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10 things you need to know before the opening bell

FILE - In this July 1, 2019, file photo trader Vincent Napolitano works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 3. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)Associated Press

Here is what you need to know. 

1. Stocks are dropping as traders fear a shift in the Fed’s rate cutting stance. Investors are bracing for the Federal Reserve to signal if it could temper or scrap expected cuts to interest rates this month.

2. The US government could face a potential default in September, according to a Washington think tank. The report from Bipartisan Policy Center says lower than expected tax revenues now mean there is a “significant risk” that the federal government will run out of borrowing authority in the early part of September.

3. Deutsche Bank is still reeling from yesterday’s massive job cuts across the German bank. Shares are sliding, and Wall Street insiders say that the cuts are not extensive enough. 

4. The UK is investigating whether Russian spies hacked secret memos branding Trump ‘uniquely dysfunctional’ and ‘incompetent.’ The UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed the investigation of the possibility of a Russian cyber-attack.

5. Bitcoin is at a near two-week high fueled by hopes of Facebook’s Libra. The cryptocurrency has gained over 45% since Facebook laid out plans last month for its Libra coin, sparking renewed optimism that cryptocurrencies will gain mainstream acceptance.

6. UK’s capture of Iranian oil tanker won’t be ‘unanswered’ says military official. British Royal Marines boarded the ship, Grace 1, off the coast of Gibraltar on Thursday and seized it over accusations it was breaking sanctions by taking oil to Syria.

7. Trump’s trade war could lead to a shortage of Bibles in the US.  Trump’s trade war with China could result in a “Bible tax” and a shortage of Bibles, as most Bibles are made in China according to major publishers and religious charities. 

8. Shares across the world today were down on Fed fears and Germany’s woes. US futures slid, as the S&P 500 was down (-0.5%) as was the Nasdaq (-0.6%). Europe opened poorly with the Dax down (-1.1%) and Euro Stoxx 50 (-0.5%). Asia closed poorly with the Hang Seng down (-0.9%), Shanghai composite (-0.2%) but the Nikkei 225 was up marginally (+0.1%).

9. In terms of economic news and data out today the Fed’s Powell speech will be the highlight as traders will be looking for clues on policy.

10. There are lots of interesting earnings out later today. Pepsi is one of the highlights as is electronics manufacturer Dell and jeans maker Levi’s too. 

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