10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Saudi arabia explosion yemen rocket mortarREUTERS/StringerA Saudi soldier fires a mortar towards Houthi movement position, at the Saudi border with Yemen April 21, 2015.

Here is what you need to know.

Japan posts its first monthly trade surplus since June 2012. Japan swung to a trade surplus for the first time in almost three years. An 8.5% jump in exports, coupled with a 14.5% drop in imports, left Japan with a surplus of 229.3 billion yen ($US1.9 billion). Notably, the recent weakness in the yen spurred a 22.1% surge in exports to North America for the month. Japan’s yen is stronger by 0.2% at 119.44 per dollar.

Japan’s Nikkei closed above 20,000. The Nikkei (+1.1%) climbed to its best level in 15 years, but it was China’s Shanghai Composite (+2.4%) that led Asian markets higher. Meanwhile, Germany’s DAX (-1.1%) paces the decline in Europe. US futures are down modestly with Dow futures down 67 points and S&P 500 futures down 6 points.

Greece will not meet its self-imposed deadline to secure bailout funding. The government will not present a new list of reforms to its creditors this week, meaning it will miss its self-imposed April 24 deadline for securing bailout funds. “The liquidity situation in Greece is already a little tight, but it should be sufficient into June,” said Thomas Wieser, head of the Eurogroup Working Group. Greece’s 3-year yield is sharply lower, down 136 basis points at 27.70%.

Yahoo missed on the top and bottom lines. The company announced non-GAAP earnings of $US0.15 per share, which missed the Wall Street estimate of $US0.18 per share. Revenues slipped 4% year-over year to $US1.04 billion, falling just shy of the $US1.06 billion that was expected. Yahoo sees net revenue of between $US1.01 billion and $US1.05 billion, in-line with the $US1.04 billion that analysts were looking for.

Chipotle’s quarter was mixed. The fast-casual restaurant chain posted earnings of $US3.88 per share, excluding non-recurring items, topping the Wall Street estimate of $US3.65. Revenues surged 20.4% YoY to $US1.09 billion, missing the $US1.11 billion that analysts were expecting. Chipotle announced it will raise prices for barbacoa and steak by about 4% later this year.

Yum Brands beats earnings estimates.The company announced earnings of $US0.80 per share, excluding non-recurring items, handily beating the $US0.71 per share that analysts were expecting. Revenues slid 3.7% versus last year to $US2.62 billion, missing the $US2.65 billion that was expected. The closely followed Yum China same-restaurant sales fell 12%.

The German government upped its growth forecast. The government now expects growth of 1.8% for 2015, up from its previous estimate of 1.5%. In a statement, Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said, “Driven by a continued strong performance in the labour market with rising wages and increasing employment, Germany is on a solid growth path.” He continued, “Private consumption provides the support for the upswing.” Germany’s 10-year yield is down 0.8 basis points at 0.091%.

Australia CPI was hot. Core prices rose 2.35% YoY, slightly outpacing the 2.25% YoY print that analysts were expecting. While the number was hotter than expected, it still remained between the 2%-3% range targeted by the Reserve Bank of Australia. The Australian dollar is up 1.1% at .7798.

The Bank of England minutes show the decision to keep policy on hold was unanimous.Monetary Policy Committee members voted 9-0 in favour of keeping the benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low 0.50%. However, every member agreed “it was more likely than not” the Official Bank rate would be higher within three years. Britain’s pound is stronger by 0.8% at 1.5036.

US economic data is light. The Home Price Index is due out at 9 a.m. ET and existing home sales will cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET. Crude oil inventories will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is off 1 basis point at 1.89%

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