10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

  1. The Fed holds. The central bank on Wednesday held its benchmark interest rate in a range between 2.25% and 2.5%, with officials pointing to weaker-than-expected inflation.
  2. An IPO bonanza is coming. Sixteen companies are set to go public over the next nine days, making for one of the busiest stretches on record for the initial-public-offering market, according to data from IHS Markit.
  3. The private-equity boom is supercharging a major risk to the stock market. “There’s not much inventory in many of these asset classes, as we know,” said Mark Machin, CEO of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills. “We saw the behaviour – the gapping in December – in a number of these markets, and I think you’re going to find that risk models could blow up very quickly on the public side and trigger more events. So I think people need to be super careful.”
  4. Now we know just how big Apple’s legal settlement is with Qualcomm. The semiconductor and wireless telecommunication-equipment provider Qualcomm will tack on between $US4.5 billion and $US4.7 billion of revenue in its upcoming quarter as a result of its legal settlement with Qualcomm, Axios reports, citing the company’s earnings report.
  5. Tesla closes at a more than 2-year low. Shares settled at $US234.01 apiece on Wednesday, making for their lowest close since January 2017.
  6. Beyond Meat ups its IPO price range. The plant-based burger maker, which will debut on the Nasdaq on Thursday, is expected to price its initial public offering at between $US23 and $US25 a share – up from the prior range of between $US19 and $US21, Reuters reports, citing Beyond Meat’s filing.
  7. Square’s guidance disappoints. Shares of the mobile-payments company slumped as much as 7% late Thursday after both its adjusted revenue guidance and adjusted earnings-per-share guidance for Q2 fell short of expectations.
  8. Stock markets around the world were mixed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (+0.83%) paced the advance in Asia and France’s CAC (-0.48%) trailed in Europe. The S&P 500 was set to open up 0.2% near 2,930.
  9. Earnings season rolls on. DowDuPont, Hanesbrands, Under Armour, and Wayfair report ahead of the opening bell while Activision Blizzard, Shake Shack, US Steel, and Weight Watchers release their quarterly results after markets close.
  10. US economic data keeps coming. Initial claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before factory orders and durable goods orders cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield was up 2.3 basis points at 2.52%.

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