Before the bell: What you need to know before the US market open

 
Billy Bambrough
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The Bank of Japan has decided not to extend its market stimulus measures (Source: Getty)

The futures market is pointing to a weaker open on Wall Street after the Bank of Japan decided not to issue further stimulus measures, taking the market by surprise.

Earlier the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 futures were down 0.8 per cent, while Nasdaq futures were 0.6 per cent lower.

The Bank of Japan left its policy rate at -0.1 per cent, as expected, but did not extend its stimulus package to include negative rate bank loans, which was unexpected. In an 8-to-1 vote, the BOJ held its asset purchase program at an annual rate of around 80 trillion yen.

In stocks:

Facebook is tipped to do well at the open in New York. The social network has smashed estimates for its first quarter, tripling its profit, and is up almost 10 per cent in pre-market trading.

Chief executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg took the opportunity to request a new class of stock should be issued, so he can maintain control of social media giant while giving his shares to charity.

There was no news on Facebook's Next Big Thing however: Virtual reality

Martin Garner, senior vice president of internet at CCS Insight said:

With the developments recently announced at its f8 conference in turning Messenger into a commerce platform, expanding use of 360 degree video and Oculus VR, Facebook is well placed to take advantage as the world begins to move on from mobile apps being the primary way of doing things.

Troubled big pharma firm Valeant (shares in Valeant are up by three per cent in the pre-market but are down a whopping 80 per cent over the past 10 months) is also in the spotlight after outgoing Valeant chief executive Michael Pearson, former interim chief executive Howard Schiller, and the company's largest investor, board member, and hedge fund titan Bill Ackman were grilled by the Senate committee over the company's controversial businesses practises.

It's another very busy day for corporate earnings:

Coca-Cola Enterprises, Ford, Domino's Pizza, Dunkin Brands (most famous for their donuts); MasterCard, and UPS are among the scores of companies that have released results this morning.

After the close tonight: Amazon, Baidu.com, Groupon, and LinkedIn

In economics news:

The latest US GDP data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis will be out at 13:30 London time alongside a monthly personal spending report.

Last night the Fed decided to hold interest rates again after the first hike in almost a decade in December last year. The move was exactly as expected by the market though the Fed lowered its expectations for a June rate hike due to economic performance appearing to have slowed.

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