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UK rate cut boosts US futures and London stocks

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were higher, following the Bank of England's first interest rate cut in seven years and more stimulus. London stocks were higher, while the pound and 10-year British bond yields fell sharply. Investors also look ahead to Friday's July jobs report from the U.S. government. (CNBC)

The Dow is looking to build on Wednesday's modest gains, which broke a seven-day losing streak, the longest since last summer. The S&P 500 halted a two-day slide. An advance for the Nasdaq avoided back-to-back losses for the first time since late June. (CNBC)

A strong 3.3 percent gain in oil helped support stocks Wednesday, as weekly inventory data showed a decline in gasoline supply. The gains for U.S. crude were only the second positive session in the past 10. This morning, prices were under some pressure. (Reuters)

Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman is selling off his big equity stake in railway Canadian Pacific (CP), worth $1.5 billion. As of the end of July, Ackman's Pershing Square was down 19 percent for the year. Last year, the fund lost 20.5 percent. (NY Times)

Ackman short target Herbalife (HLF) earned $1.29 per share, 8 cents above estimates, with revenue essentially in line. The nutrition products firm said it plans to implement changes to its business practices within 10 months, following its agreement with the FTC. (Reuters)

Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said the electric automaker is making strides in autonomous driving. The company also reported a larger than expected loss and missed on revenue. But Tesla said it's on track to deliver 50,000 vehicles in the second half of the year. (CNBC)

Nike (NKE) is getting out of the golf equipment business, a surprising announcement that's sure to send Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and other players searching for new clubs, balls, and bags. Nike is instead devoting its resources to shoes and apparel. (AP)

Apple's (AAPL) App Store had a stellar July, according to CEO Tim Cook. He tweeted the company saw its "highest-ever monthly billings and money paid to developers" last month. Cook also tweeted developers have earned more than 50 billion since inception in 2008. (CNBC)

Intel (INTC) is recalling its Basic Peak smartwatch, saying the device could overheat while wearing it and cause burns or blisters. Intel had already warned users to stop wearing the watch in June after first hearing complaints. (FT)

Online fantasy sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel have prevailed in their fight with the state of New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill classifying the big-money contests as "games of skill," not illegal games of chance. (NBC News)

The Fed took action against Goldman Sachs (GS) and one of the bank's former executives, levying a $36.3 million penalty, escalating an investigation into a leak of confidential information. Goldman already paid $50 million to New York State regulators. (NY Times)

Donald Trump has been gone from Atlantic City for years, but the Taj Mahal casino bearing his name is set to close after Labor day. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said he has lost nearly $100 million on the Taj Mahal in the past 18 months. (AP)

A new Fox News poll finds Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with a 10-point lead over Trump despite deep reservations about her trustworthiness. The survey is the latest of several to find Clinton with a post-convention lead. (WSJ)

Actor and director Clint Eastwood, a long-time Republican who spoke at the 2012 GOP convention, told Esquire that in a choice between Clinton and Trump he'd pick Trump. Eastwood said Trump's candidness is refreshing, but the nominee says "dumb things." (USA Today)

Mike Pence aligned himself with the GOP establishment rather than his running mate, by endorsing House Speaker Paul Ryan's re-election bid, a day after Trump roiled the party by declaring he was not yet ready to support Ryan. (NY Times)

In an op-ed, Speaker Ryan warned against politicizing the Zika threat. He wrote, "the Republican-led Congress has made it a priority." Ryan accuses the White House of demanding more funding while sitting on unspent funds. (USA Today)

An American woman has been killed and five people wounded by a man armed with a knife in London's Russell Square. Police said the 19-year-old suspect arrested is a Norwegian of Somali origin, but there are no signs of radicalization. (CNBC)

Hurricane Earl made landfall in Belize with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph this morning. The powerful storm was expected to bring heavy rains to southern Mexico through Saturday. (NBC News)

BY THE NUMBERS

The pace of layoffs announced by U.S.-based companies rose for a second-straight month in July, as the U.S. energy patch once again shed thousands of workers. Employers last month said they would cut 45,346 jobs, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The Labor Department releases its weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. Forecasts call for new filings of 265,000 last week. The Commerce Department issues June factory orders at 10 a.m. ET. A drop of 1.7 percent is expected.

Among the companies reporting quarterly results this morning are Kellogg (K) and Time (TIME). This afternoon's earnings list includes Activision Blizzard (ATVI), LinkedIn (LNKD), Kraft Heinz (KHC), Priceline Group (PCLN), Zillow (ZG), and Zynga (ZNGA).

STOCKS TO WATCH

Square (SQ) reported a smaller-than-expected loss, and revenue that exceed estimates. The mobile payments firm was helped by an increase in the number of merchants signing on to use the service. Square is run by Jack Dorsey who's also CEO of Twitter (TWTR).

GoDaddy (GDDY) lost 11 cents per share for the second quarter, 4 cents more than anticipated, although the web registrar's revenue did beat analyst estimates. The company also gave upbeat full year guidance.

Nokia (NOK) said it would cut more costs after reporting a second-quarter loss of about $738 million. The telecom equipment maker's profit was down 45 percent from a year earlier.

Toyota (TM) cut its full year profit forecast due to a bigger hit from the stronger Japanese yen. The automaker expects operating profit to be down 44 percent from a year ago.

Viacom (VIAB) reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.05 per share, 4 cents above estimates, while revenue also beat forecasts. A drop in media networks results was more than countered by growth in the film division.

21st Century Fox (FOXA) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 45 cents per share, beating estimates by 8 cents. Revenue was essentially in-line. The media giant increased the size of its stock buyback and raised its semi-annual dividend.

MetLife (MET) came in well short of the $1.35 per share consensus estimate with adjusted quarterly profit of 83 cents per share, while the insurance company's revenue missed as well. The shortfall was largely due to higher losses on derivative investments.

Transocean (RIG) reported a sharp drop in second quarter profit, but its adjusted earnings of 17 cents per share were well above forecasts for a breakeven quarter. Revenue also topped estimates, even as the oilfield services firm dealt with slumping demand.

TripAdvisor (TRIP) earned an adjusted 38 cents per share, 4 cents below estimates. The travel website operator's revenue also fell short of forecasts. TripAdvisor had rising expenses during the quarter, as well as lower revenue from hotel bookings.

Jack In The Box (JACK) came in 20 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.07 per share, while the restaurant chain's revenue exceeded analyst estimates as well. Current quarter earnings guidance was below forecasts.

WATERCOOLER

Police used stun grenades and tear gas to clear protesters in the path of the Olympic torch in a poor suburb of Rio, just two days before tomorrow's opening ceremony. South America's first Olympic Games are set to open under tight security. (Reuters)

Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan scored a goal in each half as the U.S. women's soccer team defeated New Zealand 2-0 in their debut at the Rio Olympics last night, getting off to a solid start in their attempt to win a fourth straight gold. (NBC News)