10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell


gun briefcase

REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

A briefcase with a hidden gun belonging to security personnel is seen during India Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with Nepali Prime Minister Sushil Koirala in Kathmandu August 3, 2014. Modi embarked on a visit to Nepal on Sunday to help speed up negotiations on a power trade pact that is at the centre of a new effort to improve ties with a neighbour that serves as a buffer with China.

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


1. Israel Withdraws From Gaza. Forces withdrew in advance of a 72-hour ceasefire brokered by Egypt, and after Israel had announced it had completed its mission to destroy Hamas tunnels. "Hamas and Islamic Jihad appeared ready for the conflict to come to a halt," the New York Times' Steven Erlanger reported. "They accepted an Egyptian proposal little changed from one that they had rejected earlier in the conflict; an earlier American attempt at a similar cease-fire also broke down quickly."

2. NYC Patient "Unlikely To Have Ebola." Manhattan's Mount Sinai Hospital announced they were still testing a patient admitted with troubling symptoms to definitely rule out the virus but that it seemed like it was likely something else.

3. Huge Russia Troop Buildup. The New York Times' Michael Gordon and Eric Schmitt say Vladimir Putin has now amassed an additional 17 battalions and up to 21,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, but no one is sure what his gameplan is. Officials' biggest fear is an invasion under the guise of a "peacekeeping" operation.'That's a very real option," a senior Defense Department official told the Times. "And should Putin decide, he could do that with little or no notice. We just don't know what he's thinking."

4. Fox And Time Warner. Both companies report earnings today, and we will thus get a chance to learn where each stands on Fox's takeover bid. "It will be an opportunity for Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes to defend his record for shareholder value," Reuters' Jennifer Saba said. "Fox's Chief Operating Officers Chase Carey and James Murdoch will have the chance to discuss the more than $1 billion in cost savings and powerful combination of cable networks and sports programing. It is unclear whether Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of Fox, will make an appearance given the stakes."


5. Earnings. This morning get Coach, CVS, Icahn Enterprises, MGM Resorts, Monster Worldwide, and Office Depot. After the bell we get Disney, First Solar, Groupon, Potbelly, and Zillow.

6. Strong Quarters For BMW and Toyota. Both reported earnings that topped prior-year readings. Toyota saw strong sales in North America, the FT said, while BMW posted its best profitability in three years, Bloomberg's Elisabeth Behrmann said. Shares went nowhere for Toyota in Japan trading, but BMW shares were up 0.8% in Germany.

7. AIG Tops Expectations. Shares climbed more than 2% after-hours Monday after the financial giant reported earnings that topped expectations. The firm also announced it had paid $960 million to settle a bailout-era shareholder class-action lawsuit that had sought $100 billion in compensation over fraud claims. After-tax operating income per share hit $1.25 versus 1.05 expected. Q2 net premiums earned totaled $8.53 billion, up 2% from the $8.35 billion earned a year ago.

8. Gannett Splitting Up. The McLean, Va.-based firm will become two separate publicly traded companies - one focused on broadcast and digital, the other publishing. The firm will also buy out Cars.com. Shares were up 9% in pre-market trading Tuesday. Yesterday BI's Myles' Udland explained how you would have seen a 1,436.45% return if you'd invested in Gannett when its stock bottomed in 2009.

9. Data. Three important releases today. At 9:45 a.m. we get services data from Markit Economics. Consensus is for a reading of 61, unchanged from the prior reading. Then at 10 a.m. we get factory orders from the Census. Consensus is for a gain 0f 0.6% after a decline of 0.5% prior. Then we get non-manufacturing data from the Institute for Supply Management. Expectations are for a reading of 56.5, up from 56.0 prior.


10. Markets. U.S. futures were down 0.1% to 0.2%. London's FTSE climbed 0.4%. Germany's DAX was up 0.6%. Japan's Nikkei closed down 1%.