showed little improvement out of Europe’s largest economy.

Putin Will Definitely Not Attend The Next G7 Meeting. There is no chance that Russian President Vladimir Putin will be invited to the next meeting of G7 leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will host the summit, was quoted as saying on Thursday.

Apple, Google, Intel And Adobe Just Paid Out $US415 Million In A Legal Settlement. The four Silicon Valley companies agreed to pay $US415 million to resolve an antitrust class action lawsuit by tech workers who accused the firms of conspiring to avoid poaching each other’s employees, according to a court filing on Thursday.

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