10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

Japan’s economy shrank. The Japanese economy contracted 0.4% versus last quarter, making for the first decline since Q3 2014. An 0.8% drop in private consumption weighed heavily on economic growth as the component makes up approximately 60% of economic output. Despite the weak reading, the number outpaced the 0.5% QoQ drop that was expected. Japan’s yen is weaker by 0.2% at 124.55.

The IMF wants a Greek haircut. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde thinks Greece’s debt load is unsustainable and that a debt haircut is necessary. “I remain firmly of the view that Greece’s debt has become unsustainable and that Greece cannot restore debt sustainability solely through actions on its own,” Lagarde said in a statement. The bailout has been approved by Greece’s parliament, but must still clear euro zone parliaments. Greece’s 2-year yield is lower by 229 basis points at 10.10%.

Crude oil is near 6-year lows. West Texas Intermediate crude oil broke to a low of $US41.64 in overnight trade. However, a recent bid has lifted the energy component back above $US42 per barrel. Currently, action holds -1% @ $US42.09 per barrel. “The oversupply story remains well intact, which fuels the bearish sentiment,” Carsten Fritsch, a senior oil analyst at Commerzbank, told Reuters.

Apple is working on a self-driving car. Documents obtained by the Guardian show Apple is working on a self-driving car and is further along than many expected. The Guardian says the company is looking for test centres in the San Francisco Bay area for the so-called “Project Titan.” Apple is believed to be interested in a facility on the old Concord naval weapons station, which has been used by both Mercedes-Benz and Honda to test self-driving technologies.

AT&T helped the NSA spy. The telecommunications provider aided the National Security Agency in conducting surveillance on US internet traffic, says the New York Times. According to the report, the surveillance was conducted on at least 17 AT&T hubs from 2003-2013 and was uncovered by documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The New York Times also reports AT&T gave the NSA more than 1.1 billion daily phone records each day starting in 2011.

Cargill is entering the salmon business. The world’s largest grain trader is paying private-equity firms Altor Equity Partners and Bain Capital Partners a total of €1.35 billion ($US1.5 billion) for Norway-based salmon feed supplier EWOS, according to Bloomberg. The buyout is a “strategic investment in our long-term growth and evidence of our commitment to the growing aquaculture industry,” Cargill CEO David MacLennan said in a statement.

Disney is giving its Hollywood Studios a makeover. The Orlando-based theme park is adding two new attractions, Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land. According to Motley Fool, Toy Story Land will be completed relatively quickly, but Star Wars Land isn’t expected until 2018 or later.

Stock markets around the world are mostly higher. China’s Shanghai Composite (+0.7%) paced the gains in Asia and France’s CAC (+0.4%) leads the way higher in Europe. S&P 500 futures are off 1.75 points at 2087.50.

Economic data is moderate. Empire Manufacturing is due out at 8:30 a.m. ET before the NAHB Housing Market Index is released at 10 a.m. ET and Net Long-Term TIC Flows crosses the wires at 4 p.m. ET. The US 10-year yield si down 3 basis points at 2.17%.

Earnings reports slow. Estee Lauder reports ahead of the open while Aligent, MasTec and Urban Outfitters will release their quarterly results following the closing bell.

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