10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

spainRescue workers help a victim of a train crash near Santiago de Compostela, northwestern Spain, July 24, 2013. At least 56 people died after a train derailed in the outskirts of the northern Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela, the head of Spain’s Galicia region, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, told Television de Galicia MANDATORY CREDIT.

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Markets in Asia were mostly lower in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 1.1%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng dropped 0.3%, and the Shanghai Composite closed 0.6% lower. European markets are in the red, with Germany the biggest loser, currently down 1.1%. In the United States, futures point to a negative open.
  • China’s State Council announced three policy measures to support economic growth and ease investor concerns over a slowdown in the Chinese economy. The government will cut value-added taxes and business taxes for micro and small enterprises, speed up the pace of reforms to simplify the export process, and speed up railway infrastructure construction.
  • Spain’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 26.3% in the second quarter from 27.2%, marking the first decline in the unemployment rate in two years. Spain’s National Statistics Institute attributed the drop to a strong tourism season.
  • Facebook reported second quarter earnings of $0.19 per share, ahead of consensus estimates for $0.14 EPS, and revenues of $1.81 billion, above expectations for $1.62 billion. The beat was driven by $656 million in mobile advertising revenue, up from $375 million in the previous quarter. Shares are higher in pre-market trading.
  • In the week ended July 19, Japanese investors bought ¥549.3 billion of foreign bonds, down from ¥1.11 trillion the week before, and sold ¥56.7 billion of foreign stocks, down from ¥88.3 billion the week before. Meanwhile, non-Japanese investors purchased ¥790.3 billion of Japanese bonds, up from ¥0.8 billion the week before, and bought ¥349.8 billion of Japanese stocks, down from ¥398.2 billion in the previous week.
  • The German Ifo Business Climate index rose to 106.2 in July from 105.9 in June, beating consensus estimates for a rise to 106.1. The data follow better-than-expected PMI numbers out of Germany yesterday, which suggested that the engine of the eurozone is coming back to life once again.
  • The British economy expanded 0.6% in the second quarter, according to the latest GDP report, following a 0.3% expansion in Q1. The 0.6% expansion in Q2 brings the U.K.’s annual growth rate to 1.4%. Both figures were right in line with economists’ estimates.
  • June durable goods orders data are due out in the United States at 8:30 AM ET. Economists predict total orders rose 1.4% in June after advancing 3.7% in May. Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft (a.k.a. “core capex”) are expected to have risen 0.6% in June after gaining 1.5% in May.
  • Weekly jobless claims figures are also released at 8:30 AM. Economists predict initial claims rose to 340,000 in the week ended July 19 from 334,000 in the previous week. Continuing claims are expected to have fallen to 3.025 million in the week ended July 13 from 3.114 million a week earlier.
  • The Kansas City Fed’s monthly gauge of regional manufacturing activity is out at 11 AM. Economists predict the headline index climbed to 0 this month from -5 last month, suggesting that the contraction in manufacturing in the region finally came to a halt in July. Follow the data LIVE on Business Insider >

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