10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

The Bank of Japan upgrades its growth forecast. Japan’s central bank kept policy on hold and said it expects growth of 1.8% this year, up from its previous forecast of 1.6% growth.

The European Central Bank meets. Expectations are for the central bank to remain on hold and give clues as to when it will begin tapering its asset purchase program.

Australia’s jobs report misses. The Australian economy added 14,000 jobs in June, a bit below the 15,000 that economists were expecting.

Goldman Sachs says bitcoin will test $US3,000. In a recent note to clients, Sheba Jafari, head of technical strategy at the bank, said bitcoin will test its all-time high near $US3,000 a coin and could get to almost $US3,700.

Jana Partners is cashing out its Whole Foods bet. The activist hedge fund has exited its stake in Whole Foods with a $US300 million profit.

American Express’ profit tumbles. The credit card company said profit fell 33% versus a year ago, hurt by an increase in customer rewards.

Qualcomm’s profit slumps amid legal battle with Apple. Quarterly profit tumbled 40% year-over-year as Apple contractors didn’t pay royalties due to the ongoing legal battle between the two companies.

Stock markets around the world are higher. Australia’s ASX (+0.85%) led the overnight gains and Britain’s FTSE (+0.61%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is on track to open little changed near 2,475.

Earnings reporting picks up. Athenahealth, Ebay, Microsoft, and Visa all report after markets close.

US economic data trickles out. Initial claims and the Philly Fed will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is unchanged at 2.27%.

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