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

Billy Bambrough
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England Enjoys The Start Of A Two Day Heatwave
It's another glorious day in London (Source: Getty)

It's another scorcher in London and the FTSE 100 is feeling the heat, though European markets are broadly mixed as they digest the Bank of England's latest bond-buying spree.

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

The S&P is up by 0.8 per cent in the pre-market, while the Nasdaq is also tracking 0.8 per cent higher. The Dow is up by 0.5 per cent ahead of the open. The US 10-year yield is up one basis point at 1.56 per cent.

It's a year ago today that China's Shanghai Composite crashed more than eight per cent after the People's Bank of China announced it was devaluing the yuan.

Things are much more stable a year on however, with the Composite closing almost flat, down 0.1 per cent.

Carney's making waves...

The Bank of England's latest bond-buying spree has rattled financial markets by stoking fears that the massive £70bn post-referendum rescue package could be overshooting its mark.

Threadneedle Street was forced to pay a premium on £1.17bn worth of government debt because of low market supply yesterday. This caused the going rate for UK bonds to spike, prompting some analysts to suggest it was unsettling already-nervy investors.

Is the European powerhouse weakening?

The euro was slightly down against the dollar this morning, after figures showed German GDP growth slowed in the three months to June.

The euro fell 0.06 per cent to $1.1298 in early trading, after statistics body Destatis showed growth had fallen to 0.4 per cent in the second quarter, down from 0.7 per cent in the first three months of the year.

Earlier this summer, the Bundesbank cut its growth forecast for the year by 0.1 percentage points after the European Central Bank suggested outlook for the euro area's growth was bleak.

Stocks to watch

Pfizer's on a roll. Astrazeneca has agreed to sell one of its antibiotics businesses to its US rival in deal that could net the Cambridge-based company up to $1.6bn (£1.2bn). Pfizer will pay $550m upon completion of the deal to purchase the small molecule antibiotics division.

The announcement caps off a busy week for the developer of Viagra after it announced it was purchasing cancer specialist Medivation for $14bn on Monday.

Eyes were on Tesla this morning after chief executive Elon Musk announced revamped versions of its Model S and Model X, which will take advantage of a more powerful battery pack.

Musk has revealed the upgraded vehicles will take advantage of a feature called "Ludicrous mode" to offer the fastest acceleration among Tesla's offering so far.

Commodity stocks will be on the radar again as prices try to find their floor.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil was trading lower by 1.6 per cent at $47.33 a barrel a little earlier on American Petroleum Institute data showing crude stocks unexpectedly rose last week.

Companies reporting today

Retailers make up the bulk of earnings reports today. Ahead of the open fashion retailer Express will post its latest numbers.

After the closing bell Calvin Klein parent PVH, kitchenware retailer Williams-Sonoma, and Guess will update the market. Also look out for numbers from computer giant HP.

In economic news

FHFA House Price Index are out ahead of the open and existing home sales will be released shortly after. The latest US crude-oil inventories follow.

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