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

Billy Bambrough
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Fed Chair Janet Yellen Holds News Conference Following Federal Reserve Policy Meetings
The market will be glued to Yellen in a few hours (Source: Getty)

Markets are hoping for clarity from Fed chair Janet Yellen later and a British exit from the European Union is looking more likely as a poll gap narrows.

Here's what you need to know before the US market opens at 14:30 London time.

US stocks are pointing up in the pre-market. The S&P is up by 0.13 per cent, the Nasdaq is 0.17 per cent higher and the Dow is also 0.17 per cent up.

The bright start to the week follows a positive open in Europe and a mixed session in Asia.

Yellen set to speak...

The market is keenly awaiting Yellen after last weeks disappointing jobs report. Yellen is speaking in front of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia at around 17:30 London time and all anyone wants to hear is whether jobs or the rising tide of Brexit will affect the potential June interest rate hike.

Read more: Yellen says Federal Reserve will "proceed cautiously"

Since Friday's jobs report some have entirely taken the possibility of a hike off the table, while others think it's of little concern. The market badly wants some clarity.

Brexit brouhaha is bubbling up...

The Great British pound has taken a walloping after recent polls have put the chance of Brexit far higher than previously thought. The national conversation has returned to the issue of immigration and away from the economic impact, giving a boost to the leave campaign.

The UK takes to the polls on 23 June so expect far more Brexit burbling before then.

Stocks to watch

US upscale fashion retailer Nordstrom's share price dropped by around three per cent in the pre-market, adding to a sell off that's reduced its value by almost 50 per cent in the last 12 months.

The company has missed estimates repeatedly and warned over future earnings as the consumer flight from high street retailers continues.

Read more: Commodities rally as dollar softens after US jobs shocker

Telecommunications company CenturyLink has fallen sharply in pre-market trading, down around 0.4 per cent after various equities analysts lowered their outlook for the firm.

Pharma firm AbbVie, spun off from Abbott Laboratories in 2013, is also suffing in the pre-market – down around 3.6 per cent. AbbVie is still trying to find its feet after as its top-selling anti-inflammatory drug, Humira, is set to go off patent at the end of this year.

Companies reporting today

Convenience store chain Casey's General and United Natural Foods the only two companies of note reporting results today. Both coming in after the close.

Economic releases

Earlier today we got the latest German factory orders, which widely missed expectations. Factory orders fell two per cent in April, missing the 0.5 per cent decline that was expected mainly due to orders from outside the eurozone tumbling 8.3 per cent. The decline is the biggest monthly fall since July 2015.

Read more: The EU is completely irrelevant to the UK’s success in a multipolar world

Later we'll also have the latest US government bond auctions and Fed debt purchases.

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