10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Syria rebel army

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

  • Asian markets were down in overnight trading with the Nikkei plunging 6.8% . The Shanghai Composite which resumed trading after the Dragon Boat holiday was down 2.8%. Europe is also selling off and U.S. futures are lower.
  • Stocks fell 6.4% Tokyo as the Nikkei entered a bear market. Stocks were impacted on concerns of tapering of the Federal Reserve’s easing. Tokyo is down over 20% from its recent closing high which is how the bear market is defined.
  • Australia’s payrolls climbed by 1,000 in May, beating expectations for a drop of 10,000. The jobless rate declined to 5.5%, from 5.6%.
  • Retail sales for May and initial claims are out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Consensus is for retail sales to rise 0.5% month-over-month and for initial claims to rise to 350,000. Follow the release at Business Insider >
  • The Bank of Indonesia raised its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 6.00%. the central bank tries to support the Indonesia rupiah.
  • The World Bank lowered China’s 2013 GDP forecast to 7.7%, from 8.4% that was prompted by a slowdown in investment. It projects global GDP growth of 2.2% in 2013.
  • Another event investors will be watching today is the 30-year bond auction which begins at 1 p.m. ET. In the backdrop of the recent bond sell-off it will be interesting to see how this auction shapes up. Follow the release at Business Insider >
  • IBM has announced that it will spend $1 billion in severance and other costs to lay off employees. Laurence Balter of Oracle Investment Research told Bloomberg this would amount to between 6,000 and 8,000 global job cuts.
  • The Royal Bank of Scotland announced 2,000 job cuts as it restructures its investment bank. CEO Stephen Hester will also step down by the end of the year.
  • The UN has said the death toll in Syria hit at least 93,000 at the end of April, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, Gen. Salim Idris, a top Syrian rebel, has requested weapons from Western countries like the U.S., France, and Britain to support his forces in Aleppo, according to the WSJ.

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