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

 
Billy Bambrough
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Eurozone inflation is still not behaving itself despite central banks' best efforts (Source: Getty)

Global economic headwinds are increasing and Eurozone inflation data has proven a disappointment.

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

US market futures are more-or-less flat ahead of the open. The S&P is down by 0.02 per cent, the Nasdaq is flat, and the Dow is 0.04 per cent lower.

European markets are mostly flat in early trading, while Asian markets ended the session mixed.

Eurozone inflation stayed decidedly flat in August, rising just 0.2 per cent during the month – missing expectations of a rise to 0.3 per cent.

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It's a mark of quite how quiet the City is that it had almost no effect on the euro, which held steady at $1.1147 following the news, an underwhelming 0.04 per cent higher.

Meanwhile, unemployment also missed expectations, sticking at 10.1 per cent, compared with analysts' forecasts of 10 per cent. That said, the figure is a five-year low - so not exactly bad news.

The rest of the world isn't look much better...

Consumer confidence is slowing down in China with the Westpac-MNI China consumer sentiment index dropping 2.2 per cent to 111.5.

There was also weakness in the labour market as the employment outlook indicator sank to a six-month low.

In Africa, Nigeria is still struggling to adjust to the new oil normal and a decision to unpeg its currency from the dollar. Its economy contracted by 2.1 per cent in the second quarter, and is now in a recession for the first time in more than 20 years.

Stocks to watch

Shares in Apple are flat pre-market, after closing down 0.8 per cent yesterday. The company was hit by a $14.6bn tax bill by the European Union, which it was less than thrilled about.

Apple has responded to the European probe into its tax arrangements. Both Apple and the Irish government plan to challenge the ruling.

Read more: Here's what Apple has to say about that €13bn tax ruling

Accounting and tax advisors H&R Block shares dropped six per cent in after hours trading last night after it issued a poor quarterly earnings update.

Companies reporting today

We'll hear from sales software firm Salesforce, retailer Shoe Carnival, and discounter Five Below after the market close.

In economic news

Ahead off the non-farm payrolls on Friday the latest ADP employment numbers will be released shortly before the market open. The Chicago PMI will cross the wires shortly after the opening bell, and pending home sales will follow. An update on US crude oil inventories is due at 3:30pm London time.

On the international scene Brazil, India and Nigeria are all reporting their latest GDP numbers today.

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