10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

  1. The Fed admits it contributed to the stock market’s wild ride in December. “A variety of factors-including FOMC communications, weaker-than-expected data, trade policy uncertainties, the partial federal government shutdown, and concerns about the outlook for corporate earnings-were cited by market participants as contributing to a deterioration in risk sentiment early in the period,” the Federal Open Market Committee’s minutes said Wednesday.
  2. A no-deal Brexit could push the UK’s credit rating to its worst level in decades. The ratings agency Fitch on Thursday placed the UK on “Ratings Watch Negative,” threatening its AA rating, due to the “heightened uncertainty over the outcome of the Brexit process, and an increased risk of a disruptive ‘no-deal’ Brexit, where the UK would leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place.”
  3. Soc Gen says the sell-off in late 2018 reminded it of the periods before the last 2 financial crises and lays out its plan for how investors should respond.The bank says heightened volatility is here to stay and that investors should enter long-volatility strategies that have low carry costs.
  4. Nike slides after Zion Williamson’s shoe split in two. Shares of the sneaker giant were down 1.6% Thursday morning after Zion Williamson, who is projected to be the top pick in June’s NBA Draft, injured his knee after his Nike sneaker fell apart.
  5. Lyft’s IPO roadshow is coming in March.The ride-sharing app will launch its initial-public-offering roadshow the week of March 18, and is expected to receive a valuation of between $US20 billion and $US25 billion, according to Reuters.
  6. Garmin soars to an 11-year high.The maker of fitness and navigation devices soared 17% Wednesday, to its best level since January 2008, after delivering strong fourth-quarter results and forecasting full-year revenues and profits above Wall Street estimates.
  7. A bear market in stocks could be good news for legal weed. People are more tolerant of marijuana during periods of stock-market calamity, and vice versa, Chuck Thompson, a researcher with the Socionomics Institute, told Markets Insider.
  8. Stock markets around the world were mixed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (+0.41%) paced the advance in Asia and Britain’s FTSE (-0.63%) lagged in Europe. The S&P 500 was set to open up 0.16% near 2,789.
  9. Earnings reports keep coming. Domino’s Pizza and Wendy’s report ahead of the opening bell while Caesars Entertainment, Dropbox, and Kraft Heinz release their quarterly results after markets close.
  10. US economic data is heavy. Philly Fed, initial claims, and durable goods orders will all be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before Markit manufacturing and services cross the wires at 9:15 a.m. ET. Data concludes at 10 a.m. ET with existing home sales. The US 10-year yield was up 2 basis points at 2.66%.

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