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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets sold off in overnight trading with the Nikkei down 1.22 per cent on concerns over the fiscal cliff and as exporters took a hit over strong yen. Europe is down and U.S. markets opened lower.
- Costco declared a special cash dividend on common stock of $7.00 per share or about $3 billion, payable December 18, 2012. Many companies are announcing special one-time dividends as tax rates on dividends are expected to jump in 2013.
- Borrowing costs declined in Europe today, with Spanish two-year bond yield dropping close to its lows of the year. The Italian 10-year yield declined, and 6-month yields fell to pre-crisis levels at an auction. QUIZ: How many of these 12 charts can you identify?
- CEO’s of big U.S. companies are meeting with President Obama today to pressure Washington to resolve fiscal issues and avoid the cliff. Top executives meeting the president include Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. The ultimate guide to the fiscal cliff >
- New home sales for October will released at 10 a.m. ET. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect new home sales to fall to 387,000. Follow the release at Money Game >
- French president François Hollande has threatened to nationalize steel giant ArcelorMittal unless CEO Lakshmi Mittal guarantees permanent employment for workers at a plant in northern France. 629 people will lose their jobs if the plant in Florange closes.
- Green Mountain beat expectations when it reported adjusted earnings of $0.64 per share, on revenue of $947 million. Green Mountain’s shares are up 22 per cent in pre-market trading as sales of K-cups surged.
- The Beige Book, released two weeks before the monetary policy meetings of the FOMC, will be out at 2 p.m. ET. Markets watch this closely since it offers indications on how Fed officials might change monetary policy.
- The European Union has allowed Spain to restructure its nationalized banks and allowed for €40 billion in eurozone aid to help recapitalize the banks. Meanwhile, Spain’s Bankia says it expects a loss of €19 billion in 2012 and plans to cut 6,000 jobs, according to the WSJ.
- Protesters continued to swarm Egypt’s Tahrir Square demanding that president Mohamed Mursi withdraw a decree he passed last week that would give him “dictatorial powers”, according to Reuters.
- Bonus – Adriana Lima became the first pregnant model to pose for the Pirelli calendar.