10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

The British pound is at a 5-and-a-half-year low. A one-two punch of disappointing data dropped the British pound to its lowest level since June 2010. November manufacturing production unexpectedly fell 0.4% month-over-month, missing the 0.1% gain that was expected. In addition, industrial production slid 0.7% mum on expectations of a flat print. Currently, the British pound is down 0.8% at 1.4427.

The cost to borrow the Chinese yuan offshore exploded. The overnight Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate (HIBOR) exploded to an all-time high as the People’s Bank of China’s intervention to support the yuan drained liquidity from the system. The PBOC’s action caused overnight borrowing costs to surge to 66.8% from around 5%. One dealer told Reuters, the PBOC’s actions are “comparable to steps taken by other central banks when they previously fought against international speculators, such as George Soros.”

WTI crude oil held the $30 level. Early selling pushed West Texas Intermediate crude oil down to $30.41 per barrel, its weakest in 12 years. However, WTI managed to hold the $30 level, and has reclaimed the flat line. Currently, WTI is trading up fractionally at $31.43.

Some members of OPEC want an emergency meeting. Reuters reports, Nigeria’s Oil Minister and OPEC president Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu says conditions warrant the need for an emergency meeting. When asked if anyone had requested such a meeting, Kachikwu said, “A couple of countries, I don’t want to mention names.”

Alcoa posted a mixed quarter. The aluminium maker earned an adjusted $0.04 per share, topping the $0.02 gain that was anticipated. Revenue tumbled 17.8% to $5.25 billion, which was a touch lighter than the $5.30 billion that was expected. “In 2016, Alcoa expects a global aluminium deficit of 1.2 million metric tons and a global alumina deficit of 2.8 million metric tons due to global curtailments,” CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said. “The Company also projects record global aluminium demand in 2016 of 60.5 million metric tons, up 6 per cent over 2015.

CSX reports after the close. The railroad giant is expected to earn $0.46 per share on $2.85 billion in revenue, according to the Bloomberg consensus. Shares of CSX closed at $23.52 on Monday, their weakest since July 2013.

The Senate looks at Rand Paul’s “Audit the Fed” bill. On Tuesday, the Senate will vote on Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul’s “Audit the Fed” bill. The bill has 25 co-sponsors including Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. 60 votes are needed to move the legislation forward.

Hillary Clinton wants to raise taxes on the wealthy. US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is calling for a 4% “surcharge” on anyone making an annual income of $5 million or more. Reuters reports, the Clinton campaign says the tax hike on America’s highest earns would bring in an additional $150 billion over 10 years.

Stock markets around the globe are mixed. Overnight, Japan’s Nikkei (-2.7%) played catch-up after Monday’s holiday and China’s Shanghai Composite (+0.2%) outperformed. In Europe, Germany’s DAX (+2.3%) leads the gains. S&P 500 futures are higher by 11.50 points at 1925.75.

US economic data is light. JOLTS – Job Openings will cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 1 basis point at 2.18%.

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