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Wall Street looks to overcome historically soft August

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were higher, ahead of the first day of August trading and after the second best month of 2016 on Wall Street. The S&P 500 hit an intraday high Friday, while the Nasdaq logged its fourth straight gain. But the Dow extended its losing streak to five sessions. (CNBC)

Goldman Sachs (GS) has cut its three-month rating on equities to "underweight," saying its risk appetite indicator has turned neutral, which suggests that markets are more vulnerable to growth and policy disappointments. (Reuters)

Investors should not rule out the possibility an interest rate hike again this year, New York Fed President William Dudley told a conference in Bali today. Market expectations appear "too complacent" on rates and the possibility the economy could pick up. (CNBC)

Oil was lower this morning, with overproduction of crude and a wave of refined products continuing to weigh on prices. U.S. crude was trading in bear market territory, after losing nearly 14 percent in July, the worst month back to July 2015. (Reuters)

Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing has agreed to buy Uber's China business, in a deal valuing the combined company at $35 billion. Apple (APPL) invested $1 billion in Didi in May. Other Didi investors include China's Alibaba (BABA) and Japan's Softbank. (CNBC)

Uber, which relies heavily on Google Maps, plans to invest $500 million into creating its own worldwide maps, a crucial step towards launching self-driving vehicles. Uber has hired former Google employees, acquired mapping companies, and forged partnerships. (FT)

Tesla (TSLA) announced plans today to buy SolarCity (SCTY) in an all-stock deal worth about $2.6 billion. Both companies are controlled by Elon Musk. SolarCity can seek other offers for 45 days.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Google-parent Alphabet's (GOOGL) life sciences unit are creating a new company to fight diseases by targeting electrical signals in the body. The companies together are contributing $715 million to the effort over seven years. (Reuters)

DECISION 2016

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is set to introduce Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at an event in Omaha, Nebraska today. In her remarks, Clinton plans highlight a new study from a former John McCain advisor about her economic proposals.

GOP nominee Donald Trump said he's unhappy with the dates picked for the presidential debates this fall, because of conflicts with National Football League games. Hillary Clinton said the debate schedule was set long ago and vowed to show up regardless. (Reuters)

The families of 11 service members who died fighting for the U.S. are demanding an apology from Trump, who suggested the Muslim mother of a fallen American soldier had not "been allowed" to speak during an appearance at the Democratic convention. (NBC News)

BY THE NUMBERS

As August begins, Wall Street worries. The month has not been a great time historically for stocks. And over the past 20 years, the Dow has performed worse on average in August than during any other month. According to Bespoke, the Dow averaged an August decline of 1.3 percent, though it was positive 55 percent of the time.

The new month starts with two economic reports, both at 10 a.m. ET. The Institute for Supply Management is out with its July manufacturing index, expected to fall to 52.7 from June's 53.2. The government's June construction spending report is seen rising by 0.5 percent after a May decline of 0.8 percent.

Earnings reports out this morning include AMC Entertainment (AMC), Diamond Offshore (DO), First Data (FDC), Macerich (MAC), and Vulcan Materials (VMC). Meanwhile, Carmike Cinemas (CKEC), Dun & Bradstreet (DNB), General Growth Properties (GGP), Tenet Healthcare (THC), and Williams Companies (WMB) issue quarterly results after the bell.


STOCKS TO WATCH

European Union banks are much better placed to cope with serious economic shock, according to new stress tests. But in premarket U.S. trading, Deutsche Bank (DB), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), and Barclays (BCS) were lower.

Wynn Resorts (WYNN), Las Vegas Sands (LVS), and other casino companies operating in Macau could come under pressure, after new figures showed that gaming revenue in the Chinese territory fell for a 26th consecutive month in July.

Goldman Sachs (GS) received subpoenas relating to its dealings with Malaysian investment fund 1MDB, according to the Wall Street Journal. 1MDB is at the forefront of an international corruption probe.

Hershey (HSY) was in the spotlight following a New York Times report regarding a leaked internal memo at the Hershey Trust, which controls the chocolate maker. The paper said the memo reveals corrupt corporate culture and allegations of insider trading.

WATERCOOLER

American golfer Jimmy Walker's win at the PGA on Sunday completed a sweep of first-time major winners: Henrik Stenson at the British Open, Dustin Johnson at the U.S. Open, and Danny Willett at the Masters. (AP)

Matt Damon's return as "Jason Bourne" topped the domestic weekend box office with $60 million in ticket sales. "Star Trek Beyond" came in second in its second weekend, narrowly edging the debut of "Bad Moms." (AP)

One ticket sold in New Hampshire matches all six numbers in the Powerball jackpot worth $487 million. The winning numbers for Saturday night's drawing were 11, 17, 21, 23, 32, and 5 for the Powerball number. (AP)