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August 12 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Tuesday, Aug. 12:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were rosy early Tuesday across the board, as investors assessed potential changes to the energy field with the Kinder Morgan reorganization foremost in mind.

European stocks shrank early Tuesday, as renewed uncertainty in the Ukraine helped push Germany’s market downwards and the French current account deficit gaped wider as a result of the huge fine French banking giant BNP Paribas    paid to U.S. regulators last month. The London market showed little movement.

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2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Tuesday is relatively quiet, with the monthly Treasury budget appearing at 2 p.m.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Monday had strong intraday gains, but gave back much of those gains by the close. Markets took a breather from geopolitical concerns, as Russia appeared to step back from the brink over Ukraine and there were hopes that U.S. airstrikes in Iraq may have slowed the advance of Islamist rebels there. A renewed three-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza also played a role in the improved mood.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.1%, to 16,569.98. The S&P 500 rose 0.28% to 1,936.92. The Nasdaq jumped 0.7% to 4,401.33.

4. -- Houston-based oil pipeline company Kinder Morgan announced that it will spend $71 billion to consolidate its master limited partnership empire of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners , Kinder Morgan Management and El Paso Pipeline Partners into one company, traded under the ticker KMI. The deal is massive, and Wall Street spent all day digesting it.

Kinder Morgan stock rallied all day Monday, up 9% to $39.37. In premarket trading the stock gained another 0.2%. The soon-to-be-acquired stocks also rallied.

CEO Rich Kinder made $1.5 billion in share value alone yesterday. And the condensed stock will have a simpler structure, without the required dividend payouts for MLPs.

There may be larger implications for other MLP companies, and the energy sector will also need to figure out how the deal changes the landscape

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5. -- Amazon is doubling down on its attempt to squeeze Walt Disney for price concessions, blocking preorders for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and other DVDs. Online sales of home entertainment are about one-third of the market, and are a key source of profit for entertainment companies. Walmart and Barnes & Noble are still selling the DVDs as usual.

In its continued drive for low prices, Amazon has been in a months-long battle with book publisher Hachette in a bid to pay the publisher less for e-books. Writers have pushed back, suggesting that Amazon had misquoted Orwell and had pushed writers and publishers too hard.

Amazon is also in hot water for its $800 million in losses this quarter. Amazon's Jeff Bezos has long insisted on the long view on Amazon's profits. The question is whether Amazon is trying to get more concessions from publishers because the "everything store" increasingly needs to support its bottom line. And the hard-line tactics may boost rival retailers.