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5 Things to Know this Morning - 03/08

The most important news for today.

1. Global stocks mostly lower

Asian stocks were mixed on Wednesday with Japan registering its biggest one-day drop this month over disappointment on the fiscal stimulus package, while China avoided losses thanks to a powerful state agency calling for easier monetary policy. 

European stock markets were on track for a third day of losses amid a fresh batch of corporate earnings.

U.S. futures pointed to a lower open on Wednesday in a continuation of prior session’s sell-off that was the worst in a month. At 9:57AM GMT, the blue-chip Dow futures lost 28 points, or 0.15%, S&P 500 futures fell 4 points, or 0.16%, and the Nasdaq 100 futures traded down 8 points, or 0.17%.

2. Oil rebounds

Oil prices struggled near April lows on Wednesday, holding in bear market territory as investors looked ahead to fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly report on oil supplies at 14:30GMT, Wednesday amid expectations for a drop of 1.4 million barrels.

After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories fell by 1.3 million barrels in the week ended July 29.

U.S. crude oil futures gained 0.73% to $39.80 at 9:59AM GMT, while Brent oil advanced 0.77% to $42.12.

3. China service sector cools

Growth in China's services sector cooled in July, with weaker expansions in activity and new work prompting companies to shed staff for first time in four months as they looked to cut costs, a private survey showed on Wednesday.

The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 51.7 in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, from an 11-month peak of 52.7 in June.

Still, the composite reading covering both the manufacturing and services sectors rose to 51.9, its highest level since 2014, reflecting the marked improvement in its manufacturing reading.

4. ADP employment and ISM non-manufacturing ahead

The ADP nonfarm employment change for July will be released 12:15GMT, or 8:15AM ET, with analysts looking for the creation of 170,000 payrolls.

Despite the data’s dubious track record, investors will digest the information as a precursor to the government’s official Employment Report on Friday.

At 14:00GMT, eyes will be on the publication of the ISM non-manufacturing PMI for July in order to gauge activity in the U.S. service sector.

5. U.K. PMIs point to recession

The seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the U.K. dropped to 47.4 last month, its lowest level since December 2012.

Markit chief economist Chris Williamson indicated that the combination of PMIs collectively pointed to a 0.4% quarterly rate decline of gross domestic product (GDP).

Williamson noted that the data would give the Bank of England justification to cut interest rates at their policy meeting on Thursday.

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