10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

South Africa miners strikeMembers of the mining community march during a strike at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine in Rustenburg, 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, May 15, 2013.

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

  • Markets in Asia were higher in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei 225 and the Shanghai Composite both advanced 1.2% while the Hong Kong Hang Seng rose 1.1%. European markets are higher across the board, with Italy leading the way, currently up 1.7%. In the United States, futures point to a positive open.
  • Japanese government bond (JGB) yields continued to rise Tuesday after an auction of 20-year JGBs was met with weak demand. Yields on the 10-year JGB rose past 0.9% for the fifth time since April, extending the market’s recent bout with price volatility.
  • The South African rand continues to fall against the dollar this morning after first quarter GDP figures revealed 1.9% year-over-year growth, below the 2.2% consensus prediction. Manufacturing production fell 7.1% from the fourth quarter amid ongoing strikes by mining workers.
  • French consumer confidence fell to its lowest level since July 2008 in May. The index fell to 79 from 83 after sliding from 83 from 85 in April. French Consumer Confidence Is One Of The Ugliest Charts We’ve Seen In A Long Time >
  • A rumour that the government would suspend its social welfare program sparked bank runs across Brazil over the weekend as people swarmed branches of the state-run bank that disburses the benefits. In one region, several bank branches were destroyed after cash machines ran out of money.
  • Out at 9 AM ET is the March reading of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which is expected to have advanced 1.0% from February after registering a 1.2% gain the month before.
  • At 10 AM, the Conference Board releases the results of its monthly consumer confidence survey. The survey’s headline index is expected to rise to 71 from last month’s 68.1 reading, confirming the results of a University of Michigan survey earlier this month, which suggested that consumer confidence was improving in May.
  • Also out at 10 is the Richmond Fed’s monthly survey of regional manufacturing conditions. The headline index is expected to rise to -4 from -6, indicating a continued worsening of conditions in May, yet at a slower pace of deterioration than in April.
  • Rounding out the data releases at 10:30 is the release of the Dallas Fed’s monthly survey of regional manufacturing activity. That index is expected to advance to -10 from -15.6, indicating a continued but slowing pace of contraction in the region. 
  • Despite the shortened week, there are a few big data releases coming up: GDP and initial jobless claims on Thursday, and personal income and spending and University of Michigan consumer confidence on Friday. Follow all of the data LIVE on Business Insider >

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