10 things you need to know before the opening bell

RTX1M05YReuters/Gustau NacarinoA car drives on a dirt road past trees that were scorched by a forest fire near Montserrat in Sant Salvador de Guardiola, in the northeastern region of Catalonia.

Here is what you need to know.

Honeywell is buying Elster Group. The diversified technology and manufacturing company will pay $US5.1 billion for Elster Group, a German-based energy and water business owned by the UK’s Melrose Industries. The Wall Street Journal says the takeover includes the assumption of $US900 million in pension liabilities.

“We expect that energy efficiency initiatives and mandates and the increased need for natural resource management will drive meaningful and sustained growth for Honeywell in the metering segment,” Honeywell Chairman and Chief Executive Dave Cote said.

BP disappointed. The oil giant announced earnings of $US0.07 per share, missing the Wall Street estimate of $US0.09. Revenue plunged 35.5% to $US60.65 billion. Reuters reports, BP’s quarter was impacted by the pronounced drop in oil prices, a $US10.8 billion charge related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and a $US600 million write off in Libya. “The external environment remains challenging,” CEO Bob Dudley said in a statement.

There is a new #1 in global auto sales. Volkswagen has pulled ahead of Toyota Motor Corp in worldwide sales. The German automaker sold 5.04 million units in the first half of 2015, slightly ahead of the 5.02 million sold by Toyota. According to Bloomberg, Volkswagen saw strong sales in Europe, which has helped offset weakness in China.

Procter & Gamble is about to have a new CEO. The company’s board of directors will name David Taylor CEO as early as Thursday, a person familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal. The trip to the top of the company has been a long one for Taylor, who has spent 35 years at P&G, most recently serving as the leader of the beauty, grooming and healthcare business. Taylor will replace the outgoing A.G. Lafley, who will keep his title as Chairman of the Board.

UK GDP was in-line. The UK’s economy expanded 0.7% quarter-over-quarter, matching estimates. Mining and quarrying was a bright spot as production rose 7.8%. The strong second quarter has the economy back to where it was before the financial crisis rocked the global economy in 2008. According to RBS, the second quarter marked the 10th straight quarter of growth, making for the third longest growth streak since 1955. The British pound is stronger by 0.2% at 1.5595.

Russian GDP contracted. Russia’s GDP contracted 4.2% year-over-year in June, making for a sixth straight monthly decline. However, the June reading marked an improvement from May, which saw a revised 4.8% drop. The Russian economy has been battered by the one-two punch of low oil prices and economic sanctions imposed by the West as a result of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. Russia’s ruble is weaker by 0.8% at 60.1125 per dollar.

Chinese regulators will keep buying stocks. Xinhua reports state regulators will “continue to buy stocks.” Tuesday’s 1.7% decline has the Shanghai Composite 29% off its June 12 high.

Stock markets around the world are mixed. Chinese stocks paced the decline in Asia while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (+0.6%) outperformed. In Europe, Germany’s DAX (+1.5%) leads the advance. S&P 500 futures are up 11.00 points at 2075.50.

US economic data is light. Case-Shiller 20-city Index is due out at 9 a.m. ET and consumer confidence will cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is higher by 5 basis points at 2.26%.

Earnings continue to flow. DR Horton, Ford Motor Company, Jetblue Airways, Pfizer and UPS are among the names reporting ahead of the opening bell. Look for AFLAC, C.H. Robinson, Twitter and US Steel to highlight the earnings releases after the close.

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