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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Stock News You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Asian markets were higher in overnight trading, with the Shanghai Composite up 1.59%. Major European industries are also higher, and U.S. futures suggest a positive open.

Factory orders data for November is released at 10:00 AM ET. Expectations are for orders to remain flat.

Floods in Australia's Queensland region look likely to expand with more rain coming. Right now, nearly three quarters of the region's coal exports are being delayed or stopped.

German unemployment surprisingly increased in December, though the unemployment rate remained at 7.5%. The slowdown is being blamed on harsh winter conditions in the country. These are the 6 macro themes that matter in 2011.

The UK's manufacturing sector continued to perform well in December, with the country's PMI rising to 58.3. PMI is now at a 16-year high.

The five biggest lendiers, including Bank of America, JPMorgan, and Citigroup are said to be close to a settlement of the various states foreclosure lawsuits. It should be excellent news for the red-hot financials.

Spain is preparing to launch a new stress test of the country's savings banks in an effort to drive them to raise money on the open market. The government is trying to avoid unnecessary reliance on its banking sector support fund.

The U.S. office occupation rate increased by 2.5% in Q4 2010, the first increase in around 3 years. The vacancy rate on office space nationwide remains high, at 17.6%.

Shell is continuing to ponder a deal for BP, in which the two oil giants would merge. Shell has no interest in bidding, however, unless a rival steps in first.

Borders shares sank over 8% in after hours trading yesterday as a result of two executives leaving the company. Recently, Borders failed to make payment to some of its publishing partners.

The Pentagon will announce plans to cut its budget by $100 billion that will include reductions in spending on certain weapons programs. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates could announce the moves on Thursday. Check out Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius answers to 10 pressing questions on the U.S. economy.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing (Completely Revised and Updated)
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