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Premarket: TSX seen opening up despite grim U.S. economic data Add to ...

An unexpected plunge in U.S. durable goods orders in August to their worst level since the recession, as well as a big downward revision in second-quarter GDP figures for the country, have U.S. stock futures trimming gains this morning.

Futures are still clinging to minor gains, however, pointing to a higher start for North American stocks, and commodity prices are extending gains. There was some good news for bulls on the U.S. employment front, with jobless claims declining to the lowest level since late July.

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But it could still be a volatile day. Spain at any moment is expected to reveal its austerity budget, likely further fuelling the flames of social unrest in the country.

Chinese stocks popped overnight amid hopes for a big announcement from the country's securities regulator that would do more to support economic growth. Ultimately, however, only small measures were announced.

Meanwhile, in Europe, there were more reports of protests against the financial-austerity measures already taken by Spain and Greece.  Underlining the economic gloom was a weaker-than-expected reading of the European Commission's monthly economic sentiment survey.

One bright spot in Europe was Britain's latest GDP reading, showing that its economy shrank less than previously thought in the second quarter of 2012.

What should be a busy North American trading day will extend into the post market, with Research In Motion releasing its latest quarterly results shortly after 4 p.m (ET).

Now, here' the rundown of what else you need to know before the trading day gets underway:

MARKETS:

Equities:
Futures: Dow +0.35 per cent, S&P 500 +0.38 per cent, Nasdaq +0.27 per cent

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index +1.14 per cent

Shanghai Composite index +3.06 per cent

Japan’s Nikkei +0.48 per cent

London’s FTSE 100 +0.36 per cent

France’s CAC 40 +0.88 per cent

Germany’s DAX index +0.56 per cent

Commodities:
WTI (Nymex Nov) +1.28 per cent at $91.13 (U.S.) a barrel

Gold (Comex Dec) +0.74 per cent at $1,766.60 (U.S.) an ounce

Copper (Comex Dec) +0.69 per cent at $3.74 (U.S.) a pound

Currencies:
Canadian dollar up 0.0008, or 0.08 per cent, at $1.0162 (U.S.)

STOCKS AND ECONOMIC INDICATORS TO WATCH:

U.S. durable-goods orders plummeted 13 per cent, much worse than economists expected, for the biggest one-month decline in over three years.

The US economy grew 1.3 per cent in the second quarter of the year, far more slowly than initially pegged at 1.7 per cent.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits plunged 26,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 359,000, a hopeful sign for the job market. It's the lowest level of weekly applications in nine weeks and was a better reading than expected.

(1000 a.m ET) The U.S. National Association of Realtors reports on pending home sales in August. Economists expect a 0.3 per cent rise from July.

Research In Motion to release its latest quarterly results after the market close.

Other earnings today include Nike Inc.

THIS MORNING'S TOP INVESTING READS ON THE WEB:

Bill Gross's Pimco fund has been selling some of its Treasury holdings and is putting money into what the world’s central banks plan to buy.

Fed watchers believe the Federal Reserve’s next move will be to outright buy Treasurys, most likely at its meeting in early December.

Credit markets are reversing their post-QE3 euphoria.

Eight early warning signs U.S. inflation is percolating.

How the market usually performs the year following a Presidential election period.

14 stocks to ride the iPhone 5's success.

Argentina may be demoted from the list of "frontier markets."

Why the Australian dollar has held up even as iron ore and coal prices, the nation's major exports, have been falling.

For the first time in over four months, options, or implied volatility, is inexpensive and represents a buying opportunity.

 

 

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