10 things you need to know before the opening bell
Here is what you need to know.
1. Facebook's Libra launch was 'ridiculously stupid,' blockchain boss says. "The way they rolled it out ... it was just so in your face," R3's CEO David Rutter said at a recent conference.
2. Trump's trade war puts the US and China 'in the foothills of a cold war,' says Henry Kissinger. "World War I broke out because a relatively minor crisis could not be mastered," the former US secretary of state said at a Bloomberg event.
3. Tim Cook says he doesn't believe in lobbyists but Apple has spent $18 million lobbying the Trump administration. Apple has spent $5.5 million so far this year lobbying the Trump administration and hired pro-Trump lobbyist Jeff Miller last week.
4. Amnesty says Google and Facebook threaten human rights. The global humans rights organisation Amnesty International has criticised Google and Facebook's business models, calling them "surveillance-based."
5. Bitcoin plunges below $8,000 after 7 straight days of declines. The biggest cryptocurrency has fallen sharply this week after rallying past $13,000 in late June.
6. Charles Schwab Corp, the largest U.S. discount brokerage, is in talks to buy smaller rival TD Ameritrade. A deal could be announced as early as Thursday, CNBC reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.
7. China has invited top US trade negotiators for a new round of face-to-face talks in Beijing amid continued efforts to strike at least a limited deal, the Wall Street Journal reported. The report said Chinese Vice Premier Liu He has invited US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
8. Stocks are edging downwards on Thursday. US futures underlying the Dow (-0.1%), S&P 500 (-0.1%) and the Nasdaq (-0.2%) are sliding. European stocks opened lower, with the DAX (-0.2%) and Euro Stoxx 50 (-0.2%) dropping. Asian stocks drifted lower, with the Nikkei (-0.5%), Shanghai Composite (-0.7%), and Hang Seng (-1.6%) all down.
9. There are some interesting earnings out today. Gap is the highlight.
10. Market watchers will have some interesting data to look at today. Initial jobless claims is the standout.