10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

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

  • Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei rose 0.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.4 per cent, but the Hang Seng fell 0.2 per cent. In Europe, markets are in the red, with Italy down 2.1 per cent and Spain down 1.8 per cent. In the United States, futures point to a negative open.
  • The big sell-off in the euro periphery today comes amid renewed fears over political stability in Spain and Italy. Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has been enveloped in a corruption scandal while upcoming national elections in Italy and the resurgence of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s party have investors on edge.
  • Shares of Herbalife, the stock in which hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has a high-profile short position, are getting slammed in pre-market trading after a New York Post article revealed that the company is the subject of a pending FTC probe, according to a FOIA request made by the Post.
  • China’s non-manufacturing PMI ticked up to 56.2 from 56.1 last month. “With downside risks to growth significantly reduced and inflation expectations rising, policies may shift away from an easing bias to a more neutral position,” Citi economist Ding Shuang told Bloomberg.
  • Japan’s monetary base increased 10.9 per cent year-over-year in January, down from 11.8 per cent growth the month before. Despite Japan’s aggressive shift toward monetary stimulus, overall money growth missed economists’ estimate of a 13.2 per cent expansion.
  • Euro zone investor confidence rose to an 18-month high of -3.9 from last month’s -7 reading, missing expectations of a bigger rise to -1.7. The euro weakened after the release.
  • Euro zone producer prices rose 2.1 per cent year-over-year but fell 0.2 per cent month-over-month in December, right in line with economists’ estimates. The data are another sign that inflation in the euro area remains muted ahead of Thursday’s ECB policy meeting.
  • According to a report, UBS is planning to mail a controversial letter out to the firm’s clients alerting them that they have been reclassified as “aggressive” investors. The move is said to reflect the firm’s outlook on the bond market.
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises reports earnings this morning before the opening bell. Analysts expect the company to announce earnings of $0.06 per share in the fourth quarter.
  • December factory orders data are due out in the U.S. at 10 AM ET. Economists expect a 2.3 per cent expansion in factory orders in December after no growth in November. Follow the release LIVE on Business Insider >
  • BONUS: Supermodel Bar Refaeli starred in a racy GoDaddy advertisement during last night’s Super Bowl.

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