10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Miss VenezuelaMiss Portuguesa, Isabella Rodriguez, center, reacts after being named Miss Venezuela during the annual beauty pageant in Caracas, Venezuela.AP/Fernando Llano

Here is what you need to know.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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."
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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