10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

There are rumours Glencore is going to be taken over. Commodities giant Glencore was up as much as 70% in Hong Kong trade after rumours circulated management would listen to takeover offers. However, the Board disputed those claims in a press release saying, “…it is not aware of any reasons for these price and volume movements or of any information which must be announced to avoid a false market…” Currently, Glencore is up 9% in London.

Potash backed out of its K+S takeover. The Wall Street Journal reports Canadian fertiliser company Potash has backed out of its $US8.8 billion takeover attempt of German rival K+S. According to Potash, it’s dropping the bid because of market conditions and a lack of commitment from K+S management. Back in August, K+S said Potash’s bid undervalued the company and would eliminate jobs, according to the WSJ.

American Apparel filed for bankruptcy protection. The retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid its restructuring with secured lenders. According to the Reuters, American Apparel plans to keep stores open throughout the restructuring, which will cut its outstanding debt to $US135 million from $US300 million in exchange for equity. “By improving our financial footing, we will be able to refocus our business efforts on the execution of our turnaround strategy,” CEO Paula Schneider said in a statement.

Nelson Peltz disclosed a huge stake in GE. Activist investor Nelson Peltz announced a massive $US2.5 billion stake in General Electric. Peltz’s Trian Fund Management says it owns 98.5 million shares of the industrial giant, amounting to its largest position. “Trian believes GE has significant long-term potential and that its implied target value per share, including dividends, could be $US40 to $US45 by the end of 2017 based on our view that GE can deliver EPS of at least $US2.20 in 2018,” Trian CIO Ed Garden said in a statement. Trian has not asked for a board seat, but does want GE to increase cost-cutting efforts and potentially sell more finance assets, says Reuters.

The British government is going to sell the rest of its stake in Lloyds Banking Group. The UK Treasury filed a regulatory statement saying it plans to sell its remaining stake in Lloyds Banking Group sometime in 2016. The Treasury says it will sell £2 billion ($US3 billion) of its remaining 11.98% stake in the bank to retail investors in the spring. Treasury injected £20.5 billion ($US31.4 billion) into the bank during the financial crisis, amounting to a 43% stake in the lender. The sale will depend on market conditions.

Eurozone services PMIs mostly disappointed. Eurozone services PMI slowed to 53.7 in September, down from 54.0 in August. Economists were expecting the reading to remain at 54.0. As for the individual countries, Spain saw the biggest slowdown as its reading fell from 59.6 in August to 55.1. Germany and Italy also disappointed. As for France, it was the lone outperformer as its reading rose to 51.9 in September from 50.6 in August. The euro is stronger by 0.2% at 1.1241.

UK services PMI slowed. The September reading of UK services PMI slid to 53.3 from 55.6 in August. The number missed the 56.0 that economists were forecasting, and marked the lowest reading since May 2013. Despite the big drop, the reading remained well above the 50.0 expansion/contraction line. The British pound is unchanged at 1.5188.

Stock markets around the world are higher. France’s CAC (+3.1%) leads the gains in Europe after Australia’s ASX (+2%) paced the advance in Asia. China’s Shanghai Composite remains closed for Golden Week. S&P 500 futures are higher by 11.00 points at 1954.00.

US economic data is light. Services PMI will cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 2 basis points at 2.01%.

Earnings reporting remains slow. The Container Store will release its quarterly results following the closing bell.

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