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

Billy Bambrough
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Tesla Debuts Its New Crossover SUV Model, Tesla X
Investors weren't best pleased by Tesla's bid for SolarCity, announced last night (Source: Getty)

It's the calm before the storm as investors await a second round of testimony from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen and the UK Brexit referendum approaches.

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

In the pre-market US futures are up, albeit barely. The S&P is up by 0.05 per cent. The Nasdaq is 0.16 per cent higher, while the Dow is pointing 0.04 per cent up. The US 10-year yield is down one basis point at 1.69 per cent.

European markets are trading up just after the halfway point, with Germany's Dax leading the gains, up by one per cent. Asian markets had a mixed session with Chinese markets ending higher, while Japanese stocks fell.

Yellen re-takes the stand...

After yesterday's Brexit warnings, Janet Yellen is again up in front of US politicians.

She yesterday told the Senate Banking Committee that the US Federal Reserve will move slowly and steadily when it comes to raising interest rates, citing fears over the UK’s EU referendum as one potential drag on the US economy.

Today's highlight is likely to again be the Q&A session, with the hearing set to begin at 3pm London time.

EU referendum campaigning into its final stages...

With less than 24 hours to go until polls open both sides of the debate are ramping up rhetoric. However, a poll of polls analysis has put Leave ahead by one percentage point.

There have been fresh warnings about the health of UK markets if the country does vote to leave. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index could fall to lows not seen since 2011 if the UK votes to quit the EU, UBS analysts have warned.

Read more: What the polls aren't telling you

In a note to clients this morning UBS caution the FTSE 100 could slip under 5,000 points post Brexit, though could rise to up 6,800 if the country votes to remain.

Stocks to watch

Electric car maker Tesla has made a bid for solar energy installation firm SolarCity, valuing it at almost $3bn.

The offer of $26.50 to $28.50 a share is a 35 per cent premium from yesterday's closing price. Tesla shares plunged more than 13 per cent to $189.99 in extended trading, however SolarCity stocks is gleaming in the pre-market.

Read more: The Tesla Model 3 has finally been unveiled

In a statement Tesla said:

Tesla customers can drive clean cars and they can use our battery packs to help consume energy more efficiently, but they still need access to the most sustainable energy source that's available: the sun.

Delivery giant FedEx last night announced adjusted earnings of $3.30 a share, just coming in ahead of analyst expectations of $3.28.

Revenue climbed 7.1 per cent to $12.97bn, ahead of the $12.77bn that had been pencilled in.

Read more: FedEx completes "historic" €4.4bn European deal

For the full year FedEx is forecasting adjusted earnings of $11.75 to $12.25 a share; the Thomson Reuters consensus expects $12.05.

Companies reporting

After the close Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Red Hat will have their latest numbers out.

In economic news

The FHFA Housing Price Index will be out 30 minutes before the open at 2pm London time and existing-home sales will come in at 3pm.

The latest US crude-oil inventories are out at 3:30pm.

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