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10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Flight attendents
Flight attendents

(Students training to be flight attendants seen during a standing posture practice at a vocational school in Shijiazhuang, in China’s Hebei province.Reuters/China Stringer Network)

Here is what you need to know.

The global sell-off continues. The S&P 500 closed down by 1.7% on Wednesday, making for its biggest drop in eight months, after reports surfaced that President Donald Trump in February had asked James Comey to end the FBI's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump fired Comey as FBI director last week. The selling spilled over into Asia, where Japan's Nikkei (-1.3%) paced the decline, and then Europe, where Britain's FTSE (-1.3%) leads the losses. The S&P 500 is set to open down by 0.3% near 2,349.

The US 10-year is testing its April lows. The benchmark yield is down by 3 basis points at 2.19%. A close below 2.18% would be the lowest since the days following the election.

Fed rate-hike odds are falling. World Interest Rate Probability data provided by Bloomberg shows an 82.5% chance the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates in June. That's down from 100% less than one week ago.

Japan logs its longest stretch of growth in over a decade. The Japanese economy grew at a 0.5% clip in the first quarter, making for the fifth consecutive quarterly increase. That hasn't happened since 2006.

Brazil's president said to be on tape asking for hush money. A businessman claims Brazilian President Michel Temer has been caught on tape telling him to pay a potential witness in the country's biggest-ever graft investigation to keep quiet, Reuters says, citing the Brazilian newspaper O Globo.

The British pound reclaims 1.30 against the dollar. Strong retail sales data ran the British pound above 1.30 versus the dollar for the first time since September. The pound is trading up by 0.5% at 1.3040.

Australia's jobs report beats, but with part-time gains. The Australian economy added a seasonally adjusted 37,400 jobs in April. Full-time jobs fell by 11,600, while part-time jobs jumped by 49,000.

Porsche executives facing market-manipulation investigation. German prosecutors are investigating whether Porsche executives Matthias Mueller and Hans Dieter Poetsch waited too long to inform investors about the risks associated with the diesel-emissions scandal at Volkswagen, Reuters says.

Earnings reports keep coming. Ralph Lauren and Walmart report ahead of the opening bell, while Gap and Ross Stores release their quarterly results after markets close.

US economic data is light. Initial claims and Philly Fed will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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