10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Janet yellenREUTERS/Gary CameronU.S. Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen (R) is photographed before testifying at the Senate Banking Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington February 27, 2014.

Here is what you need to know.

Greece has submitted its list of reforms. The list outlines reforms Greece intends to implement by July. Eurogroup leaders will hold a conference call later today to discuss the reforms. Traders are buying Greek debt, dropping the 3-year yield to 141 basis points to 13.09%. The yield touched a high of 20.71% on February 9.

Russia announced it will not restructure Ukraine’s debt. Moscow noted no official request has been made to restructure the $US3 billion of Eurobonds it bought in December 2013. Ukraine’s hyrvnia is crashing, down 17% at 32.75 per dollar.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen begins her Humphrey Hawkins testimony.The two-day event begins at 10am ET in front of the Senate Banking Committee and continues tomorrow in front of the House Financial Services Committee. Topics that are likely to be discussed include the plans for a Fed rate hike and the ‘Audit the Fed’ campaign.

The Bank of England is sending mixed signals. During the central bank’s Inflation Hearings BOE head Mark Carney suggested UK inflation could fall below zero. However, on the other hand, Monetary Policy Committee member Kristin Forbes announced the BOE may have to hike rates sooner than expected. Great Britain’s pound is off 0.1% at 1.5435.

Eurozone consumer prices were in-line with expectations. The CPI reading held at the previously announced -0.6% year-over-year. The core number also matched estimates, registering +0.6% YoY. The euro is trading down 0.1% at $US1.1325.

Turkey’s central bank became the latest to cut rates. Turkey joined the world’s dovish central banks, lowering its benchmark interest rate 25bps to 7.50%, as expected. The lira is lower by 0.3% against the dollar at 2.4810.

Global stock markets are mixed. Japan’s Nikkei (+0.7%) lead Asian markets higher as Chinese markets remained closed for the Lunar New Year. European markets are little changed with Greece’s ASE (+7%) outperforming.

JPMorgan will charge larger institutions for their deposits. The Wall Street Journal reports “The plan won’t affect the bank’s retail customers, but some corporate clients and especially an array of financial firms, including hedge funds, private-equity firms and foreign banks, will feel the impact.”

Home Depot topped estimates. The company reported earnings per share of $US1.00 ($US0.89 estimated) and saw its quarterly profit rise 36% while also announcing an $US18 billion buyback plan.

Lots of US economic data today. The S&P Case-Shiller Index will cross the wires at 9am ET and Flash Services PMI is due out at 9:45am ET while CB Consumer Confidence and Richmond Manufacturing Index are scheduled for 10am ET.

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