Thursday, May 13, 2010

Business Insider: 10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Good morning. Here's what you need to know:

* Global markets are trending higher today as the European bailout continues to have a psychological impact on risk appetites. The euro, however, is down now trading below $1.26.

* The investigation into Wall Street banks' role in the financial crisis is expanding with Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, and UBS all receiving subpoenas. These investigations are just in the preliminary phase and will not necessarily lead to criminal charges.

* Chinese real estate is set to undergo further downward pressure in the short term as the Shanghai government intends to announce new tightening measures in the next two weeks. This could push more money into China's stock market, as investors try to find new growth opportunities. See why Chinese real estate is the most obvious bubble ever >

* The UK company Prudential is set to move forward with its plan for a rights issue that will help it fund the purchase of AIA, the Asian division of AIG. The company has had to restructure its plan for the takeover under pressure from the UK's regulatory authorities.

* On the heels of their Spanish counterparts, Portugal is set to announce an austerity budget today to fight the country's deficit. The budget will include a "crisis tax" targeted at companies and individuals with the purpose of filling the deficit. See why Europe is doomed to crisis after crisis >

* German business software company SAP is set to acquire California's Sybase for $5.8 billion. The deal will broaden SAP's access to the smartphone market, and Sybase is set to maintain its own brand within the larger company.

* BP now estimates its cost of cleanup as $450 million to date in the oil spill off the coast of Louisiana, with some estimates saying it could rise to $12 billion. Transocean, the company that owned and operated the now destroyed well, is trying to limit its costs to $27 million through the courts. See photos of their platform in ruins >

* Spanish telecom giant Telefónica had its net profit rise 2% in Q1 on strong results in the European and Latin American markets. The company has recently lost iPhone exclusivity in some of its markets.

* Foreclosures have fallen in the U.S. in April, year-over-year from April 2009, 2.4%. One in 387 American homes received a foreclosure notice in April, as the market has begun to stabilize. Think we're out of this? Check out a bearish case on housing >

* Government troops in Thailand are set to forcefully remove protesters from downtown Bangkok after the two parties were unable to come to an agreement. The troops are reportedly authorized to fire upon the protesters.

* Bonus: Paris Hilton is giving up fast food to lose weight, an apparent about face for Hilton, who starred in an advertisement featuring her eating a Carl Jr. burger in 2009.
Read more: Business Insider

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