10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

China pork vendorA vendor cuts up a piece of pork in her stall at a market in Beijing, January 11, 2013.

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

  • Markets in Asia were mixed in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei 225 advanced 0.9%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 1.6%, and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.6%. European markets are in the red with the exception of Germany, which is up 1.2%. In the United States, futures point to a negative open.
  • The EU will give France, Spain, and the Netherlands a waiver on its 3% deficit limit this year. Monitoring of fiscal progress in Italy will be relaxed substantially. In exchange, countries will be more aggressive about implementing labour reforms.
  • Japanese retail trade rose 0.7% in April after posting a 1.5% decline in March, exceeding expectations for a 0.2% advance. Sales by large retailers, however, fell 2.3%. Economists were looking for only a 1.0% decline in large retailers’ sales. 
  • German unemployment rose by 21,000 in May after increasing by 6,000 in April, more than quadrupling forecasts for a rise of 5,000. That’s the fourth straight monthly rise in unemployment in the German economy, which is starting to feel the effects of the recession affecting large parts of the euro area.
  • CBI’s latest reported sales release suggested that U.K. retail sales fell at their fastest pace in 13 months in May. A net 11% of survey respondents reported a decrease in sales, up from only a net 1% last month. Economists were predicting a net 3% would report an increase in sales.
  • In its bi-annual world outlook published today, the OECD cut its global growth forecast to 3.1% in 2013 and 4% in 2014 from 3.4% and 4.2%, respectively. In the U.S., the think tank sees 1.9% and 2.8% growth in 2013 and 2014, while in the euro zone, it predicts a 0.6% contraction this year, followed by 1.1% growth next year.
  • The IMF trimmed its 2013 growth outlook for China to 7.75% from 8%, citing a global slowdown that would weigh on Chinese exports. However, the IMF also sees the pace of growth picking up in the second half of the year.
  • The Wall Street Journal’s Dana Mattioli and Dana Cimilluca report that Chinese meat producer Shuanghui Group is close to a deal to acquire Smithfield Foods, a major American pork and meat producer, for between $4.5 and $5 billion. The deal could be announced as soon as Wednesday morning.
  • The Bank of Canada will announce its latest interest rate decision at 10 AM ET. This will be BoC Governor Mark Carney’s final policy statement before he leaves to take the helm at the Bank of England in June. So, despite the notion that the Bank of Canada could have reasons to shift away from its tightening bias, it likely won’t happen until at least the next meeting, when incoming Governor Stephen Poloz takes over.
  • There are no economic data releases in the United States today. Looking ahead, 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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