10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Formula one racecar crash upside downREUTERS/Kai PfaffenbachWilliams Formula One driver Felipe Massa of Brazil crashes with his car in the first corner after the start of the German F1 Grand Prix at the Hockenheim racing circuit, July 20, 2014.

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:

Outrage In Ukraine. Pro-Russian separatists are interfering with efforts to recover bodies from and investigate the site where Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 went down. “We have reports of drunken separatists piling the remains in an unceremonious fashion and actually removing them from the location,” said Secretary of State John Kerry on CNN on Sunday.

US Links MH17 To Russia. “There’s enormous amount of evidence, even more evidence that I just documented, that points to the involvement of Russia in providing these systems, training the people on them,” Kerry said on CBS. “We also have information indicating that Russia is providing training to separatist fighters at a facility in southwest Russia” that includes missile systems.

Meanwhile In Donetsk. “Ukrainian army tanks were reported to be launching an assault to break pro-Russian rebels’ hold on the eastern city of Donetsk on Monday in the first major outbreak of hostilities in the area since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down last week,” reported Reuters Anton Zverev and Peter Graff. “A separatist leader said Ukrainian government forces were trying to break into Donetsk and fighting was under way near the railway station.”

Dubai Stocks Crash. The Dubai FMG Index fell 5.99% on Sunday on continued concerns and uncertainty surrounding Arabtec, the biggest property developer in the UAE. “Arabtec’s shares, which fell 9.9 per cent, the most since June 30, were halted from trading at the end of last week pending clarification of its ownership,” reported Bloomberg’s Sarmad Khan and Shoshanna Solomon. “Aabar is in talks to buy at least half of a 28.9 per cent stake held by the construction company’s former Chief Executive Officer Hasan Ismaik, a person with knowledge of the situation said July 15.”

Markets Are In The Red. U.S. futures are down with Dow futures down 42 points and S&P 500 futures down 4.9 points. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 is down 0.3%, France’s CAC 40 is down 0.3%, and Germany’s DAX is down 0.8%.

Earnings Season Rages On. Some big names are releasing their Q2 results today. After the closing bell, Netflix is expected to report EPS of $US1.15, Chipotle is expected to report EPS of $US3.09, and Texas Instruments is expected to report EPS of $US0.59.

Economic Calendar. There are no major market-moving U.S. economic reports scheduled for today.

McDonald’s And Yum! Have Issues With Chinese Chicken Supplier. “U.S. fast food chains McDonald’s Corp and Yum! Brands Inc said they will stop using products supplied by a local meat processor after a Shanghai regulator halted the firm’s operations on Sunday over food safety concerns,” reported Reuters’ Engen Tham. “The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) halted the operations of Shanghai Husi Food Co., Ltd, a meat supplier suspected of providing meat that had passed its expiration date to China branches of McDonald’s restaurants and Yum’s KFC and Pizza Hut outlets, the Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.”

Wage Growth Is Coming. According to a new NABE survey of 79 business economists, 43% said their firms increased wages, which is up from just 19% a year ago and 35% in the previous quarter. “It’s not surprising that we would see some reporting of rising wage costs,” said NABE President Jack Kleinbenz. “As we get to the point where we have less in the labour market to supply, I think firms are recognising that’s something that they have to do.”

Tobacco Company Owes Widow $US23 Billion, Says Jury. “A Florida jury has slammed a tobacco company with $US23.6 billion in punitive damages in a lawsuit filed by the widow of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer in 1996,” reported the AP’s Jennifer Kay. “The case is one of thousands filed in Florida after the state Supreme Court in 2006 tossed out a $US145 billion class action verdict. That ruling also said smokers and their families need only prove addiction and that smoking caused their illnesses or deaths.”

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