10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

Stocks snap their streak. Both the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 fell more than 1% on Tuesday, the first time either of them suffered a loss of that size since October 11, 2016.

Stock markets around the world are under pressure. Japan’s Nikkei (-2.1%) was hit hard in Asia and Britain’s FTSE (-0.9%) leads the losses in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,343.

Scotland is set to back a second independence referendum. On Wednesday, Scottish MPs are expected to vote to go ahead with a second referendum on independence from the United Kingdom. The referendum will likely take place sometime between the autmun of 2018 and the spring of 2019.

Japan’s exports surge. Data released by Japan’s Ministry of Finance on Wednesday showed exports surged 11.3% year-over-year in February as China went back to work following the Lunar New Year holiday. Exports to the middle kingdom soared 28.2% versus a year ago.

Sears casts a cl0ud on its future. In its annual report released on Tuesday, Sears said “substantial doubt exists related to the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

Azko Nobel rejects PPG’s takeover bid. The dutch paint maker rejected an improved 22.4 billion euro ($US24.1 billion) takeover offer made by US rival PPG Industries, Reuters reports.

Nike beats on earnings, just misses on sales. The sneaker giant posted adjusted earnings per share of $US0.68 on revenues of $US8.4 billion compared to the Wall Street estimates of $US0.53 and $US8.47 billion, respectively.

FedEx misses big on earnings. The courier giant earned an adjusted $US2.35 per share in its third quarter, missing the $US2.62 that Wall Street was expecting by a wide margin. Revenue was in line at $US15 billion.

Earnings reports trickle out. Winnebago Industries will report ahead of the opening bell and Cintas will release its quarterly results after markets close

US economic data is light. Existing home sales will be released at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 2 basis points at 2.40%.

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