10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

Janet Yellen speaks. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is set to give her economic outlook at the Executives Club of Chicago at 1:00 p.m. ET. Traders will be listening for clues as to if the Fed will hike rates at the conclusion of its March 14/15 meeting. Currently, World Interest Rate Probability data provided by Bloomberg says there’s an 88% chance the Fed hikes 25 basis points at the meeting.

Europe is growing at its fastest pace since 2011. Markit’s final February composite reading for the eurozone came in at 56, well ahead of the 54.4 print from January. “Growth of eurozone economic output accelerated to a near six-year record in February,” IHS Markit said in a release.

Global manufacturing is making a comeback. Global manufacturers posted their best month in almost six years in February as the JPMorgan-IHS Markit Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose by 0.2 points to 52.9, making for the best reading in 69 months.

The dominant part of the UK economy is slowing down. UK services PMI slowed to 53.3 in February, missing the 54.2 that economists were expecting. “The slowdown mainly reflected a softer pace of new business growth, which some respondents linked to more cautious spending among consumers,” said a release from Markit that accompanied the report.

Bitcoin is extending its lead over gold. On Thursday, bitcoin climbed above gold for the first time. On Friday, the cryptocurrency trades up 2% at $US1281 per coin while the precious metal is down 0.5% at $US1228 per ounce.

Snap had a monster debut. Shares of the social media company shot up 44% in their market debut to close at $US24.48 per share and at a market cap of more than $US33 billion. Snap is now bigger than Macy’s ($US10 billion), Twitter ($US11.3 billion), American Airlines ($US23.6 billion), and Target ($US32.9 billion).

Costco same-store sales miss. The warehouse club retailer reported same-store sales rose 3% in its second quarter, missing the 3.2% gain that analysts were forecasting. The company also announced that it will raise membership fees as of June 1.

Stock markets around the world are mostly lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (-0.7%) trailed in Asia and Germany’s DAX (-0.2%) lags in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open down 0.1% near 2,380.

Earnings reporting slows. Big Lots and Revlon will release their quarterly results ahead of the opening bell.

US economic data is light. Markit services PMI and ISM Non-Manufacturing will be released at 9:45 a.m. and 10 a.m. ET, respectively. The US 10-year yield is higher by 2 bps at 2.50%.

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