Bill Gray
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10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Good morning! These are the major stories already making an impact globally Tuesday morning.

Oil Giant Total's CEO Has Died In A Plane Crash. Christophe de Margerie died in a plane accident at about midnight Tuesday in Moscow when his plane collided with a snowplow driven by someone who was drunk.

UK Public Finances Are Still A Mess. Figures out today show that the government actually borrowed more in the first six months of the fiscal year than last year, going against their own plans.

US Home Sales Are Coming. Figures for US existing home sales are out at 10 a.m. ET, with analysts expecting 5.1 million sales last month, up 1% from August.

The US Says A Pacific Trade Pact Is Close. The time is "ripe" for Japan and the United States to reach a breakthrough in talks for a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, the US commerce secretary said on Tuesday, adding that the two were "a lot closer" to a deal than in recent months.

European Markets Are Up. After a rocky morning, All of Europe's major indices are up by more than 1%, except the UK's FTSE 100, which is still 0.94% higher than yesterday's close. The Nikkei ended down 2.03%.

Lufthansa's Pilots Union Is Not Ruling Out Longer Strikes. Industrial action at Lufthansa could continue beyond Tuesday if the German airline fails to resume negotiations with its disgruntled pilots.

China Is Slowing. Data released Tuesday showed GDP grew by 7.3% in the third quarter of 2014 compared to a year earlier, its slowest pace since the first quarter of 2009.

Hong Kong's Leader Says That Poor People Would Ruin A Free Election. CY Leung said open elections would result in the city's many poor dominating politics.

Staples Is Investigating A Possible Payment Card Data Breach. The firm said late Monday that it has contacted law enforcement over the possibility that it has been hit by a cyberattack.

Russia Is Hoping For A Gas Deal With Ukraine. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday he hopes to finalize a gas agreement during a trilateral meeting later in the day in Brussels, Interfax news agency reports.