10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Britney Spears

Photo: Jason Arthurs/Getty Images

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

  • Markets in Asia gained in overnight trade, with Japan’s Nikkei up 0.8 per cent. Shares in Europe are higher and U.S. futures point to a flat opening. Spain and Italy are doing particularly well today.
  • Spanish nonperforming loans surged to their highest levels in 18 years, new data from the Bank of Spain shows. Nonperforming loans increased by €8.39 billion to €164.36 billion, or 9.42 per cent of total outstanding loans. That’s up from May’s 8.95 per cent rate. This is the beginning of the end game >
  • Taiwan’s economy shrank by 0.18 per cent in the second quarter from a year earlier, roughly in line with preliminary estimates for a 0.16 per cent decline. This marks the first slowing of Taiwan GDP since 2009. The country’s statistics office also lowered its full growth forecast for the year to 1.66 per cent from 2.08 per cent
  • Yahoo is searching for a new COO to focus on business operations, All Things D’s Kara Swisher reports. The new executive would give new CEO Marissa Mayer the opportunity to focus on product at Yahoo, which were her strengths at Google. Everyone on the company’s senior team expects to be replaced in 18 months >
  • Gap Inc. reported second quarter profits rose 29 per cent to $243 million, or $0.49 a share. The company said sales came in at $3.58 billion as Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy each posted positive same-store sales for the second consecutive quarter in North America. The world’s biggest companies reveal what’s happening in the economy >
  • General Motors is planning a global reorganization to move leadership to international executives and away from regional chiefs, Bloomberg’s Tim Higgins and Jeff Green report. The moves would impact areas including marketing, purchasing and product development.
  • Heineken is in talks with the maker of Tiger Beer to raise its takeover offer to $6 billion, Bloomberg’s Joyce Koh, Elffie Chew, and Sharon Chen report. Heineken is said to consider offering S$53 a share for Asia Pacific Breweries, up from an earlier S$50 price.
  • U.S. consumer confidence will be released at 9:55 a.m. this morning. Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast the University of Michigan index of sentiment will decline 10 basis points from last month to 72.2. Follow it live on Money Game >
  • Shares in miner Lonmin dropped more than 8 per cent this morning as violence continues at its South African mine. More than 30 people are reported dead after police opened fire on striking employees. Platinum prices have surged following the massacre.
  • Bonuses are expected to rise at a “moderate” rate on Wall Street this year, new data out of compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates shows. Bond traders could see the greatest increases, at 10 to 20 per cent, while investment banking advisory bonuses could decline as much as 10 per cent. Exclusive: If you’re a first year analyst at Merrill, here’s how much your bonus will be >

Bonus: Britney Spears was a harsh judge on The X Factor, asking one contestant, “Who let you on stage?”

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