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10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Kim Jong Un North Korea
Kim Jong Un North Korea

(North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with scientists and technicians after the testing of the intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 in a photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday.KCNA/via REUTERS)

Here is what you need to know.

The Fed is divided over when to start unwinding its massive balance sheet. "Participants expressed a range of views about the appropriate timing of a change in reinvestment policy," the Federal Reserve's minutes from its June meeting said.

Wall Street is boldly ignoring stock market history. Analysts up and down Wall Street are calling for the S&P 500 to finish the year little changed from current levels. History shows, however, that if the S&P 500 gains at least 8% in the first half of the year, it has averaged a 7.2% gain during the second half, according to data from Strategas Research Partners.

Global air freight is booming. Global freight tonne kilometers grew by 12.7% year-on-year in May, the latest sign that the global economy is strengthening.

Tesla's Model S receives an "acceptable" crash-test rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Model S an "acceptable" rating, the second-best designation, in a test designed to simulate an offset frontal collision at 40 mph. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Toyota Avalon received the highest rating.

Microsoft employees are bracing for layoffs. The long-rumored layoffs may begin Thursday as conference rooms are booked and some employees are set for 15-minute meetings with their managers, according to several postings on the anonymous chat app Blind that were shared with Business Insider.

Yum China posts in-line results. The fast-food chain earned $0.27 a share on revenue of $1.59 billion, mostly in line with estimates.

John McAfee and Intel settle their lawsuits. McAfee has agreed not to use "his name, trademark his name or the phrase 'John McAfee Privacy Phone,' or use 'John McAfee Global Technologies' in connection with cybersecurity- and security-related products and services," Reuters says. But he can still use his name in advertising, promotions, and presentations.

Fosun says rumors of its chairman's disappearance are false. Shares of the Chinese conglomerate Fosun tumbled Thursday amid rumors the company had lost contact with its chairman, billionaire Guo Guangchang, Reuters says. That prompted a statement from the company saying the reports were "sheer rumor and malicious slander."

Stock markets are lower. Japan's Nikkei (-0.44%) trailed in Asia, and France's CAC (-0.97%) lags in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open down 0.5% near 2,420.

US economic data is heavy. ADP Employment Change will be released at 8:15 a.m. ET before initial claims and the trade balance cross the wires at 8:30 a.m. ET. Markit US Services and ISM nonmanufacturing will be announced at 9:45 a.m. ET and 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up by 4 basis points at 2.36%.

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