10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

Hurricane Florence is close to hitting Category 5 as it surges toward the US East Coast. It is expected to hit the Carolinas on Friday morning and move inland. The National Hurricane Center said it was likely to bring devastating storms, rain, and floods.

CBS reportedly dropped the ball on sexual-misconduct allegations against Les Moonves. This, according to The Wall Street Journal, is because of the well-publicised power struggle between Moonves loyalists and Shari Redstone, the president of CBS’ parent company National Amusements.

Google Cloud’s head of AI to step aside. Dr. Fei-Fei Li will return to her professorship at Stanford, and the new leader will be Dr. Andrew Moore of Carnegie Mellon University.

Mark Carney extends term as Bank of England governor to steer Britain through Brexit. Carney was set to leave his role next June but has been persuaded to stay on by Chancellor Philip Hammond.

Elon Musk is retiring 2 Tesla paint options to ‘simplify’ the fraught manufacturing process. The Obsidian Black Metallic and Silver Metallic options are being cut.

Shares in a Chinese restaurant company are crashing on reports a dead rat was found in someone’s meal. Shares of Xiabuxiabu Catering Management China Holdings, the Hong Kong-listed group overseeing the restaurant in question, have slumped by about 15%.

One Wall Street strategist warns that further Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes could cause the next stock bear market. At the center of the forecast is a neutral Fed funds rate, which Stifel says will trigger a sell-off of 20% or more if it climbs much higher.

Morgan Stanley warns that the stock market’s favourite tech juggernauts are headed for a rude awakening. The firm offers an alternative recommendation for a sector that they say is far better positioned for the future.

Stock markets around the world are trading lower. The Shanghai Composite (-0.2%) declined in Asia, while Germany’s DAX (-0.7%) led losses across Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open down 0.3% near 2,872.

New US economic data is set to be released. NFIB Small Business Optimism was released at 6 a.m. ET, and wholesale inventories are set to come out at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield down less than 1 basis point at 2.94%.

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