10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

  1. Trump has no plans to meet with Xi ahead of the trade deadline. When asked if he planned to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before the March 1 deadline, President Donald Trump said: “No,” according to Reuters.
  2. An unloved area of the market is set to explode higher. “2019 will be a pivotal year during the growth baton will shift once again from the U.S. tech sector to emerging markets,” Vincent Deluard, a macro strategist at INTL FCStone, told Business Insider.
  3. Jeff Bezos accuses the National Enquirer of extortion. In a blog post on Medium, the founder and CEO of Amazon said the National Enquirer threatened to release naked photos of him unless he stopped his investigation into leaks.
  4. Eddie Lampert’s last-ditch effort to save Sears wins approval. Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert’s $US5.2 billion bid to buy the beleaguered retailer from bankruptcy will keep open about 400 stores and save 45,000 jobs.
  5. Amazon invests in a self-driving startup.The e-commerce giant has made a “significant investment” in the self-driving startup Aurora, according to an Aurora press release out Thursday.
  6. Gossamer Bio prices its IPO. The clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company priced its initial public offering at $US16 a share, raising about $US276 million. Gossamer will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker “GOSS.”
  7. SunTrust and BB&T used a word that should terrify their employees. SunTrust Banks and BB&T said Thursday that their $US66 billion deal would produce $US1.6 billion of “synergies.”
  8. Postmates is going public. The food-delivery-app company, which was last valued at $US1.85 billion in January, announced Thursday it has confidentially filed for an initial public offering.
  9. Stock markets around the world were mixed. Japan’s Nikkei (-2%) was hit hard overnight and Britain’s FTSE (+0.17%) leads the gains in Europe. The S&P 500 was set to open down 0.39% near 2,696.
  10. Earnings reporting slows down. Exelon, Hasbro, and Phillips 66 report ahead of the opening bell.

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