10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

  1. Theresa May faces a vote of no confidence. UK Prime Minister Theresa May is fighting for her political life Wednesday as she faces a vote of no confidence following Tuesday’s historic Brexit defeat.
  2. Even the White House admits the government shutdown is causing problems for the US economy. A White House official told INSIDER that an updated internal model now estimates the government shutdown is taking 0.13 percentage points off of quarterly GDP every week.
  3. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez now has a huge say over Wall Street. Ocasio-Cortez, the democratic socialist representative from New York, has secured a spot on the House Financial Services Committee.
  4. The world is swimming in a near record $US244 trillion of debt. The amount of debt in the world has topped 318% of global gross domestic product, and is just below the record high of 320% set in 2016, according to a new report from the Institute of International Finance.
  5. Investors are paying a record premium for the safest stocks. Stock-market investors are paying a 45% premium for low-volatility versus high-volatility names and Keith Parker, UBS’ US head of equity strategy, says there’s a more efficient strategy.
  6. Netflix pops after announcing price hikes. Shares rallied more than 6.5% Tuesday after the streaming giant announced it was hiking prices for its plans by as much as 18%.
  7. A new strategy propels United Continental to an earnings beat. The airline earned an adjusted $US2.41 a share in the fourth quarter – easily beating the $US2.04 consensus by IBES data from Refinitiv – as United Airlines won back customers by flying more flights out of its main hubs, Reuters says.
  8. Stock markets around the world were mixed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (+0.27%) led the gains in Asia and the Euro Stoxx 50 was little changed in Europe. The S&P 500 was set to open flat near 2,609.
  9. Big banks report. Bank of America and Goldman Sachs were among the names reporting their quarterly results ahead of the opening bell.
  10. US economic data keeps coming. Import and export prices were to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET and the NAHB Housing Market Index was set to cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET. The Fed’s Beige Book was due out at 2 p.m. ET.

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