10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

Trump dismisses bombshell report that he asked for Robert Mueller to be fired. Asked about a New York Times report that he had ordered the special counsel leading the Russia investigation to be fired in June, President Donald Trump called it “fake news.”

Tesla Model 3s are showing up in stores nationwide as the company fires back at new reports of production issues. Still, a CNBC report published Thursday said part of the Model 3’s battery was being assembled by hand as recently as mid-December.

Traders worried about the market’s sure-fire recession indicator are jumping the gun – and we’re about to see why. A flattening yield curve has historically signalled recession, but experts tells us the Federal Reserve’s unwinding of the balance sheet will blunt the recent flattening.

Intel plans to release chips that have built-in Meltdown and Spectre protections later this year. CEO Brian Krzanich made the announcement on a conference call focused on Intel’s latest quarterly earnings report.

George Soros calls Facebook and Google a ‘menace’ to society and ‘obstacles to innovation’ in blistering attack. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Soros launched an aggressive and multipronged attack on the tech giants, accusing them of “monopolistic” and anticompetitive behaviour.

China’s bitcoin crackdown has simply driven trade underground. Bobby Lee, the founder and CEO of China’s oldest bitcoin exchange, BTCC, told Business Insider: “It’s gone underground. The point is the demand is there.”

Investors made 23% returns on a key UK property sector since the Brexit vote. In a note sent to investors, UBS strategist Caroline Simmons said industrial property had offered the highest returns of any commercial sector since June 2016.

Stock markets around the world are stronger. China’s Shanghai Composite (+0.28%) increased, while Germany’s DAX (+0.12%) rose. The S&P 500 is set to open up 0.3% near 2,849.50.

Corporate earnings reports continue. Colgate Palmolive, Honeywell, and Rockwell Collins are set to report before the market open.

US economic data reports are due. Initial jobless claims will be release at 8:30 a.m. ET, while new-home sales will comes out at 10 a.m. The US 10-year yield is down 3 basis points at 2.62%.

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