10 things you need to know before the opening bell

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

Europe unexpectedly slows. Eurozone GDP growth slowed to 0.3% in Q3 from 0.4% in Q2. This was worse than expectations for the pace of growth to remain at 0.3%. German and French GDP climbed at a 0.3% rate, while Italian GDP gained 0.2%. Greek GDP contracted 0.5%, which wasn’t as bad as the 1.0% decline expected.

Cisco had a mixed quarter. The network technology giant reported better-than-expected fiscal Q1 revenue and earnings. But guidance was a little light. Management expects to deliver $US0.53 to $US0.54 per share in earnings for Q2, which is below the $US0.56 expected. “Our guidance reflects lower than expected order growth in Q1, driven largely by the uncertainty of the macro environment and currency impacts,” CFO Chuck Robbins said.

Nordstrom is crashing. The department store chain had a disappointing quarter. Comparable store sales climbed by just 0.9%, missing expectations for 3.6% growth. This resulted in earnings of just $US0.42 per share, missing expectations for $US0.72. The stock is down by over 15%.

Fossil is buying Misfit. Watchmaker Fossil group is acquiring wearable technology startup Misft for $US260 million. “With the acquisition of Misfit, Fossil Group will be uniquely positioned to lead the convergence of style and technology and to become the fashion gateway to the high-growth wearable technology and connected device markets,” Fossil CEO Kosta Kartsotis said.

Hulu may sell a stake of itself to Time Warner. “Hulu is seeking to sell a stake to Time Warner Inc. as part of a deal that would value the streaming-video service at more than $US5 billion and advance its efforts to compete with Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., according to people familiar with the matter,” the WSJ’ Shalini Ramachandran and Amol Sharma report. The companies have been in talks about Time Warner becoming an equal stakeholder in Hulu alongside Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox Inc. and Comcast Corp. Such a deal would likely involve the current owners, who own one-third each, drawing down their stakes to 25%.”

ChemChina is reportedly in talks to buy Syngenta. “China National Chemical Corp. is in talks to buy the pesticide maker in what would be the largest acquisition ever by a Chinese company, people with knowledge of the matter said,” Bloomberg’s Aaron Kirchfeld, Ed Hammond and Dinesh Nair report. “ChemChina, as the state-owned company is known, offered about 449 francs a share in cash, which values Syngenta at 41.7 billion francs ($US42 billion), said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.”

China is clamping down on the stock market. “China moved to contain leveraged wagers on its stock market, cutting by half the amount of borrowed money investors can use to buy shares, as authorities seek to prevent a repeat of the excesses that led to a $US5 trillion rout earlier this year,” Bloomberg News reported. “Margin requirements will be raised to 100% from 50% starting on Nov. 23, the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses said in separate statements after local exchanges closed on Friday. The rule change means that an investor with 1 million yuan ($US156,895) in their account is limited to borrowing another 1 million yuan from a broker to buy more shares. Previously, they could borrow as much as 2 million yuan.”

IEA says there’s too much oil. “Stockpiles of oil at a record 3 billion barrels are providing world markets with a degree of comfort,” the IEA said in a monthly report. “This massive cushion has inflated even as the global oil market adjusts to $US50 per barrel. Demand growth has risen to a five-year high of nearly 2 million bpd… But gains in demand have been outpaced by vigorous production from OPEC and resilient non-OPEC supply – with Russian output at a post-Soviet record and likely to remain robust in 2016 as well.”

Markets are lower. US futures are modestly lower with Dow futures down 32 points and S&P futures down 3 points. Asian markets closed lower with Japan’s Nikkei down 0.5%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down 2.1%, and Australia’s S&P/ASX down 1.4%. Europe is trading lower with UK’s FTSE 100 down 0.9%, Germany’s DAX down 0.8%, and France’s CAC 40 down 0.9%.

There’s a lot of US economic data on deck. At 8:30 a.m. ET, we’ll get the October retail sales and producer price index reports. That will be followed by the University of Michigan Sentiment report at 10:00 a.m. For a full preview, read BI’s Monday Scouting Report.

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