10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

Small-business optimism soars. NFIB Small Business Optimism soared to 107.5 in November, hitting its highest level since 1983, according to Bloomberg.

UK inflation hits an almost 6-year high. Consumer prices rose 3.1% in November, making for the fastest pace since March 2012, Office for National Statistics data showed.

Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to hike gas prices by 80%. Saudi Arabia plans to raise gas and jet-fuel prices by 80% in January, a person with knowledge of the plans told Bloomberg, as it looks to bolster state finances and remove subsidies.

Beijing’s air pollution is like everyone smoking 3 cigarettes a day. While Beijing’s air quality has improved significantly over ther past few years, pollution in Beijing is “still equivalent to every person smoking around three cigarettes per day,” UBS said, citing the US nonprofit Berkeley Earth.

Brent crude zooms higher after a major European pipeline is shut. The international benchmark trades up 1.34% at $US65.62 a barrel after Britain’s Forties pipeline, whose oil normally sets the price of dated Brent, was shut because of cracks, Reuters says.

SEC head weighs in on cryptocurrency mania. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s chairman, Jay Clayton, on Monday acknowledged the revolutionary potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, but he warned investors about exchange-traded funds holding cryptocurrencies and unregulated initial coin offerings.

Westfield agrees to sell itself. The mall owner has agreed to sell itself to France’s Unibail-Rodamco for $US15.7 billion in what would be the biggest takeover of an Australian company on record, Reuters says.

Stock markets around the world trade mixed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (-0.59%) lagged in Asia, and Britain’s FTSE (+0.22%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is on track to open little changed near 2,662.

Earnings reporting remains light. MongoDB and Verifone report after markets close.

US economic trickles out. PPI will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 1 basis point at 2.39%.

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