10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

  1. The Fed can ‘afford to be patient’ on future rate hikes.Minutes from the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting released Wednesday reiterate the Fed’s claim that it is not on a preset rate path.
  2. Th US is likely to lose its crown as the world’s most powerful economy next year. China will probably become the world’s strongest economy in 2020, when measured by a combination of purchasing power parity, exchange rates, and nominal GDP, and will likely never relinquish its spot, according to Standard Chartered Bank.
  3. A growing number of companies are warning about China’s economy. Apple isn’t the only company that has pointed the finger at China for a slowdown in business – here are some of the others.
  4. The comeback of stock-market volatility was supposed to be good for stock pickers and it hasn’t been – here’s why there could be more pain ahead. Sure, volatility is great for traders, but the bottom line is they still need to pick the right stocks.
  5. Ford is cutting thousands of jobs as it looks to turn around its struggling business in Europe. It is unclear exactly how many jobs will be lost, but the automaker employees 53,000 workers across the continent, Reuters says.
  6. Bed Bath & Beyond soars after earnings. Shares soared more than 15% late Wednesday as investors shrugged off disappointing sales and guidance, instead focusing on the earnings beat.
  7. Apple is reportedly cutting production – here are the suppliers who could get hit the hardest. The Nikkei Asian Review reported Apple is cutting iPhone production again, so Business Insider rounded up a list of the companies that have a large chunk of their revenue tied to the company.
  8. Stock markets around the world are lower. Japan’s Nikkei (-1.29%) was hit hard in Asia and Germany’s DAX (-0.33%) paced the decline in Europe. The S&P 500 was set to open down 0.66% near 2,568.
  9. Earnings reports trickle out. Synnex reports after markets close.
  10. US economic data is light. Initial claims will cross the wires at 8:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 1.3 basis points at 2.70%.

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