10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

China’s stock market crashed to a 13-month low. China’s Shanghai Composite plunged 6.4% to its lowest level since December 2014. The telecom and IT sectors were hit the hardest during Wednesday’s rout, tumbling 9.6% and 8.7%, respectively.

Crude oil is back above $30. West Texas Intermediate crude oil touched $29.25 per barrel in early trade, but has recouped it’s early 3.6% drop an regained the flat line. The energy component is now trading higher by 0.7% at $30.54 per barrel.

Huntington Bancshares is buying FirstMerit. Huntington Bancshares is paying the equivalent of $20.14 per share of FirstMerit. The stock and cash deal will give FirstMerit shareholders 1.72 shares of Huntington stock per share of FirstMerit and $5 cash per FirstMerit share. The price represents a 31% premium to FirstMerit’s close on Monday. “I believe the strength of this deal is that both organisations already understand the needs and goals of our Midwestern customers and communities,” Steve Steinour, Huntington chairman, president, and CEO said in the press release.

AIG will discuss its the partial spinoff of its mortgage insurance unit. On Tuesday, AIG plans to release the strategic plan for its mortgage insurance unit. AIG has said it will only be spinning off part of the unit, meaning ownership will be split between AIG and AIG shareholders. The call will begin at 8 a.m. ET.

Staples is shaking things up. On Monday, Demos Parneros, President, North American Stores and Online, resigned and the company announced three leadership changes to create a “more efficient and focused organisation.” Ron Sargent, chairman and chief executive officer, said in the press release, “These changes will help us compete in a rapidly evolving marketplace, either as a stand-alone company or in combination with Office Depot.”

Apple reports following the closing bell. This is one of the more highly anticipated Apple earnings reports in recent memory. Analysts are expecting iPhone sales to post a year-over-year sales decline for the first time ever. The Bloomberg consensus is looking for earnings of $3.23 per share on revenue of $76.6 billion. In addition, it’s expected Apple sold 75 million iPhones, 17.3 million iPads and 5.8 million Macs.

Stock markets around the world are mixed. Aside from the crash in China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (-2.5%) led the way down in Asia. In Europe, Spain’s IBEX is little changed while the rest of the region is slightly lower. S&P 500 futures are up 5.75 points at 1876.00.

Earnings reports flow. 3M, Coach, Freeport McMoRan, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Proctor & Gamble and Sprint highlight the names set to report before markets open. Apple, AT&T, Capital One, US Steel and VMware are among the companies scheduled to release their quarterly results after the closing bell.

The Fed begins a two-day policy meeting. On Wednesday, the Fed will announced its latest policy decision. Traders will be parsing the statement to see what impact, if any, the recent rout in global stock markets will have on Fed policy. Currently, the market sees a 0% chance of a rate hike and just a 4% chance of a rate cut at the meeting. The market says there’s a 53.2% probability the next rate hike comes in September.

Economic data picks up. The Case-Shiller 20-city Index and FHFA Housing Price Index cross the wires at 9 a.m. ET and consumer confidence is due out at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is unchanged at 2.00%.

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