10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

Greece is going to the polls. The fifth general election in the past six years will occur on Sunday. The latest University of Macedonia poll shows former prime minister Alexis Tsipras’ left-wing Syriza party is neck and neck with the right-wing New Democracy party with each taking about 30% of the vote. The far right-wing Golden Dawn party is running third with approximately 6%. Greece’s 2-year yield is down 30 basis points at 10.35%.

China home prices improved. Home prices in China gained for a fourth straight month in August, climbing 0.3% from July, according to a Reuters calculation based on data provided by China’s National Statistics Bureau. Price gains occurred in 35 of the 70 major cities, which was an improvement from the gains in 31 cities in July. On year-over-year basis, home prices fell 2.3%. China’s yuan strengthened fractionally to 6.3643 per dollar.

The market doesn’t think a rate hike is coming until next year. Despite Fed Chair Janet Yellen suggesting every meeting is “live,” the market is pricing in just a 20% probability of a Fed rate hike in October. Odds remains below that of a coin flip for a rate hike in December, at 45.6%. Currently, January looks like the most likely month for the Fed’s first rate hike since 2006, with the probability at 53.2%.

Puerto Rico wants more time. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has asked for two more weeks to negotiate the restructuring of its $US8.3 billion of debt. According to Bloomberg, the plea comes as the current forbearance agreement, which allows for private restructuring talks, is set to expire on Friday. Such an extension would be the eighth since talks began in 2008, Bloomberg reports.

RBA head Stevens think Australia can withstand China’s downturn. Reserve Bank of Australia head Glenn Stevens appeared before Australia’s House of Representative Standing Committee on Economics. Despite the slowdown of the Chinese economy and the expected Federal Reserve rate hike Governor Stevens suggested, “There is still a pretty good chance that we will come out of this episode fairly well, and much better than we came out of the previous episodes of this type.” Stevens said he sees little chance of a recession in Australia. The Australia dollar is up 1.4% at .7271.

The CFTC says Bitcoin is a commodity. A Commodity Futures Trading Commission press release announced, “In this order, the CFTC for the first time finds that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are properly defined as commodities.” The ruling means the CFTC now has regulatory powers over the trading of options and futures of the digital currency.

Equifax is trying to enter Australia. Consumer-credit reporting giant Equifax has made a 2.28 billion Australian dollar ($US1.64 billion) bid for Australian peer Veda. The non-bonding offer would pay Veda shareholders A$2.70 per share, a 35% premium from Thursday’s closing price, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Adobe Systems beat The Street. The software company earned an adjusted $US0.54 per share, outpacing the $US0.50 that Wall Street was anticipating. Revenue surged 21.1% year-over-year to a record $US1.22 billion, edging out the $US1.21 billion that analysts were expecting. “Content and data are the currency of business today. Adobe’s industry-leading Creative Cloud, Adobe Document Cloud and Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions let customers deliver more valuable, personalised experiences that drive greater business impact,” said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe president and chief executive officer.

Stock markets around the world are mostly lower. Japan’s Nikkei (-2%) led the drop in Asia and France’s CAC (-2.5%) paces the decline in Europe. S&P 500 futures are down 16.00 points at 1961.50.

US economic data is light. Data is limited to the 10 a.m. ET release of leading indicators. The US 10-year yield is lower by 4 basis points at 2.15%.

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