10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Cliff divingReuters/Amr DalshVisitors react on the rock as a man jumps into the water, above Cleopatra’s Beach, on a summer’s day before the start of the holy month of Ramadan, which begins on June 18, at the Mediterranean city of Marsa Matrouh, northwest of Cairo, Egypt.

Here is what you need to know.

Greece’s stock market is crashing. The Athens Stock Exchange General Index slumped to a fresh three-year low on Thursday. The index has fallen 18% in the past week as a debt deal between the Greek government and its creditors remains elusive. Greece must pay the International Monetary Fund 1.6 billion euros on June 30.

Chinese home prices ticked up. Chinese home prices fell 5.7% year-over-year in May, but saw their first monthly advance since April 2014. Prices edged up 0.2% compared to April, and saw notable improvements in Beijing and Shanghai. According to CNBC, “Shenzhen was the top performer, recording the second consecutive month of year-on-year rebound, up 7.5 per cent following a 0.7 per cent rise. New home prices in Shenzhen rose 6.6 per cent in May from April.” China’s yuan was unchanged at 6.2081 per dollar.

Thursday was a busy day for central banks. Norges Bank cut its benchmark interest rate 25 basis points to 1.00%. Norway’s central bank noted further rate cuts are likely on the way due to the drop in oil prices. Elsewhere, the Swiss National Bank held its key rate at -0.75%, but suggested the franc remains “significantly” over-valued. Finally, Bank Indonesia kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 7.50%. All of the decisions were expected.

Hong Kong’s legislature voted down Beijing’s electoral reform plan. Pro-democracy lawmakers voted down the plan, because it would have allowed Beijing to exclude anyone it deemed unacceptable from running for office. Joshua Wong, who was the face of last year’s ‘Umbrella Revolution’, said, “This is no cause for celebration,” he continued, “We have defeated a bogus voting plan, but we will have to shift from playing defence to playing offence to get the election that we desire.” Hong Kong’s dollar finished little changed at 7.7524 per dollar.

Oracle’s quarter was disappointing. Oracle announced adjusted earnings of $US0.19 per share, which missed the Wall Street estimate by a penny. Revenue fell 5.4% to $US10.7 billion, and was shy of the $US10.9 billion analysts were expecting. The company projects earnings of $US0.56-to-$US0.59 per share in the first quarter, compared to the Wall Street estimate of $US0.61.

Apple Watch sales estimates are out. Reuters reports, data obtained from Slice Intelligence shows Apple Watch sales are estimated at 2.79 million units through mid-June. The data also shows approximately 20% of buyers are splurging for a second band, which has extremely high margins. “People are trying to get two watches in one,” noted Kanishka Agarwal, Slice’s chief data officer.

FitBit IPOs today. The fitness device tracker priced its IPO at $US20 per share, above the $US17-to-$US19 range that was expected. The IPO has allowed FitBit to raise $US732 million, giving the company a $US4.1 billion valuation. The stock will trade under the ticker ‘FIT’.

Airbnb is reportedly raising money at a $US24 billion valuation. The home rental company is said to be in talks to raise $US1 billion at a $US24 billion valuation, according to the Wall Street Journal. The valuation is higher than Marriott, which currently has a market cap of $US21.1 billion. Only Uber has a higher valuation among startups, if the funding is completed.

Stock markets around the world are mostly lower. China’s Shanghai Composite (-3.7%) was hit hard in overnight trade and France’s CAC (-0.8%) paces the decline in Europe. S&P 500 futures are higher by 6.50 points at 2095.75.

US economic data is heavy. Initial and continuing claims, CPI and the current account balance are all due out at 8:30 a.m. ET, and will be followed by Philadelphia Fed and leading indicators at 10 a.m. ET. Natural gas inventories are set for release at 10:30 a.m. ET. The US Treasury will reopen $US7 billion worth 30-year TIPs at 1 p.m. ET.

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