10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

NAFTA negotiations kick off. The first round of NAFTA negotiations begin on Monday with President Donald Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meeting in Washington, DC from August 16 to 20.

The IMF ups its China growth forecast but sounds the alarm on its debt. “The growth outlook has been revised up reflecting strong momentum, a commitment to growth targets, and a recovering global economy,” the IMF said in its report. “But this comes at the cost of further large and continuous increases in private and public debt, and thus increasing downside risks in the medium term.”

Euro area GDP inches up. Preliminary data released on Wednesday by Eurostat shows the euro area economy grew at a 2.2% annualized rate in the second quarter, just ahead of the 2.1% growth experienced in the first quarter.

UK unemployment hits its lowest level on record. The unemployment rate in the UK fell to 4.4% in July, the lowest since record keeping began in the 1970s, according to the Office for National Statistics. However, wage growth came in at 2.1%, below the 2.6% rate of inflation.

The euro hits a 7-year high against the pound. The euro/pound cross briefly touched .9141 early Wednesday, making for the strongest the euro has been against the pound, not counting the flash crash, since 2010.

The 7th tech unicorn IPO of 2017 is on the way. MongoDB, a database startup that was valued at $US1.6 billion in 2015, has confidentially filed to go public, according to TechCrunch.

Fed minutes are coming. The minutes from the July FOMC meeting are set to cross the wires at 2 p.m. ET with traders on the lookout for are hints about when the Fed might begin unwinding its balance sheet and whether low inflation is a worry.

Stock markets around the world are higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (+0.86%) paced the gains in Asia and Germany’s DAX (+0.84%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open up 0.19% near 2,469.

Earnings reporting slows down. Target reports ahead of the opening bell and L Brands releases its quarterly results after markets close.

US economic data flows. Housing starts and building permits are both due out at 8:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 1 basis point at 2.28%.

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