10 things you need to know before the opening bell

New emperor's era

Here is what you need to know.

  1. Things are looking up for China’s manufacturing sector. “China’s manufacturing sector finished the opening quarter of 2019 on a positive note, with operating conditions improving for the first time since last November,” IHS Markit said in a report released Monday. “Firms signalled slightly quicker rises in output and overall new work, while employment increased for the first time in over five years.”
  2. China is using debt to control the South China SeaChina’s One Belt One Road project and the massive infrastructure loans associated with it are helping to weaken opposition to its claims in the South China Sea.
  3. Japan announces the name of the era under the new emperorNaruhito will become the Japanese emperor on May 1, beginning the “Reiwa” era.
  4. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a fan of MMT — here’s what it is. Modern Monetary Theory says governments who create their own money can spend freely because they can always print more money to pay off their debts. Find out why people are so interested in it. 
  5. There’s a more ominous recession threat than the yield curve“Being the simple, unsophisticated soul that I am, all I believe the inversion of the yield curve tells us is that the Fed has raised interest rates considerably,” Societe Generale strategist Albert Edwards said in a note.
  6. Lyft goes public after being wildly unprofitable last yearThe ride-hailing app lost $911 million last year — see how other unprofitable companies fared after they went public. 
  7. One if Africa’s first unicorns is about to go public on the New York Stock ExchangeJumia, the Alibaba of Africa, last week set the price range for its initial public offering at between $13 and $16 a share. It will trade under the ticker “JMIA.” 
  8. Stock markets around the world were higherChina’s Shanghai Composite (+2.58%) led the gains in Asia and Germany’s DAX (+1.22%) was out front in Europe. The S&P 500 was set to open up 0.67% near 2,854.
  9. Earnings reporting is light. Cal-Maine reports ahead of the opening bell.
  10. US economic data keeps coming. Retail sales will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before Markit US Manufacturing PMI and ISM manufacturing cross the wires at 9:45 a.m. ET and 10 a.m. ET respectively. The US 10-year yield was up 3.5 basis points at 2.44%. 

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