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

Billy Bambrough
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The chances of the Fed raising rates for the second time since the financial crisis next week are fading but it hasn't entirely put the brakes on the global stock sell off.

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

US futures are pointing down despite getting a lift from Fed dove Lael Brainard yesterday. The S&P is off by 0.59 per cent, the Nasdaq is down by 0.57 per cent, and the Dow is 0.52 per cent lower in the pre-market.

Most European market indexes are either flat or down so far in the session, following a mixed day in Asia.

Take a hike...

A global sell off in international markets was slowed but not suspended yesterday by Lael Brainard, seen as one of the most cautious voices on the rate-setting federal open markets committee (FOMC).

The chances of the Fed raising rates were dealt a blow after Brainard argued the case for raising rates had become "less compelling" citing a number of weaknesses in the global and domestic economies.

Weaker inflation, a greater degree of "slack" in the labour market, "muted recovery in wage growth" and "disinflationary pressure and weak demand from abroad" were all cited by Brainard as reasons to proceed with caution.

Good news from China though...

Markets in Asia have been reacting to a raft of positive data from China, as both retail and industrial figures beat economists' expectations.

In August, industrial production was up 6.3 per cent year-on-year, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics. This was up from six per cent growth in July – and it just beat economists' forecasts of 6.2 per cent growth.

Read more: Brexit: Stronger China ties will buttress London's financial preeminence

Stocks to watch

Apple is the centre of attention as the first round of iPhone 7 reviews begin to filter through. The early consensus seems to be Apple has another hit on its hands despite criticism over the removal of the headphone jack.

Read more: Here's what analysts are saying about the iPhone 7

Shares in Weight Watchers are feeling the pinch in the pre-market after it was announced chief executive James Chambers had decided to step down after three years in the position. Good news though, brand ambassador Oprah is going to be aiding in the search for his successor.

Companies reporting

Corporate data is very thin on the ground this week, with next to no companies of note releasing results today.

In economic news

Not a lot of economic data ahead of the Fed next week and the Bank of England on Thursday but the US Census Bureau is set to release a report on 2015 median household income at 3pm London time and is expected to show that Americans received a much-needed raise last year.

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