10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

Chinese stocks plunge to 4-year lows. China’s Shanghai Composite tumbled nearly 3% on Thursday to its weakest level since November 2014, with trade-war fears, slowing growth, and the impact of forced selling all being blamed. European markets are clinging to small gains, while the S&P 500 is set to open little changed.

The Chinese yuan hits its weakest level in almost 2 years. The onshore Chinese yuan touched 6.9452 per US dollar Thursday, its weakest since January 4, 2017. The fresh low comes one day after the Treasury Department declined to name China a currency manipulator.

Oil dives below $US70. West Texas Intermediate crude oil plunged more than 3% to below $US70 a barrel on Wednesday after the Energy Information Agency reported a fourth straight week of an inventory buildup in the US. WTI was trading down nearly 1% at $US69.13 a barrel early Thursday.

The world’s most accurate economic forecaster pinpoints the biggest risks investors will face in 2019.Christophe Barraud, the Paris-based chief economist of Market Securities who has been ranked by Bloomberg as the most accurate forecaster of the US economy every year since 2012, gives Business Insider his 2019 outlook for US economic growth, the bond market, and why he favours US equities over Europe.

Saudi Arabia reportedly scraps its planned deal with Virgin Hyperloop. The Financial Times reports Saudi Arabia is pulling the plug on its deal with Virgin Hyperloop, which included a feasibility study, after the Virgin Group’s chairman, Richard Branson, said he would suspend working with the kingdom after the disappearance of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

New York’s attorney general is investigating whether MoviePass’ owner misled investors. The attorney general’s office is investigating whether Helios and Matheson – the parent company of MoviePass – “misled the investment community regarding the company’s financials,” according to a CNBC report, citing a source familiar with the matter.

One of Canada’s largest marijuana growers reveals plans to go public in the US. Aurora Cannabis on Wednesday revealed plans to list shares on the New York Stock Exchange before the end of October. They will trade under the ticker ACB.

A tiny Chinese manufacturer of eco-friendly building products explodes by 950% after pivoting to gemstones. Yulong Eco-Materials soared by as much as 950% on Wednesday after the company announced that it had completed its $US50 million acquisition of the Millennium Sapphire gemstone – which its says recently appraised for $US60 million to $US90 million – and that it was pivoting its business to gemstones. Shares finished up 571%.

Earnings reports keep coming. Philip Morris International reports ahead of the opening bell, while American Express and PayPal release their quarterly results after markets close.

US economic data flows. Philly Fed manufacturing and initial claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 1 basis point at 3.22%.

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