10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

  1. Global markets are tumbling after weak data out of China.China’s Shanghai Composite fell 1.7% after industrial production and retail sales data out of the country showed substantial weakness. Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei (-2%) and Germany’s DAX (-1%) were hit hard. The S&P 500 is set to open down 1.1% near 2,622.
  2. China slashes tariffs on US autos. Beijing removed the additional 25% tariff on US autos in an effort to ease trade tensions with the US, Reuters says.
  3. Bitcoin hits its lowest level in 15 months. The digital currency touched a low of $US3,203 a coin late Thursday, hours after the FBI said that bomb threats were mailed across the country by someone demanding bitcoin.
  4. Goldman Sachs has formulated a strategy that can help you crush the market in early 2019. The bank has outlined a handful of options strategies that make you money around corporate preannouncements and the volatility they create.
  5. A $US64 billion investor reveals her game plan to avoid big losses in 2019. Suzanne Hutchins, the global investment manager at $US64 billion Newton Investment Management, BNY Mellon’s thematic investment boutique, explains how her fund is deploying a capital-preservation strategy to limit losses in the horrible year for the stock market that she sees ahead.
  6. Healthcare is a big chunk of the market and history suggests that’s good news for stocks. The healthcare sector commands 15.6% of the S&P 500, a level at which the broader stock market has seen solid gains over the months following in five of the six other instances.
  7. The California utility PG&E wants to raise prices.The utility has requested a 12% rate increase in 2020 to help fund its core gas and electric operations, insurance liabilities, and a wildfire safety program, Reuters reports.
  8. GE got its first upgrade at JPMorgan in 2 1/2 years.Shares of General Electric gained 7% Thursday after JPMorgan analyst Stephen Tusa, a long-time bear on the company, said that their was “balanced risk reward at current levels” and upgraded them to a “buy.”
  9. Bank of America shares its 11 favourite stocks for 2019.The bank’s analysts combed through the data and picked their favourite stock in each sector that have a “buy” rating and exceptional fundamentals.
  10. US economic is heavy. Retail sales will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before industrial production and capacity utilization cross the wires at 9:15 a.m. ET. Then, at 9:45 a.m. ET Markit manufacturing and services are due out. Data concludes at 10 a.m. ET with business inventories.

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