10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Lunar New YearDancers in traditional ethnic clothing perform at a temple fair at Longtan Park in Beijing.AP/Mark Schiefelbein

Here is what you need to know.

  1. American business leaders reveal the things they are most worried about this year. UBS surveyed 500 CEOs and CFOs of American companies and found that rising costs were top of mind.
  2. Germany is drawing closer to a recession. Industrial output unexpectedly fell 0.4% in December, according to the federal statistics authority Destatis, missing the up 0.3% print that was expected.
  3. New Zealand's unemployment spikes sharply. The unemployment rate jumped to 4.3% in the December quarter, from an upwardly revised 4% in the prior three months, data released Thursday by Statistics New Zealand showed.
  4. A $280 billion investment chief explains how low inflation will help set up the next stock-market spike. Katie Nixon, the chief investment officer for Northern Trust Wealth Management, says factors including technology and aging populations are keeping inflation tame and will prevent the Fed from creating a recession with its rate hikes.
  5. BB&T and SunTrust are joining forces. The $66 billion merger will give SunTrust shareholders 1.295 BB&T shares for each SunTrust share they own.
  6. Apple reclaims the crown as world's most valuable publicly traded company. The tech giant finished Wednesday's session with a market capitalization of $821 billion, surpassing Microsoft ($813 billion).
  7. Higher prices boost Chipotle. The burrito chain said same-store sale jumped 6.1% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, aided by a 3.3% benefit from higher menu prices.
  8. Stock markets around the world were lower. Japan's Nikkei (-0.59%) led the losses in Asia and Germany's DAX (-1.08%) trailed in Europe. The S&P 500 was set to open down 0.61% near 2,715.
  9. Earnings reports keep coming. Fiat Chrysler, T-Mobile, and Twitter report ahead of the opening bell.
  10. US economic data is light. Initial claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET and consumer credit cross the wires at 3 p.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 2.5 basis points at 2.67%.
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