10 things you need to know before the opening bell

March madnessAP/Trey PinkneyStephen F. Austin celebrates its victory in the Southland Conference tournament and automatic birth into the 2015 NCAA tournament.

Here is what you need to know.

Crude oil hit a six-year low. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell to $US43.57 per barrel in overnight trade, touching its lowest level since March 2009. Currently, crude oil is down 0.4% at $US44.66 per barrel.

Vladimir Putin reappeared today. The Russian President had not made a public appearance in 11 days. Mr. Putin is in St. Petersburg to meet with the president of Kyrgyzstan. Russia’s ruble is flat at 62.23.

Greece’s finance minister is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis had a rough weekend. First, he said he regretted his photo shoot for Paris Match. Then, he stormed out of a CNBC interview when asked if he was a liability. Finally, he had to address what appears to be him giving the finger to the German government while taking part in an interview. Greece’s 3-year yield is higher by 13 basis points at 18.83%.

Premier Li Keqiang says it will be difficult for China to achieve its growth target of around 7%. Reuters reports, “The government will loosen policies, if needed, in a targeted manner to prevent the economy from slowing too much, or avoid a sharp decline in employment.” China’s ticked up 0.1% to 6.2620.

Goldman Sachs says the euro will fall to $US0.80. In a note released on Friday, the investment bank predicted the euro would fall to parity in six months and $US0.80 by the end of 2017. The call comes a couple of days after Deutsche Bank announced it saw the euro hitting $US0.85 before 2017.

India’s Wholesale Price Index plunged. India’s wholesale prices fell for a fourth straight month. The 2.06% year-over-year drop was largely a result of a decline in commodity prices. India’s rupee is stronger by 0.2% at 62.85.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaks. Mr. Draghi will take the mic to discuss “The Future of the Finance Industry – Between Growth and Regulation” at the SZ Finance Day 2015 in Frankfurt, Germany. The euro is up 0.3% at 1.0530.

The private banking arm of HSBC faces new criminal charges. A french judge has requested the investment bank be put on trial for allegedly helping wealthy clients avoid paying taxes. France is one of 10 countries looking into the claims.

Germany’s DAX climbed above 12,000 for the first time ever. Germany’s DAX (+1%) is making headlines, crossing the psychologically important 12,000 level, but it is Italy’s MIB (+1.2%) that leads Europe higher. Overnight in Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite (+2.4%) led and Australia’s ASX (-0.3%) lagged.

US economic data is heavy. Empire Manufacturing is due out at 8:30 a.m. ET while industrial production and capacity utilization are scheduled for 9:15 a.m. ET. The NAHB Housing Market Index will be released at 10 a.m. ET before data concludes for the day at 4 p.m. with Net Long-Term TIC Flows.

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