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

Billy Bambrough
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The Chinese government has called falling producer prices a sign conditions are improving in the world's second largest economy (Source: Getty)

US stocks are nearing record highs and China's inflation grew at its slowest rate in seven months.

Here's what you need to know ahead of the US market open at 2:30pm London time.

US stock markets are nearing all time highs (the S&P 500 hit an all-time high of 2,185.54 points yesterday, although it pulled back to end the day just a notch below Friday's closing record) and are pointing higher ahead of the open.

The S&P is up by 0.1 per cent, the Nasdaq is up by 0.14 per cent, while the Dow is 0.12 per cent higher. The US 10-year yield is down two basis points at 1.57 per cent.

Read more: Banks get a boost from brokers' ratings

The Dow Jones industrial average is less than 100 points away from the record high it set last month, while the Nasdaq is closing in on July 2015's record.

European markets have had a slow-but-steady start to the day after Asian markets finished with mixed results, though the German Dax is on a tear and now back in a bull market.

The index has now risen by 20 per cent since its February lows and joining the FTSE 100 as one of the best performing European indices since the 24 June UK European Union referendum vote.

Meanwhile, consumer prices in China rose 1.8 per cent year-over-year in July, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

A 16 per cent rise in pork prices – down from 30 per cent in the same month last year – brought food inflation down to 3.3 per cent year-on-year.

Producer prices dropped by 1.7 per cent in July compared to the same month in 2015, beating June's 2.6 per cent fell contraction.

Stocks to watch

Rupert Mudoch's News Corp is making an "aggressive" assault on digital growth as its print advertising troubles mount.

The publisher of the Sun, Times, Sunday Times and Wall Street Journal newspapers reported a five per cent growth in revenue in the last quarter yesterday. In the three months to 30 June, the company’s turnover was $2.2bn (£1.7bn), up from $2.1bn the year before.

Read more: Project Juno: Newspapers put aside differences for united ad market assault

Crowdfunding site LendingClub's CFO Carrie Dolan has quit to "pursue a new opportunity", after the company posted a earnings miss. The alternative lender reported an adjusted loss of $0.09 a share and a bottom-line of $103.4m in revenue.

Rank and 888 Holdings have submitted a takeover bid for bookmaker William Hill, according to reports. The consortium's bid values the bookie at more than £3.6bn, the Financial Times reported.

Companies reporting today

Corporate earnings continue to flow in. Ahead of the open this morning we'll hear from telecoms operator Charter Communications, luxary fashion brand Coach, and crisis-hit big pharma firm Valeant.

Later tonight Walt Disney will be front of mind for many investors, while we're also expecting numbers fashion label Fossil, Tesla takeover target SolarCity, and review site Yelp.

In economic news

Economic data is light as investors continue to watch retail corporate data and await the latest spending report due Friday. Meanwhile, we'll get wholesale inventories at 3pm London time.

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