10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

Trump hosts Xi. US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are meeting at the “Winter White House” in Mar-a-Lago to discuss topics ranging from trade to North Korea.

The Fed wants to start shrinking its balance sheet. Minutes from the March Fed meeting released on Wednesday show the Fed wants to start normalizing its $US4.5 trillion balance sheet, which ballooned as a result of the financial crisis. Fed members also noted stock prices were “quite high.”

Tarullo leaves the Fed. Daniel Tarullo leaves the Fed’s Board of Governors after more than eight years on the job. He served as chairman of the Board’s Committee on Supervision and Regulation, which was responsible for regulating Wall Street banks.

India’s central bank holds its key rate. The Reserve Bank of India held its key interest rate at 6.25% at Thursday’s meeting, but raised its reverse repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.00%. “Overall, the MPC’s considered judgement call to wait out the unravelling of the transitory effects of demonetisation has been broadly borne out,” the bank’s statement said.

Trump’s tweets caused Banxico to alter its strategy. “I’ll say it like this, in simple terms: with two tweets from you know who, the effect (of that intervention) vanished,” Mexican Central Bank chief Agustin Carstens said on Wednesday.

MBAs are heading west. New analysis from Poets and Quants shows that graduates from elite MBA programs are being heavily recruited by tech firms. For instance, over the past five years, Amazon has hired a total of 445 MBA grads from Chicago, Northwestern, MIT, Columbia, Michigan, and Duke.

Yum China soars on earnings. The China unit that was spun off from KFC owner Yum Brands reported adjusted earnings per share of $US0.44 on revenue of $US1.28 billion. Same-store sales climbed 1%, above the expected drop of 0.7%. Shares were up 10% in after-hours trade.

Bed Bath & Beyond beats. The retailer earned $US1.84 per share in the fourth quarter, easily topping the $US1.77 that Wall Street was expecting. Bed Bath & Beyond raised its quarterly dividend by three cents to $US0.15 a share.

Stock markets around the world are lower. Japan’s Nikkei (-1.4%) paced the decline in Asia and Britain’s FTSE (-0.5%) trails in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open fractionally lower near 2,351.

US economic data is light. Initial jobless claims will cross the wires at 8:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is higher by 2 basis points at 2.36%.

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