10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Business Insider | Jun 18, 2019, 03.56PM IST

Mark Zuckerberg

Charles Platiau/Reuters

Facebook has announced its Libra cryptocurrency.

Here is what you need to know.

1. The Federal Reserve is meeting today and Wednesday. Traders are hoping the central bank will signal its intention to cut rates later this year. Markets rallied.

2. Facebook announced its Libra cryptocurrency. The social media giant confirmed its partners include Visa, Mastercard, eBay, Spotify, Uber, and Vodafone in its white paper.

3. The European Central Bank signaled it's open to further stimulus. ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank could cut interest rates or purchase assets if inflation falters, according to CNBC. Stocks gained and the euro fell on the news.

4. Huawei has slashed its sales forecasts. It expects its blacklisting by the US government to reduce its revenues by $30 billion this year and next.

5. The US is bolstering its military presence in the Middle East. The Trump administration is sending 1,000 more troops in response to "hostile behavior" from Iran.

6. Volvo is partnering with Nvidia to develop AI for driverless trucks. The Swedish car group and the American chipmaker plan to develop an autonomous driving system, according to Reuters.

7. The US government has cut aid to Central America. The Trump administration reallocated or suspended a total of $550 million earmarked for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, citing the volume of asylum-seekers from those countries, according to Reuters.

8. Stock markets around the world were higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+1%) was the standout in Asia, while the Euro Stoxx 50 (+0.9%) were out front in Europe. The S&P 500 was set to open up 0.2% near 2,903.

9. Earnings today. Adobe, Cherokee, Fred's, and La-Z Boy are set to report earnings.

10. US economic data trickles out. Redbook data, which tracks sales at large US general merchandise retailers, will be released just before 9 a.m. ET. Existing-home sales will be released at 10 a.m.

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