10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Egypt marketReuters/Mohamed Abd El GhanyPeople shop at Al Ataba, a popular market in downtown Cairo

Here is what you need to know.

Google beat on the bottom line. The search engine giant announced earnings of $US6.99 per share, handily beating the $US6.73 that Wall Street was expecting. Revenue jumped 11.1% to $US17.7 billion, which was a whisker shy of the $US17.79 billion estimate. Cost-per-click fell 11% year-over-year while paid clicks rose 18% YoY.

General Electric blew past estimates. The industrial conglomerate earned $US0.31 per share, topping the $US0.28 that Wall Street was looking for. Revenue of $US32.75 billion easily beat the $US28.81 billion that analysts were anticipating. The company issued full-year 2015 EPS guidance of $US1.28-1.35, excluding non-recurring items.

Schlumberger beat on earnings. The energy giant earned an adjusted $US0.88 per share, beating the $US0.79 that analysts were anticipating. Revenue plunged 12% YoY to $US9 billion, just missing the $US9.05 billion estimate. “We believe that the North American rig count may now be touching the bottom, and that a slow increase in both land drilling and completion activity could occur in the second half of the year,” CEO Paal Kibsagaard said in a statement.

Lloyd Blankfein is a billionaire. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is now a billionaire, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Blankfein, who has been at the helm of the investment bank for the past nine years, now has a net worth of about $US1.1 billion. Almost half of that, about $US500 million, is in the form of Goldman Sachs stock.

Chesapeake Energy must pay for early bond redemption. The energy company must pay bondholders an additional $US59.1 million for redeeming its bonds early. US District Judge Paul Engelmayer ruled the company must pay prejudgement interest at an annual rate of 6.775%, upping its total payout to $US438.7 million. According to Reuters, Engelmayer ruled Chesapeake waited one month too long to notify the bondholders it planned to pay off the debt early.

Samsung shareholders approved the merger between Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T Corp. According to the Wall Street Journal, the $US8 billion merger is “designed to solidify heir apparent Lee Jae-yong’s grip on the conglomerate’s crown jewel, Samsung Electronics Co.” US hedge fund Elliott Associates, which held a 7.1% stake in Samsung C&T could challenge the decision in court with a spokesman suggesting, “the takeover appears to have been approved against the wishes of so many independent shareholders.”

Iranian oil is headed to Asia. An Iranian tanker with two million barrels of oil has left for Asia. Reuters reports Iran has been storing millions of barrels of oil in tankers offshore in anticipation of a nuclear deal between the isolated country and world powers. ThomsonReuters Eikon shipping data says the tanker is headed through the Gulf of Oman to Singapore. Crude oil is lower by 0.1% at $US50.84 per barrel.

China’s gold reserves surged. Beijing announced it’s gold reserves have increased 57% to 1,658 metric tons since it last reported its holdings in 2009. Bloomberg says, the surge in holdings has allowed China to pass Russia as the world’s fifth largest holder. The United States holds the most gold with inventory of 8,133.5 tons, according to the World Gold Council. Gold is trading down 0.1% at $US1142.50 per ounce.

Stock markets around the globe are mixed. China’s Shanghai Composite (+3.5%) led trade higher in Asia and Germany’s DAX (-0.2%) lags amid a muted session in Europe. S&P 500 futures are off 0.25 points at 2116.75.

US economic data is moderate. CPI, housing starts and building permits are scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. ET. US economic data concludes for the week at 10 a.m. ET with the preliminary reading of University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment. The US 10-year yield is lower by 1 basis point at 2.34%.

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