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 number of people employed in the UK dropped by the most since 2009 — a sign the jobs market may face yet more pain from the COVID-19 crisis. “The alarm bells couldn’t be ringing any louder. Ministers must act now to protect and create jobs,” the general secretary of a trade union said.

2. Hertz sold $29 million in shares before the SEC stopped it from selling even more, despite filing for bankruptcy in May. The car-rental firm initially intended to sell up to $500 million in stock.

3.Warren Buffett may have bought back a record $7 billion of Berkshire Hathaway stock in the past 3 months. The famed investor repurchased $5.1 billion of his company’s stock last quarter, and appears to have snapped up at least $2 billion more in July.

4. Apple CEO Tim Cook hits billionaire status. He stepped into the top job at Apple in August 2011, taking over from longtime CEO and founder Steve Jobs.

5. A Wall Street expert breaks down why investors should be giving more weight to small companies in their portfolios — and says these 4 sectors are set to boom amid the pandemic fallout. Steve Lipper says the Fed’s intervention in the credit markets is reducing the risk associated with small-caps. Here are 4 sectors he’s betting on.

6.Warren Buffett may have dumped his entire Wells Fargo stake last quarter, finance professor David Kass says. His company sold close to $14 billion in stock last quarter, and Wells Fargo may have been on the chopping block.

7.No money, no education, and no connections: Here’s how Brian Burke went from a small-time house flipper to a real-estate investing magnate with over 750 deals and 3,000 units. “From that point on I was hooked,” said Brian Burke, after nabbing his first investment with no funds or prior experience.

8. Global stocks are mostly up. In Europe, Germany’s DAX rose 2.6%, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 2.4% and the Euro Stoxx 50 rose 2.6%. In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite fell 1.2%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 2.1%, and Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.8% at the close. In the US, futures underlying the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the US Tech 100 rose between 0.3% and 0.9%.

9.Earnings expected today. Softbank, Zalando, and LG are highlights.

10.On the data docket. The US 52-week bill auction and 3-year note auction are due.


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