10 things you need to know before the opening bell
Here is what you need to know.
- Global markets are tumbling after weak data out of China. China's Shanghai Composite fell 1.7% after industrial production and retail sales data out of the country showed substantial weakness. Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei (-2%) and Germany's DAX (-1%) were hit hard. The S&P 500 is set to open down 1.1% near 2,622.
- China slashes tariffs on US autos. Beijing removed the additional 25% tariff on US autos in an effort to ease trade tensions with the US, Reuters says.
- Bitcoin hits its lowest level in 15 months. The digital currency touched a low of $3,203 a coin late Thursday, hours after the FBI said that bomb threats were mailed across the country by someone demanding bitcoin.
- Goldman Sachs has formulated a strategy that can help you crush the market in early 2019. The bank has outlined a handful of options strategies that make you money around corporate preannouncements and the volatility they create.
- A $64 billion investor reveals her game plan to avoid big losses in 2019. Suzanne Hutchins, the global investment manager at $64 billion Newton Investment Management, BNY Mellon's thematic investment boutique, explains how her fund is deploying a capital-preservation strategy to limit losses in the horrible year for the stock market that she sees ahead.
- Healthcare is a big chunk of the market and history suggests that's good news for stocks. The healthcare sector commands 15.6% of the S&P 500, a level at which the broader stock market has seen solid gains over the months following in five of the six other instances.
- The California utility PG&E wants to raise prices. The utility has requested a 12% rate increase in 2020 to help fund its core gas and electric operations, insurance liabilities, and a wildfire safety program, Reuters reports.
- GE got its first upgrade at JPMorgan in 2 1/2 years. Shares of General Electric gained 7% Thursday after JPMorgan analyst Stephen Tusa, a long-time bear on the company, said that their was "balanced risk reward at current levels" and upgraded them to a "buy."
- Bank of America shares its 11 favorite stocks for 2019. The bank's analysts combed through the data and picked their favorite stock in each sector that have a "buy" rating and exceptional fundamentals.
- US economic is heavy. Retail sales will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before industrial production and capacity utilization cross the wires at 9:15 a.m. ET. Then, at 9:45 a.m. ET Markit manufacturing and services are due out. Data concludes at 10 a.m. ET with business inventories.