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Pre-Market Primer: Asian Growth Slowest Since 2001

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The central bank-fueled rally last month comes up against global economic realities.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL After a heady month of central bank actions and an unexpectedly good jobs report, global economic worries and a season of disappointing corporate profits are driving down the markets.

After Friday's upbeat employment numbers, concerns are focused on the economic slowdown in Asia. A World Bank report today cut expectations for East Asian countries' GDP. The bank expects the region to grow by 7.2% this year and 7.6% next year. This is the slowest rate of growth for the area since 2001. China, the bank's analysts said, will experience a "double whammy" of weaker exports and domestic demand. The World Bank still predicts that China will have a "soft landing" rather than a hard one. Chinese stocks sold off on the news. Japanese markets are on holiday today.

European shares declined today as the area's finance prepare to gather in Brussels to discuss the ongoing troubles in Spain and the troika of international creditors deliberates on whether to disburse the next tranche of aid to Greece, which is already behind schedule with its mandated budget cuts.

US stocks are pointing toward a lower opening today, with no major economic releases due to come out. Future contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) fell 0.33% to 13,492.00. S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures slipped 0.37% to 1,450.10, and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures dropped 0.47% to 2,791.00.

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) will officially kick off earnings season tomorrow. On average, profits for S&P 500 companies in the third quarter will be 2.1% lower than last year, according to Thompson Reuters (via the Wall Street Journal).

Labor unrest at Chinese factories could throw off production of the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone. A few thousand Foxconn workers in Zhengzhou protested against the intense pressure to meet demand for the popular device while preventing scratches on its exterior. Shares of the world's most valuable company fell nearly 1% to $647.50.

Hugo Chavez was reelected to another term as president of Venezuela. Though he won by a huge margin, this is the closest the opposition has come to beating him since he came to power in 1998.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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