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

Billy Bambrough
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Hillary Clinton Attends Get Out The Vote Rally In Los Angeles
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is near to securing the nomination for president (Source: Getty)

Markets are still cheering Yellen all but taking the June interest rate hike off the table and the Associated Press has called the US Democratic presidential nomination for Hillary Clinton ahead of today's primaries across the country.

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

Markets are still riding the wave of Yellen ahead of the open, adding to yesterday's rises. The S&P is up by 0.27 per cent, the Nasdaq is up by 0.36 per cent, and the Dow is up by 0.3 per cent. The US 10-year yield is down one basis point at 1.73 per cent.

The gains follow a rise across European markets, with Germany's DAX climbing 1.5 per cent. Asian markets finished the day up.

Super Yellen...

Yesterday Fed chair Janet Yellen admitted concern over last weeks jobs report that showed a slowdown in the number of jobs the US economy is adding.

Her remarks have reinforced market expectations that the US interest rate will be held steady at this month's meeting. We'll have a decision on 15 June. Bloomberg average estimates of an interest rate hike in June fell to two per cent following Yellen's speech. It had previously dropped to four per cent on Friday.

Hillary Clinton edging towards the Democratic nomination...

Hillary Clinton has enough delegates to secure the Democractic Party's nomination for the 2016 US presidential election, according to the Associated Press.

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Clinton has won the support of 2,384 delegates according to the news agency's calculations – one more than she needs to win the nomination at the party's national convention at the end of July.

There are still six Democratic primary contests today which could (mathematically) turn the tide, though it's looking unlikely.

The majority of delegates – 475 – are available in California, while voters in New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana will also head to the polls.

Stocks to watch

Embattled pharmaceuticals firm Valeant has posted a first-quarter loss of $373.7m (£253m), down from a profit in the same period a year earlier.

Shares in the company ditched over 10 per cent in pre-market trading – adding to an 88 per cent freefall over the last 12 months.

Valeant is fighting against accountancy difficulties, controversial drug price hikes and accusations of Enron-like fraud, as well as a backlash against its senior management.

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Fashion label Ralph Lauren is expected to announce it's laying off up to 10 per cent of its workforce and that it's closing some stores at its analysts investor day today.

Verizon Communications is reportedly planning to submit a bid worth about $3bn for Yahoo's internet business. Private equity firm TPG and a team led by Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert are said to be among the other interested parties.

Companies reporting

We've already heard the worst of it from Valeant. Retailer Michaels has just posted net income increased six per cent to $70.8m in the first quarter.

Restaurant and entertainment company Dave and Busters will post its latest results after the close.

In economics

US productivity and unit labour costs have just been announced, and later on at 20:00 London time we'll get the latest consumer credit data.

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