Good morning. Here's what you need to know.
- Japanese markets were closed today, but the Hang Seng retreated 0.9 percent and the Shanghai composite slid 0.56 percent. Europe is in the red with Italy down 1.8 percent, and U.S. stock futures are down slightly, with the Dow off 47 points and the S&P 500 down 5 points.
- The World Bank cut its outlook for China's economic growth prospects, lowering its 2012 GDP growth forecast to 7.7 percent from 8.2 percent and its 2013 forecast to 8.1 percent from 8.6 percent.
- China's Golden Week retail sales growth slowed this year to 15 percent from 17.5 percent last year, highlighting the slowdown in China. Golden Week, which took place last week, is a seven-day holiday during which consumers typically shop and spend more than usual.
- Another bout of labor unrest stopped production at the Foxconn factory where the iPhone 5 is made, the second episode in two weeks. Workers are protesting the high-pressure, "overly strict" work environment.
- German exports rose 2.4 percent against expectations of a 0.6 percent decline, and German industrial production fell 1.4 percent against expectations of a 1.6 percent decline. Eurozone investor confidence rose to -22.2 from -23.2 last month, but missed expectations of a -20.0 reading.
- Eurozone finance ministers will meet today in Luxembourg to discuss the Spanish financial situation and proposals for euro-wide banking union. Tomorrow, German chancellor Angela Merkel visits Greece. Angela Merkel Is About To Get Some Brand New Perspective On The Devastation In Greece >
- The South African rand continues to plummet as strikes in the country's transportation sector destabilize critical supply chains. South Africa Is On The Brink Of Total Chaos As Strikes Are Leading To Fuel And Cash Shortages >
- California governor Jerry Brown took emergency action to lower gas prices in the state after an EPA regulation exacerbated a supply shortage. The state will now allow winter-blend gasolines to be sold before the typical November start date to alleviate the squeeze. California's Gas Price Nightmare In Two Maps >
- Hugo Chavez was re-elected as president of Venezuela Sunday, garnering about 54 percent of the vote. Americans Will Pay More For Gas If Hugo Chavez Is Reelected >
- The House Intelligence Committee will issue a report Monday warning U.S. businesses to steer clear of dealings with Huawei and ZTE, China's two biggest telecommunications firms. The report claims the firms pose a national security risk due to their connections with the Chinese government.
- Bonus: The FBI is investigating a suspicious package addressed to Bristol Palin containing a white powdery substance at CBS' Dancing with the Stars program.
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