10 things you need to know before the opening bell

An Elvis Presley impersonator, Sean Wright, next to the Elvis Express train at Sydney's Central station before it departed for the 26th annual Elvis Festival being held in the New South Wales town of Parkes in Australia.

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An Elvis Presley impersonator, Sean Wright, next to the Elvis Express train at Sydney’s Central station before it departed for the 26th annual Elvis Festival being held in the New South Wales town of Parkes in Australia.
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Reuters/Daniel Munoz

Here is what you need to know.

China says report that it will stop buying US Treasury debt is ‘fake news.’ “The news may quote the wrong information source, or it may be fake news,” the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said on its website in response to a Bloomberg report that suggested it could slow or stop purchases of US Treasurys because of trade tensions with Washington.

A trade that crushed the market last year could come crashing back to earth. The “growth trade,” which involves buying stock in companies expected to see outsize profit expansion, dominated in 2017, returning 28%, but the tables could be turned this year, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

There’s been a ‘seismic drop’ in the number of finance jobs in London. The number of new finance jobs in London fell 37% year-on-year in December as Brexit uncertainty weighed, according to the recruiting firm Morgan McKinley.

It looks as if Warren Buffett has narrowed his choice for successor down to 2. On Wednesday, Buffett appointed two senior executives – Greg Abel and Ajit Jain – to Berkshire Hathaway’s board of directors, a move that is seen as positioning either of them to eventually take over running the firm.

Landlords are offering New York City renters record freebies. Landlords offered concessions on a record 36.2% of apartments on the market in December, according to a report Thursday prepared with Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Cryptocurrencies are tanking after report of shutdown in South Korea. Major cryptocurrencies were down as much as 15% Thursday morning after a Reuters report said South Korea had a bill in the works to ban cryptocurrency trading.

Kohl’s has a plan for its unused space. CEO Kevin Mansell told CNBC that Kohl’s would lease out unused space in some of its stores to retailers such as grocery stores and convenience stores.

Stock markets around the world trade mixed. China’s Shanghai Composite (+0.23%) eked out a gain, while Germany’s DAX (-0.18%) clings to losses. The S&P 500 is set to open up 0.15% near 2,752.

Earnings reports trickle out. Delta Air Lines reports ahead of the opening bell.

US economic data is light. PPI and initial claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 2 basis points at 2.54%.