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

Billy Bambrough
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Disney Parks Christmas TV Special Pre-Taping
Disney magic helped the entertainment company rake in $14.3bn in its latest quarter (Source: Getty)

The UK economy is slowing down after its vote to quit the European Union and markets continue to knock on record highs.

Here's what you need to know before the US market opens at 2:30pm London time.

US markets are pointing up ahead of the open signalling the possibility of further all-time highs. The S&P is up by 0.16 per cent, as is the Nasdaq, while the Dow is up by 0.11 per cent. The US 10-year yield is down one basis point at 1.54 per cent.

Markets across Europe have mostly had a gloomy start to the day, following on from a mixed session in Asia.

Yesterday the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both crept to new highs, with the S&P 500 climbing to 2,187.68 at one point, beating the all-time high it hit a day earlier. The Nasdaq set a closing record, though has yet to beat its 5,225.48 point intraday high.

A Brexit blow...

The UK economy contracted in July as the UK was left reeling from the fallout of the vote to leave the European Union, a leading economic think tank has estimated.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) said the UK shrunk by 0.2 per cent during the political turmoil of July. Niesr said the figures confirmed their previous prediction that the UK has a 50-50 chance of dipping into a technical recession – defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

Stocks to watch

Fashion retailer Gap way down in the pre-market after posting disappointing July and second-quarter same-store sales.

SolarCityElon Musk's renewable energy company that is merging with Tesla – lost $0.56 a share over its latest quarter, more than double the $0.23 loss from a year ago. However, rvenue surged 81 per cent to $185.8m, smashing through Wall Street's expectations of $146m.

Entertainment giant Disney earned an adjusted $1.62 a share on revenue of $14.3bn for its last three months, pushed on by silver screen successes and strong toy sales. It also announced it has snapped up a $1bn minority stake in video-streaming firm BAMTech.

Companies reporting today

Fashion and fast food are on today's corporate data menu.

Labels Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors have numbers out ahead of the opening bell, as well as fast food chain Wendy's. Later on tonight we'll get the latest numbers from pet food producer Blue Buffalo, and burger bar Shake Shack.

In economic news

US job openings will be released at 3pm London time, while the latest crude oil inventories are out at 3:30pm. Oil markets have been closely watching stockpiles as concerns resurface over faulting demand and an on-going supply glut.