10 things you need to know before the opening bell

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

Markets aren’t doing much. It’s quiet out there in the financial markets. US futures are flat with Dow futures down 2 points and S&P 500 futures up 1.7 points. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 is down 0.1%, Germany’s DAX is flat, and France’s CAC 40 is up 0.1%. In the Asia-Pacific, Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.3% and and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 declined by just 0.1%. US stock markets will close at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Chinese stocks got smashed. The Shanghai Composite index fell 5.5% on Friday. The sell-off was led by China’s big brokers. Citic Securities, Guosen Securities, and China Haitong Securities were among the names reportedly being investigated for violating regulations.

The Swiss franc nose dives. The Swiss franc unexpectedly plunged by about 0.6% against the US dollar and 0.5% against the euro. The move happened in a matter of minutes on no obvious news. “[A]lthough, Switzerland’s central bank has been intervening in the currency market sporadically to keep the franc from appreciating too much,” BI’s Mike Bird noted. Perhaps this is intervention or speculation of intervention.

Euro-are confidence is at a 4-year high. “Euro-area economic confidence matched its highest level in more than four years as the European Central Bank prepares to make a decision on whether to increase stimulus,” Bloomberg’s Maria Tadeo reported. “An index of executive and consumer confidence stood at 106.1 in November, the European Commission in Brussels said Friday, and October’s reading was revised to the same level from an initial 105.9. The figures are the strongest since May 2011. Economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted the gauge would stay unchanged at 105.9.”

Japan’s unemployment rate tumbles to a 20-year low. The unemployment rate in the world’s third largest economy unexpectedly fell to 3.1% in October from 3.4% in September.

Chinese industrial profits tumble. In yet another sign that the world’s second largest economy is slowing, industrial profits in China fell 4.6% year-over-year in October. This was the fifth straight month of decline.

Greece’s Q3 contraction was worse than we thought. Greece Q3 GDP growth rate was revised down to -0.9% from an earlier estimate of -0.5%. “These differences are on account of using new data, not available at the time of the flash estimate,” the Elstat agency said.

California wants more cars recalled. “California air quality regulators on Wednesday demanded a recall of up to 16,000 additional Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche diesels as the Volkswagen emissions scandal widened,” the AP reported. “The notice from the California Air Resources Board came less than a week after state and federal regulators disclosed that Volkswagen Group automakers installed software to cheat emissions tests on more diesels than initially thought.”

LG Display is building a new OLED plant. “South Korea’s LG Display said it will build a new plant to make panels using organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology, with total investment expected to exceed 10 trillion won ($8.71 billion),” Reuters’ Tony Munroe reported. “The company said it will spend an initial 1.84 trillion won to begin building the plant in Paju, South Korea, which will make both large-size OLED TV panels and flexible OLED panels for smartwatches and auto displays, with production expected to begin in the first half of 2018.”

No data. There’s no major market-moving economic data scheduled for Friday. US stock markets will close at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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