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Markets brace for earnings, Fed meeting

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Futures are pointing to a cautious open on Wall Street ahead of a flood of corporate earnings and the beginning of a two-day meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers. The Dow is coming off just its second drop in 12 sessions, although the S&P 500 has now alternated between gains and losses for eight sessions and the Nasdaq has done the same for 10 trading days.

Japanese stocks sold off in Tuesday's session as the yen rallied on local media reports that the Bank of Japan may inject less money into the economy than expected. (CNBC)

U.S. crude futures extended losses on Tuesday after closing Monday's session at a three-month low. Crude's fall back toward the $40 level weighed on shares of drillers, with the S&P 500 energy sector closing down about 2 percent on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Just days after a massive leak of emails that suggested Democratic National Committee officials sought to undermine the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont lawmaker took the stage at the party's convention and said he stands by his former rival Hillary Clinton. Sanders praised Clinton's record on progressive issues such as wealth inequality and a higher minimum wage. (CNBC)

Another favorite of progressives, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, accused Republican nominee Donald Trump of "fanning the flames of fear and hatred" and said his only policy is a "stupid wall that will never get built." (CNBC)

In a speech that drew a standing ovation, First Lady Michelle Obama said she trusts Clinton to forge a better future for her children and called Trump unfit to be president due to his temperament. (CNBC)

Democratic rising star Sen. Cory Booker drew comparisons to a young Barack Obama with a speech during which he preached love and respect and appealed to the nation's history of cooperation to achieve new milestones. (CNBC)

In an interview with NBC News, Julian Assange asserted there is no evidence the trove of DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from hackers in Russian intelligence, despite assessments of cybersecurity experts to the contrary. (NBC News)

French police say they have "neutralized" two men who took several people hostage in a church in Normandy. Local media reported one of the hostages had been killed. (Reuters)

Japan experienced its worst mass killing in decades when a man stabbed and killed 19 people and wounded 25 more at a facility for the disabled near Tokyo. The assailant, a former employee of the facility who called for euthanasia of the severely disabled, turned himself in. (Reuters)

Secretary of State John Kerry said he hopes to announce plans to share intelligence with Russia that would help the two nations target the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front in Syria and prohibit the Syrian air force from attacking moderate rebels. The plan faces skepticism from top officials including Defense Secretary Ash Carter. (Reuters)

The Federal Reserve is preparing to bring an enforcement action against Goldman Sachs (GS) and a former executive at the bank related to the 2014 leak of government data to a junior Goldman employee, The New York Times reported. (NYT)

Veteran Apple (AAPL) product advisor Bob Mansfield has taken the helm at Apple's secretive Project Titan, which is widely believed to be developing an automobile, the Wall Street Journal reported. (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) has partnered with the U.K.'s aviation watchdog to test drone deliveries in rural and suburban Britain, giving the e-commerce giant a path forward in piloting unmanned shipments after tight U.S. restrictions grounded its effort at home. (CNBC)

BY THE NUMBERS

It's a busy day for economic numbers, beginning with the May Case-Shiller report on home prices at 9 a.m. ET. Consensus forecasts say prices will be up 5.7 percent compared to a year earlier, after a 5.4 percent increase in April.

Another housing-related stat comes from the government at 10 a.m. ET, with June new home sales expected to post a 1.6 percent increase after a 6 percent drop in May.

The Conference Board's July Consumer Confidence Index is also out at 10 a.m. ET, with economists looking for a reading of 96.7, a drop from June's 98.

A busy day for corporate earnings features six Dow components this morning: DuPont (DD), 3M (MMM), Caterpillar (CAT), McDonald's (MCD), Verizon (VZ), and United Technologies (UTX). Also out before the opening bell: Baxter (BAX), Eli Lilly (LLY), Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), JetBlue (JBLU), KeyCorp (KEY), Reynolds American (RAI), Sirius XM Holdings (SIRI), Starwood Hotels (HOT), and Under Armour (UA).

Apple (AAPL) and Twitter (TWTR) are the featured players in today's after-the-bell earnings reports, while others out this afternoon include Akamai (AKAM), Anadarko Petroleum (APC), Citrix Systems (CTXS), Edwards Lifesciences (EW), Juniper Networks (JNPR), NCR (NCR), Panera Bread (PNRA), US Steel (X), and Zions Bancorp (ZION).

STOCKS TO WATCH

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) raised its offer for rival beer brewer SABMiller, in a bid to relieve concerns related to the falling value of the British pound. The offer is now 2.2 percent higher and also increases the cash portion of the deal.

Las Vegas Sands (LVS) missed estimates by 4 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 52 cents per share, while the casino operator's revenue also missed forecasts. Las Vegas Sands was hurt by continuing declines in its Macau operations.

Texas Instruments (TXN) came in 4 cents ahead of Street forecasts with quarterly profit of 76 cents per share, and the chipmaker's revenue also exceeded estimates. The company saw particular strength in its automotive and communications chip segments, among others.

BP (BP) reported lower-than-expected profit for the second quarter due to weaker oil prices and lower profit margins for refining, prompting the oil giant to cut its planned 2016 capital spending budget.

Boeing (BA) was accused by major supplier Rockwell Collins (COL) of being delinquent in its payments, saying the jet maker is behind on tens of millions of dollars in bills due at the end of last month. Boeing issued a statement saying it was in the process of adjusting payment terms with suppliers to align with current industry norms.


WATERCOOLER

After years on the political sidelines, NBA legend Michael Jordan expressed solidarity with the family members of unarmed black men killed by police and decried "the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late" in an essay posted online on Monday. (NBC News)

Bernie Sanders-backer and comedian Sarah Silverman also spoke out on Monday, sending a message to the Bernie-or-bust contingent from the stage of the Democratic National Convention: "You're being ridiculous."