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Morning Brief

US stocks stuck in pause mode

Key Points


US stock futures are pointing to more of the same after averages barely budged during the Monday session. The slowdown in corporate earnings reports and the lack of fresh economic data is likely a key factor in that indecision, as is the absence of any Fed commentary this week. (CNBC)

The oil price rally is taking a pause after U.S. crude futures rose 3 percent to settle above $43 a barrel in the previous session, bolstered by confirmation that OPEC members will gather informally at a meeting in Algeria next month. (Reuters)

Despite failing to agree to an oil output freeze in June, crude market watchers say OPEC members want to send a message that the cartel is still relevant. The group could explore an alternative to a freeze that would also put a floor under crude prices, they say. (CNBC)

Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan presided over his final policy meeting on Tuesday, during which he left rates unchanged. Here's how India's rockstar rate-setter performed during his three years at the helm. (CNBC)

Donald Trump raised his proposed top tax rate to 33 percent and promised to make all child-care expenses deductible in a speech on Monday that aimed to offer more clarity on his economic policies and move the GOP presidential nominee beyond a bruising week during which he drew broad criticism. (CNBC)

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine on Monday said she would not vote for Trump. Collins is the most senior senator yet to reject her party's standard-bearer. (NYT)

Fifty Republican former national security officials have signed a letter that says Donald Trump would be "the most reckless President in American history" and "lacks the character, values, and experience to be President." (NBC News)

The parents of two Americans killed in the 2012 Benghazi attacks filed a wrongful death suit against Hillary Clinton, alleging Clinton's use of a private email server contributed to the assault. They also claim Clinton defamed them in public statements. (NBC News)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg on Tuesday as the two seek to reset their relationship following a freeze over Turkey's downing of a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian border last year. (Reuters)

Wal-Mart (WMT) CEO Doug McMillon on Monday laid out the case for his company's $3.3 billion purchase of e-commerce firm, saying it affords the retail giant an opportunity to quickly build out its marketplace and reach urban millennial shoppers. (CNBC)

McMillon and founder and CEO Marc Lore will join "Squawk Box" at 7 a.m. ET.

One beneficiary of the deal is Eric Martin, a family man and entrepreneur who won 100,000 shares of last year after finishing first in a contest to refer customers to the service. (CNBC)

Delta Air Lines (DAL) is issuing refunds for canceled flights as well as $200 travel vouchers for certain passengers following Monday's system-wide outage caused by a computer problem. (AP)

Honeywell (HON) is in talks to buy privately held JDA Software for about $3 billion, according to a Reuters report. JDA is a maker of supply chain management software which was taken private by New Mountain Capital in 2012. (Reuters)

Monster Worldwide (MWW) is being bought by Dutch recruiting firm Randstad for $429 million or $3.4 per share. That represents a 23-percent premium over Monday's closing price for shareholders of the jobs and recruiting website operator. (Reuters)


The National Federation of Independent Business will issue its July index of small business sentiment, seen coming in at 94.6. That would be barely changed from June's 94.5 reading.

At 8:30 a.m. ET, the government will report on second-quarter productivity, expected to register a 0.4 percent annual rate increase following the first quarter's 0.6 percent slide.

Economists think June wholesale inventories will be higher by 0.1 percent when the report comes out at 10 a.m. ET. That would match the May increase.

Luxury goods maker Coach (COH) is among the handful of companies out with quarterly earnings this morning, along with Charter Communications (CHTR) and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH). Dow component Walt Disney (DIS) is today's after-the-bell earnings headliner, with Fossil (FOSL), Mylan (MYL), The Container Store (TCS), WageWorks (WAGE), and Yelp (YELP) also scheduled to report.


BP (BP) is looking for buyers for its 50-percent stake in SECCO, a China-based petrochemicals joint venture, according to a Reuters report. The stake could fetch as much as $3 billion.

LendingClub (LC) reported an adjusted second-quarter loss of 9 cents per share, wider than the 2 cents expected by analysts, though revenue was slightly ahead of forecasts. The operator of an online lending marketplace also announced the resignation of Chief Financial Officer Carrie Dolan.

News Corp (NWSA) reported an adjusted quarterly profit of 10 cents per share, 3 cents shy of estimates, though its revenue did exceed analyst forecasts. The unexpected rise in revenue compared to a year earlier was helped by results for its newspapers, which include the Wall Street Journal and New York Post, as well as better results in its digital real estate operation.

Twilio (TWLO) lost an adjusted 8 cents per share for its latest quarter, 6 cents less than analysts had anticipated, and the company's revenue was well above estimates. The maker of messaging and voice services also gave an upbeat forecast for the current quarter as demand for its services rises.

Gap (GPS) posted a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly sales, but its July comparable sales are below Street estimates. Results were particularly weak at Banana Republic, although Old Navy is showing signs of recovering. Following those results, Mizuho upgraded the stock to "neutral" from "underperform," noting easier comparisons ahead as well as cost controls and favorable currency fluctuations.


U.S. Olympic rookie Lilly King clinched the gold medal in the 100m breaststroke, setting a record for the event in the process. Her teammate Katie Meili, also appearing at her first Olympics, took the bronze. (NBC News)

Australia is refusing to apologize to China after Aussie swimmer Mack Horton called his Chinese rival Sun Yang a "drug cheat," referring to Sun's three-month suspension in 2014. Horton took gold over Sun in the 400m freestyle. Sun finished first in the 200m on Monday. (CNN/NBC News)