10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know.

The Christine Blasey Ford-Brett Kavanaugh hearings are coming. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who has accused him of sexually assaulting her when the two were in high school, are both scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on Thursday beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

The Fed hikes rates. At the conclusion of Wednesday’s policy meeting, the US central bank raised its key interest rate to a range of 2%-2.25% and removed language from its statement that referenced “accommodative” monetary policy.

The IMF is scaling up its record-setting bailout for Argentina. The IMF on Wednesday said it will raise the amount of Argentina’s record-setting bailout to $US57 billion – up from $US50 billion – in an effort “aimed at bolstering confidence and stabilizing the economy.”

Oil jumps as Iran sanctions continue to drive supply fears.West Texas Intermediate crude oil trades up 1.3% at $US72.50 per barrel as markets prepare for the US to place fresh sanctions on Iran that are expected to cause supply constraints.

SurveyMonkey soars in its trading debut. The survey provider priced its initial public offering at $US12 a share, and ended its first day of trading at $US17.24, up 43.7%.

Papa John is reportedly trying to buy back Papa John’s.Papa John’s spiked 8.5% Wednesday following a CNBC report stating that founder and ex-CEO John Schnatter has been in talks with private-equity firms to repurchase the pizza chain.

Softbank plans to create a new $US100 billion fund every 2 or 3 years. Softbank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son told Bloomberg Businessweek that he plans to invest $US50 billion annually.

Stock markets around the world are mostly lower. Japan’s Nikkei (-0.99%) led the losses in Asia and Germany’s DAX (-0.52%) trails in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,908.

Earnings reports trickle out. Carnival reports ahead of the opening bell.

US economic data is heavy. The third estimate of second-quarter GDP, durable goods orders, and initial claims will all be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before pending home sales are announced at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 1 basis point at 3.04%.

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