10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

The Fed expects to hike rates ‘a few’ times this year.That’s according to Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who spoke Wednesday at the Commonwealth Club in San Fransisco. “Now it’s fair to say the economy is near maximum employment and inflation is moving toward our goal,” Yellen said.

The ECB meets. The European Central Bank is expected to keep policy on hold at Thursday’s meeting while also promising to provide a lengthy stimulus, having just extended its bond-buying program in December, Reuters reports. The decision will cross the wires at 7:45 a.m. ET and Mario Draghi’s press conference will begin at 8:30 a.m. ET.

A major poll says Marine Le Pen has taken the lead in France’s presidential race. Le Pen has between 25% and 26% support, compared to between 23% and 25% support for Republican candidate Francois Fillon, Bloomberg reports, citing Le Monde.

Australia’s unemployment rate ticks up. The Australian economy added a seasonally adjusted 13,500 jobs in December, the majority of which were full-time, but the unemployment rate ticked up to 5.8%, its highest level since January 2016. The Australian dollar is higher by 0.6% at .7550 versus the dollar.

Netflix crushes subscriber growth targets. The streaming content provider beat on both the top and bottom lines and announced the net addition of 5.12 million international subscribers, far above the Wall Street forecast of 3.78 million. Shares of Netflix were up more than 8% following the earnings release.

Goldman Sachs could cut 3,000 jobs over Brexit. The investment bank is reportedly planning to move 1,000 London-based employees to Frankfurt and is also considering moving operations staff to Warsaw and New York, reducing its headcount by 3,000 jobs, according to German newspaper Handelsblatt.

Stock markets around the world are mostly lower. China’s Shanghai Composite (-0.4%) trailed in Asia and France’s CAC (-0.2%) trades down in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,270.

Janet Yellen speaks again. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will be at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in San Francisco, California to speak on The Economic Outlook and the Conduct of Monetary Policy. The speech begins at 8 p.m. ET.

Earnings reports continue to trickle out. American Express, IBM, and Schlumberger will release their quarterly results after markets close.

US economic data is heavy. Housing starts, building permits, initial jobless claims, and the Philly Fed will all be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is unchanged at 2.43%.

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