10 things you need to know before the opening bell


Here’s what you need to know before the markets open.

1. ‘Markets are trading on fear’: Stocks tumble as coronavirus panic takes hold. “The market is understanding that the coronavirus outbreak will translate into significantly lower earnings and anemic global growth,” one analyst said.

2. Coronavirus could shrink the US economy, ex-Fed chief Janet Yellen warns. “It’s just conceivable that it could throw the United States into a recession,” the former central-bank boss said.

3. France’s Macron says a coronavirus ‘epidemic is on the way.‘ The president called it a “crisis” while speaking at a Paris hospital on Thursday.

4. Shell and Gasunie plan to build a massive, green hydrogen plant. The pair hope to cut emissions with the Dutch project, which promises to produce 800,000 tonnes of hydrogen by 2040.

5. China’s top container ports unclog backlog as virus curbs ease. The ports are tackling the buildup of cargo on their docks as workers return after coronavirus travel curbs, benefiting global supply chains.

6. AB InBev posted disappointing fourth-quarter profit, sees muted 2020 growth. The liquor giant stomached a 5.5% drop in core profit and warned coronavirus has hurt its outlook.

7. Britain is on a collision course with the EU over trade. The nation is resisting control of its fishing rights and EU provisions on environmental standards, labor regulations, and state aid.

8. Stocks are mostly down. European equities slumped with Germany’s DAX down 2.1%, Britain’s FTSE 100 down 1.9%, and the Euro Stoxx 50 down 2.3%. Asian indexes were mixed with China’s Shanghai Composite up 0.1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 0.3%, while Japan’s Nikkei slid 2.1% and South Korea’s KOSPI fell 1.1%. US stocks are poised to open lower. Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures slid 0.9%.

9. There’s a slew of earnings today. Occidental Petroleum, Monster Beverage, and Workday are some of the big names.

10. A bunch of data is coming out. Figures for jobless claims and durable goods orders will be closely watched.