10 things you need to know before the opening bell

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

There’s been a massive police raid in Paris. Two people died in a gunfire exchange, including one woman who blew herself up, as police continue to search for the main suspect linked to Friday’s deadly terrorist attacks. All 129 people who were killed have now been identified, according to the French president’s office. At least seven other people were arrested during the raid on an apartment building in a northern Paris suburb, and five police officers were wounded. The Belgian man suspected to be the mastermind of Friday’s attacks remains at large.

Square and Match price their initial public offerings today. Square, the mobile payments company headed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, set the price range for its IPO at $US11 to $US13 a share, valuing it at $US4.2 billion. It is among the Silicon Valley “unicorns” valued at over $US1 billion, which also include Uber and Airbnb. Square’s valuation was 30% less than its worth during a private fundraising round a year ago. Match, owner of online dating sites including Tinder and OkCupid, set a price range of $US12 to $US14 a share and planned to sell 33.3 million shares. It, too, is valued at over $US1 billion.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is stepping up its scrutiny of how mutual funds price private tech companies. According to the Wall Street Journal, the regulator has questioned large fund firms in recent months over their valuation process and the accuracy of their estimates. The top-five fund firms invested a combined $US8.3 billion during funding rounds this year through September 30, versus $US1 billion for all of 2011, The Journal reported.

Air Liquide is buying Airgas in a deal that would create the world’s largest supplier of industrial gas. Paris-based Air Liquide is paying $US143 per share in cash, giving Airgas an enterprise value of $US13.4 billion. Airgas shares surged by as much as 29% in trading on Tuesday after the announcement; trading had been halted for news pending. “This acquisition increases our geographic reach in the resilient U.S. market, and offers continuous growth opportunities,” Air Liquide CEO Benoît Potier said in a statement.

Yahoo is now involved in the New York state attorney general’s investigation of daily fantasy-sports sites. The company received a subpoena from the AG, who last week ordered DraftKings and FanDuel to stop accepting bets in the state. FanDuel announced yesterday that it would suspend its operations, disallowing people from reloading their accounts and entering paid contests. A Yahoo representative declined to comment on the legal matter to Business Insider, but said the company’s product was “lawful”.


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Canadian Pacific has laid out its proposal to acquire Norfolk Southern. The rail carrier sent a letter to its $US28 billion-rival that proposed a deal including a “sizable premium in cash and stock”, according to the WSJ. The letter was not released publicly and did not have any numbers on the proposed transaction. Norfolk Southern acknowledged the letter in a statement on Tuesday evening, saying the offer was $US46.72 in cash and .0348 shares of Canadian Pacific for each Norfolk Southern share. The combined rail network would be worth about $US47 billion.

Lowe’s earnings beat. America’s second-largest home-improvement chain reported a 5% rise in quarterly sales, thanks to a robust housing recovery. Net sales rose to $US14.36 billion from $US13.68 billion a year ago. Net income climbed to $US736 million, or 80 cents a share, from $US585 million, or 59 cents a share compared to the prior year.

Global markets are a bit lower, and US stock futures are mixed. The Euro Stoxx 50 and France’s CAC 40 were down about 0.7%. S&P 500 futures were down two points, and Dow futures up five. The 10-year yield was up three basis points at 2.27%.

Economic data is light. Housing starts and building permits numbers are due at 8:30 a.m. ET. The FOMC will release the minutes of its October meeting, during which it strongly signalled the possibility of a rate hike next month, at 2:00 p.m.

Staples and Target report earnings before the market open. Salesforce.com, Keurig Green Mountain, and Sina Corp are on deck after the bell.

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