10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Hello! These are the big issues that will be making waves on Wednesday.

Two New Polls Have The Scottish Independence Referendum Almost Neck And Neck. Both the polls by ICM and Opinium have the No campaign very narrowly ahead, with 52% to 48% for the Yes campaign. But both polls show a significant number of people still undecided, and everything is left to play for in Thursday’s vote.

UK Labour Market Still Powering Ahead. Unemployment figures beat analyst expectations, and the rate dropped to 6.2%. British businesses hired 774,000 people on net in the year to July. Despite the labour market strength, Bank of England minutes Wednesday morning showed no rush to raise interest rates, with only two of the nine monetary policymakers pushing for a hike.

Eurozone Inflation Is A Bit Higher Than We Thought. Inflation in the eurozone came in at 0.4% for August, slightly up from the 0.3% recorded in the flash estimate. Turns out services price pressure was a little higher than Eurostat thought. So instead of being the lowest inflation reading since 2009, August’s print was just the joint-lowest inflation reading since 2009.

Sony Is Not Having A Good 2014. The electronics colossus is forecasting annual losses 300% higher than previously anticipated. It now expects to be in the red by about $US2.14 billion in the current fiscal year. The Japanese giant previously thought losses would run to about $US466.3 million.

Microsoft hiked its dividend 11% and appointed two new board members. The massive computer firm raised its per share quarterly dividend to $US0.31. Teri List-Stoll, Kraft CFO, and Visa CEO Charles Scharf will both join the board in October.

European markets made small gains this morning. France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX index both opened up by 0.6% and 0.5% respectively. The FTSE 100 was a little quieter, up by about 0.1%. Despite a strong employment report the Scottish referendum is likely to weight on UK equities today. In Asia, the Hang Seng index closed up 1% and the Nikkei closed down 0.14%.

All eyes are on the Fed’s language after FOMC meeting. The latest meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers concludes today, with a press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET. Investors are paying a lot of attention to whether the rate-setters continue to say they will wait for a “considerable time” between ending the tapering of QE and raising interest rates. Check out everything that’s happened since Yellen last gave a big press conference from Business Insider’s Myles Udland.

China’s secretive central bank is conducting a big stimulus. The People’s Bank of China is reportedly injecting 500 billion yuan ($81.35 billion) into the country’s banking system in a move design to jump-start the country’s slowing economy. The bank is infamous for its lack of transparency, so no official announcement has been made.

An Air France Strike is in its third day, grounding 60% of its flights. The French government is not happy, and Prime Minister Manuel Valls says it is affecting the image of the country.

There are now more billionaires in Europe than North America. According to Lauren Davidson at the Telegraph,
there are now 775 dollar billionaires in Europe, against 609 in the US. Asia is seeing the fastest growth, up 18.7%.

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