November soybeans were trading near unchanged late in the overnight session. China futures were up 0.3% overnight but still down 1.7% so far this week. Palm oil futures in Malaysia closed up 2%. Equity markets in Asia were mixed overnight and stock indices in Europe are generally higher this morning. The US Dollar is generally weaker against most of the major currencies. US tech stock Apple released its third quarter earnings which were below analysts expectations for the first time since 2001. A major credit ratings agency downgraded Spain's credit rating by two levels overnight. There is a general strike in Greece this morning, as that nation's Parliament prepares to vote on additional public sector cuts. Foreign direct investment in China during the first three quarters of 2011 was up 16.6% above 2010 levels. The Federal Reserve will release their latest edition of the Beige Book at 1:00 PM. Major US economic numbers to be released this morning include the September Consumer Price Index and September Housing Starts at 7:30 AM, and a private weekly survey of mortgage applications released before the opening. From April to early October, November soybeans moved from a 5-cent to a 12-cent carry, and it took only a few days to see that spread move back to 5 under. The bull spreads were a feature of the session yesterday, as traders saw strong cash basis levels and a lack of producer selling during harvest as a signal that the spot price or the spreads may need to move to a higher level to attract selling from producers. With news of the restocking activities in China, many traders have adjusted their China total import estimates to 58 million tonnes from 56.5 million posted in last week's USDA supply/demand update. In addition to the smaller crop, the National Grains and Oils Information Centre in China believes that crushing capacity in China will jump to 125 million tonnes for 2012, up 12.5 million tonnes. As a result, import demand for soybeans could be on the rise. Weaker crush margins in the US and fears of low protein content have supported bull spreads in meal as well. Crush margins have also weakened in China and Europe, so some traders see sluggish demand for soybeans in the short term. November soybeans closed slightly lower on the session yesterday but up sharply from the early lows. The market was down sharply early due to perceived weak data regarding the China economy and poor economic news from Europe. With gold, silver and energy markets down sharply, traders expected aggressive selling from fund traders but a recovery in the US stock market helped support a strong recovery from the early lows. The soybean harvest is 69% complete compared to 51% last week and 81% last year. Traders have mentioned harvest pressures as another negative force. However, a lack of producer selling during the active harvest season has helped to provide some support, as cash basis levels are improving. Weekly export inspections, relased during the session yesterday, came in at 45 million bushels, which was well above trade expectations and compares with 28.1 million necessary each week to reach the USDA projection for the year. The solid recovery in the stock and energy markets plus a move higher on the day for corn were seen as the primary reasons for the strong close.