10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Wedding celebration trustfallReuters/Muhammad HamedRelatives and friends of Jordanian bridegroom Mohammad Assif (top) celebrate with him before starting his wedding convoy in Zarqa, east of Amman.

Here is what you need to know.

It’s jobs day. The consensus is calling for the addition of 226,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in May, and for the unemployment rate to hold steady at 5.4%. Average hourly earnings are anticipated to have edged up 0.2% versus last month while nonfarm private payrolls are expected to have grown by 220,000 workers. The data will cross the wires at 8:30 a.m. ET.

OPEC meets today. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will announce its latest production decision. Analysts are expecting OPEC to hold its daily production at 30 billion barrels per day, which it also announced in November. “Nobody wants to rock the boat. The meeting is expected to be smooth sailing,” a source told Reuters. The November announcement occurred slightly before 10 a.m. ET. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is weaker by 0.6% at $US57.63 per barrel.

China’s stock market topped the 5,000 level. A 1.5% gain lifted China’s Shanghai Composite above 5,000 for the first time since January 18, 2008. The index is up 55% year-to-date and 146% over the past year.

Greece deferred its IMF payment. The first of four June debt payments to the International Monetary Fund was due on Friday, but Greece has negotiated to have that, and the other payments, deferred. Greece must now pay a total of 1.5 billion euros by June 3o. Greece’s 2-year yield is higher by 202 basis points at 24.56%, a fresh cycle high.

Credit Suisse thinks the UK could join the euro. The investment bank believes the upcoming UK referendum will keep it in the European Union. Credit Suisse says, “Contingent on the euro existing in 20 years, and the UK being in the EU (our central cases), the UK would be a euro member.” The British pound is trading down 0.4% at 1.5305.

Goldman Sachs is nearing a settlement for its sale of mortgage bonds. The investment bank is close to a settlement of between $US2 billion and $US3 billion for its sale of mortgage-backed securities leading up to the financial crisis. According to Bloomberg, Morgan Stanley is also in settlement talks, but those are being delayed by “disagreements over how to describe the firm’s alleged misconduct in settlement documents.”

Delta Airlines has reached a tentative deal with its pilots. The contract was scheduled to expire in six months, but the two sides wanted to avoid waiting until the eleventh hour to hash out a deal. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Air Line Pilots Association said its elected leadership, representing 12,800 pilots, has a week to review the language. If the new deal is approved by union officials, it will be put out for a membership vote.” Terms of the tentative agreement were not disclosed.

Met Life’s CFO thinks its difficult to define ‘systemic.’ John Hele, Chief Financial Officer of Met Life, believes financial watchdogs have failed to define what its means to be ‘systemic.’ The insurer has sued the US to overturn its designation that Met Life is a systemically important financial institution, requiring it to endure stricter regulation. Bloomberg says Met Life “has also been designated globally systemic by international rule makers, meaning the New York-based company could face tougher capital standards.

Global stock markets are mostly lower. France’s CAC (-1.6%) paces the decline in Europe after Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (-1.2%) led markets lower in Asia. S&P 500 futures are down 5.25 points at 2093.75.

US economic data flows. Aside from the 8:30 a.m. ET jobs report, economic data is light. Consumer credit will cross the wires at 2 p.m. ET.

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