10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

European stocks are roaring back. Stock markets across Europe are higher by more than 2%, led by a 3% gain in Spain’s IBEX. Overnight, China’s Shanghai Composite (+0.6%) led and Australia’s ASX (-0.7%) lagged. S&P 500 futures are higher by 21.75 points at 2006.75.

The pound is seeing a bounce. The British pound is higher by 0.8% at 1.3330 as trade repairs some of the damage caused by Friday’s Brexit decision. Over the past few sessions the currency had tumbled about 11% from its Thursday high near 1.5000.

The UK was hit with 2 downgrades First, S&P cut the UK’s ‘AAA’ rating to ‘AA,’ the Fitch lowered its ‘AA+’ rating to ‘AA.’ Both rating agencies assigned a negative outlook. According to a statement released by S&P, Brexit “is a seminal event, and will lead to a less predictable, stable, and effective policy framework in the UK.”

George Soros shorted Deutsche Bank. A German regulatory filing shows Soros Fund Management sold roughly 7 million shares of Deutsche Bank stock after a Brexit was announced on Friday, Bloomberg reports. The filing showed the short position amounted to 0.51% of Deutsche Bank shares, but didn’t have an entry price. Soros became a hedge fund legend after shorting the British pound on Black Wednesday in 1992.

Volkswagen’s emissions scandal settlement is coming. A source told Reuters, the settlement is expected to total almost $15 billion. The breakdown includes about $10 billion for buybacks of polluting vehicles and about $5 billion to offset diesel emissions. An announcement is expected on Tuesday.

Google is reportedly working on a smartphone. The search giant currently has licenses with a handful of companies including LG and Huawei, but is building its own smartphone, according to The Telegraph. The report says the phones are expected to be released by the end of the year.

Lyft has hired an investment bank. The ride-hailing app has hired investment bank Qatalyst Partners, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The hiring has led to some speculation the firm is looking into a sale. In its latest round of funding, which took place in January, Lyft was valued at $5.5 billion.

Pfizer is investing in China. The pharmaceutical giant is planning a $350 million biotech center in China. Reuters says, the facility will be built in Hangzhou, and will mark the presence of Pfizer’s first biotech center in Asia. Completion is scheduled for 2018.

Earnings reports trickle out. Carnival reports ahead of the opening bell and Nike releases its quarterly results after markets close.

US economic data flows. GDP – Third Estimate will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before Case-Shiller 20-city Index and consumer confidence are due out at 9 a.m. ET and 10 a.m. ET, respectively. The US 10-year yield is up four basis points at 1.48%.

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