10 things you need to know before the opening bell

traderTrader Peter Tuchman smiles as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange after the market opening in New York, December 23, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Here is what you need to know.

1. Stocks are rallying after China touted that it's having 'effective communication' with the US on the trade war. The world's two biggest economies are keeping lines open, China's Foreign Ministry said.

2. China's renminbi is headed for its biggest monthly drop ever - and economists warn of a 'contagion effect.' A lower-valued currency makes Chinese goods cheaper to export and has become a battleground issue in the trade spat between the US and China.

3. Softbank's $100 billion Vision Fund has shaken up Silicon Valley with mega fundings. A cadre of Deutsche Bank alumni are behind many of the deals.

4. Japan's Toyota will not build cars at its British factory the day after Britain leaves the European Union as part of plans to handle any disruption from a potentially disorderly Brexit. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised that Britain will leave the European Union on October 31 with or without a deal.

5. A 'no-deal' Brexit would hammer the Irish economy and wipe billions from its GDP. The economy could lose 2% to 2.5% of its GDP by 2030.

6. Nippon Steel will cut its planned capital expenditures for the three-year period to March 2021 by between 10% and 20%, as weaker steel demand amid the US-China trade war has eroded its profits. Slowing global steel demand for automobiles and machinery, reflecting the trade row and higher material costs, have battered Japanese steelmakers' quarterly earnings.

7. Industrialist John Fredriksen is seeking investors to take larger stakes in his companies and could relinquish control of operations. Fredriksen's net worth has been estimated at more than $12 billion through his self-made business empire includes oil-tanker firm Frontline, dry bulk shipper Golden Ocean, and rig owner Seadrill, as well as fish farmer Mowi and other companies.

8. Stocks markets are rising but Asia was mixed on close. US futures are rising with the S&P 500 (+0.6%) and the Nasdaq (+0.7%) rallying. In Europe, both the DAX (+1.1%) and Euro Stoxx 50 (+0.8%) rose on open. Asia was mixed with the Nikkei (+1.2%) jumping and the Hang Seng (+0.1%) up, but the Shanghai Composite (-0.2%) fell.

9. There are lots of earnings out later. Today's highlight is Williams-Sonoma.

10. There's a stack of data on the docket today. Personal spending and personal consumption are both out among others.

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