10 things you need to know before the opening bell

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

1. The UK’s economic recovery is running out of steam – GDP grew just 2.1% in August despite government support. This fell far short of expectations for a reading of 4.6%.

2. The London Stock Exchange is selling Italy’s only stock market platform to Euronext for $5 billion. LSE began discussions with Paris-based Euronext last month.

3. Goldman Sachs senior strategist warns stocks could see ‘considerable’ pre-election downside that isn’t being factored into models. What Congress does next, what the president says, and how the election will end cannot be forecasted by modeling, Abby Joseph Cohen said.

4. Square buys 4,709 bitcoins for $50 million on the potential it will be a ‘ubiquitous currency’. The investment represents about 1% of Square’s total assets at the end of the second quarter.

5. ‘A paradise for growth investors’: A Baillie Gifford fund manager overseeing almost $2 billion explains why investors are underestimating Japanese stocks – and shares his 3-part strategy for picking winners. It’s “very simple,” Praveen Kumar said.

6. David Herro has steered the $22.2 billion Oakmark International fund through 5 crises since its inception 28 years ago. The veteran investor shares 3 stocks he’s betting on, and the pandemic-related opportunities he’s seizing. He shares where he is finding value and 3 “punished” stocks he is betting on. 

7. Self-taught market wizard Richard Dennis took a $1,600 loan and turned it into an estimated $200 million. He shares the 13 trading rules that turned his performance parabolic. “I didn’t know what I was doing,” he said when asked about his early years on the trading floor.

8. Citi’s US equities chief warns of an ‘extreme peak’ in earnings revisions heading into the crucial reporting season – and explains why it makes stocks vulnerable to a pullback in the weeks ahead. He said a loss of momentum in positive earnings revisions could weigh down stock prices. 

9. US futures are up. Germany’s DAX was about flat, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6%, and the Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.2%. In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite rose 1.6%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.3%, and Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.2% at the close. In the US, futures on the Dow Jones, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq 100 rose between 0.2% and 0.4%.

10. On the data docket. US wholesale inventories and the Baker Hughes oil rig count are due today.

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