10 things you need to know before the opening bell

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Here’s what you need to know before the markets open.

1. China ditches its annual growth target for the first time as coronavirus hammers the world’s 2nd-largest economy. China also pledged to impose a controversial new national security law through “enforcement mechanisms” on Hong Kong and Macau.

2. Global stocks dive after China sets up a fresh showdown with Trump and shocks investors by announcing a new Hong Kong security law. The ruling Communist Party has tabled a motion to ban “treason, secession, sedition and subversion,” which could challenge Hong Kong law.

3. Billionaire investor Bill Ackman pitched Elon Musk to move Tesla’s HQ to a Howard Hughes community. Here’s why. Ackman tweeted that Musk was a “visionary American” like Howard Hughes, and asked him to consider the developer’s communities in Texas and Nevada.

4. Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook employees who move out of Silicon Valley may face pay cuts. The salary announcement comes after Zuckerberg predicted that 50% of the company could be working remotely in the next five to 10 years.

5. Amazon will hire 50,000 temp workers in India as lockdown boosts demand. E-commerce firms faced massive disruption in the initial days of the lockdown in India, but a slow easing of stringent regulations has allowed large parts of operations to resume.

6. Nissan is considering 20,000 job cuts, mainly in Europe and developing nations. The possible cuts come as Nissan prepares to announce its updated mid-term strategy next week.

7. Banks pursue Luckin Coffee chairman’s assets after loan default. Banks that lent $518 million to the Chinese coffee-chain’s chairman Charles Zhengyao Lu have started court proceedings to liquidate his private company.

8. Global stocks are down. In Europe, Germany’s DAX fell 0.4%, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.7%, and the Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.3%. In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite fell 1.8%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 5.5%, and Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.8% at the close. In the US, futures underlying the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq fell 0.4%.

9. Earnings expected today. Fujifilm and John Deere are highlights.

  1. On economic data today. Baker Hughes US oil rig count, CFTC Gold Net Positions, and CFTC S&P 500 Net Positions are due for release.