10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

China propped up stocks. Just days after saying it was done intervening in the stock market, Beijing entered the market to prop up shares ahead of the September 3 parade commemorating its World War II victory over Japan. In the final hour of trade, Chinese stocks surged from a loss of 0.7% to book a gain of 5.3%. Sources told Bloomberg, the government bought large-cap names.

Ukraine and its creditors agreed to a debt writedown. Ukraine’s finance minister, Natalie Jaresko, and its creditors, have ironed out a 20% writedown to the face value of approximately $US18 billion Eurobonds, according to Bloomberg. The deal also pushes back bond maturities by four years and sets the interest rate at 7.75% for all maturities. Russia has rejected the same deal for the $US3 billion worth of Ukrainian bonds it owns. Bloomberg reports that Ukrainian bonds surged the most on record following the announcement.

The Kansas City Fed’s Jackson Hole Symposium begins. This year’s event won’t be attended by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Instead, focus will be centered on Fed vice-chair Stanley Fischer’s speech on Saturday. Investors will be looking for clues to if and when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the first time since 2006. Also of note will be any comments related to the economic slowdown in China and its impact on the global economy.

Boeing reached a settlement on its 401(k) plan. The aviation giant has reached a preliminary agreement regarding a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of its employees over the improper handling of its 401(k) plan. The Wall Street Journal reports that the suit accused Boeing of “allowing excessive 401(k) fees to go unchecked, choosing higher-cost retail mutual funds over cheaper options, and improperly making 401(k) plan decisions to benefit vendors receiving other Boeing business.” Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

PVH beat on the top and bottom lines. The apparel giant announced adjusted earnings of $US1.37 per share, topping the consensus estimate by eight cents. Revenue slid 5.6% to $US1.86 billion, outpacing the $US1.82 billion that analysts were anticipating. The quarter was boosted by strong sales of the Calvin Klein brand, which saw revenue rise 3% on a constant currency basis. PVH upped its full-year earnings forecast to $US6.90 to $US7.00 per share from its previous estimates of $US6.85 to $US6.95.

Fidelity is considering new card partners. The company is considering ending its card relationships with American Express and Bank of America, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. MasterCard and Visa are being viewed as possible replacements, the sources said.

Pershing Square has had an awful August. Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square has been hit hard during the volatility in August. According to Pershing’s latest investor update, it had booked a 10.1% year-to-date gain through the end of July, but the recent volatility has pushed the fund into the red for the year. “While stocks can trade at any price in the short term, because we do not use margin leverage, we will not be forced out of any investment at an inopportune time,” Ackman said in the letter.

Stock markets are higher around the world. Aside from the gains in China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (+3.6%) led the advance in Asia. In Europe, France’s CAC (+3.0%) is the top performer. S&P 500 futures are higher by 22.50 points at 1960.50.

US economic data is moderate. Initial and continuing claims and GDP – Second Estimate will all be released at 8:30 a.m. ET while pending home sales are due out at 10 a.m. ET. Natural gas inventories are set to cross the wires at 10:30 a.m. ET. The US Treasury will auction $US29 billion 7-year notes at 1 p.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 2 basis points at 2.15%.

Companies continue to report their quarterly results. Dollar General, J.M. Smucker and Tiffany & Co. are among the names to release their quarterly results ahead of the opening bell. Aeropostale, Gamestop and Smith & Wesson highlight the companies reporting after markets close.

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