10 things you need to know before the opening bell

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Here’s what you need to know before US markets open.

1. Global stocks edge lower on fresh concerns of COVID-19 cases despite Biden signing the $US1.9 ($2) trillion stimulus deal. US stock futures fell sharply after Thursday’s rally.

2. The UK economy shrank a better-than-expected 2.9% in January – and analysts are predicting ‘swifter’ growth thanks to vaccines. It left the country’s economy 9% smaller than before coronavirus struck.

3. The world’s biggest crypto trust is hiring 9 ETF-related specialists, in anticipation of the approval of the first US crypto ETF. Grayscale Investments has posted nine ETF-related job ads on LinkedIn.

4. The runner up for the $US69 ($89) million art NFT is the same crypto whiz kid who once paid $US4.6 ($6) million to have lunch with Warren Buffett. Justin Sun just lost out on one of the most expensive pieces of art in history.

5. 2021 is a ‘turning point’ for inflation and stock investors should anticipate lower long-term returns as a result, Bank of America says. Re-opening, stimulus, and vaccines could push up inflation.

6. Cathie Wood’s Ark adds 519,000 shares of newly public Roblox in latest tech bet. Roblox began trading publicly on Wednesday after a direct listing, and Ark has swooped in.

7. Earnings expected. A lighter day, with AIA Group’s earnings out.

8. On the data docket. UK GDP came in better than expected, with traders eyeing US producer price inflation figures.

9. Credit Suisse sees the US economy expanding at the fastest pace in 35 years. The firm says these 49 stocks will be the winners as the trend plays out.

10. Morgan Stanley sees big tech continuing to get hit by rising rates. The bank says buy these 10 stocks that are set to become the market’s new long-term, momentum-driven favorites.