10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Sad traderA trader watches the screen at his terminal on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York October 15, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Here is what you need to know.

1. Stocks crashed this morning after China vowed counter measures against the US over tariffs. China said the US tariffs violate a consensus reached by leaders of two countries and get off the right track of resolving disputes via negotiation

2. President Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday that his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping was a "great leader" and posed setting up a "personal meeting" to solve escalating protests in Hong Kong. "I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people," Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday evening.

3. Hundreds of Googlers are urging the company not to bid on a contract with the US Customs and Border Protection that they say would facilitate 'human rights abuses'. The CBP contract- which seeks to "acquire services from a Cloud Services Provider" - has stirred controversy amongst Google's rank-and-file due to the agency's recent handling of migrants at the US southern border, the petition released on Wednesday said.

4. The world's biggest shipping company just put up a red flag that the trade war is crushing the global economy. "I guess in a way we have been expecting a slowdown all year, and global demand has grown so far, and we expect that to continue to grow 2-3% which is consistent with a slow growing economy and that's what we are planning for," Maersk's CEO said.

5. Overstock sheds $317 million in market value after its CEO releases a bizarre statement about his involvement with the 'Deep State'. Shares fell by as much as 23% Wednesday, bringing the decline since Monday to 36%.

6. Bitcoin slumps to two-week low on technical trading, market jitters. The biggest cryptocurrency fell 5.5% in early trade after slumping 7.7% a day earlier, when it dropped under $10,000 for the first time since August 1 and posted its biggest fall since July 16.

7. Trump lashed out at 'clueless Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve' after recession signal flashes. "We are winning, big time, against China. Companies & jobs are fleeing. Prices to us have not gone up, and in some cases, have come down,"the president wrote on Twitter.

8. Global stocks are falling after China's announcement. US futures S&P 500 (-0.5%) and the Nasdaq (-0.9%) both slid. European stocks also dropped, with the Dax (-1.6%) down as did Euro Stoxx 50 (-1.2%). Asia closed mixed, the Nikkei 225 (-1.2%), the Shanghai Composite (+0.3) rose as did the Hang Seng (0.8%).

9. There are some mammoth earnings out today. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has its latest earnings as does Walmart.

10. There is a raft of data out today. There is lots of retail data out later in the US, with retail sales control group the highlight.

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