Morning Brief

Wall Street achieves a 21st century first

Key Points


U.S. stock futures point to moderate gains at the open after the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all closed at records on Thursday — the first time they've done so on the same day since December 31, 1999. The Nasdaq is also continuing its notable streak of not having fallen for back-to-back sessions in seven weeks. (CNBC)

Asian shares ended mostly higher despite a raft of disappointing data. China's industrial output and retail sales for July, as well as fixed asset investment for the year through last month, all came in below expectations. (CNBC)

Crude prices are taking a pause after West Texas Intermediate futures settled up more than 4 percent on Thursday. The rally was fueled by the Saudi oil minister's comments that OPEC members may discuss taking steps to intervene in oil markets to stabilize prices. (Reuters)

Analysts say Saudi Arabia's plan to diversify its economy by selling shares of state-owned energy giant Saudi Aramco and turn its Public Investment Fund into a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund could motivate the kingdom to embrace intervention measures it shunned in April. (CNBC)

China is making "unexpected (and under-appreciated) progress" in recapitalizing and bailing out the nation's banks, whose non-performing loans and lending to industries with excess capacity have long stoked concerns, according to UBS. (CNBC)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took aim at rival Donald Trump's economic plan in a speech on Thursday, saying it would benefit the wealthy and contending her investment and job training programs would boost the middle and working classes. (CNBC)

Trump's campaign will meet officials from the Republican National Committee in Orlando, Florida on Friday in what both camps called a routine meeting, though Trump's staff was not expected to attend the gathering. (Reuters)

Trump may very well have paid no federal income taxes in some years by availing himself of generous tax breaks for developers, real estate and tax officials told The New York Times. Trump has refused to release his tax returns. (CNBC)

Top Congressional Democrats and Republicans were briefed on Russia's alleged cyber attacks on the Democratic Party by the FBI one year ago, but were not allowed to disclosed the highly secret information, sources told Reuters. (Reuters)

A series of explosions hit three popular tourist destinations in Thailand on Thursday and Friday, killing at least two people and injuring dozens more. The attacks come after Thais voted in favor of a military-backed Constitution following more than two years of junta rule. (CNBC)

Tensions continue to ratchet up between Russia and Ukraine, with Russian President Vladimir Putin calling for the country's navy to conduct war games on the Black Sea one day after he accused Ukraine of incursions into Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. (Reuters)

Twitter (TWTR) denied rumors that it will be shutting down in 2017, calling them "groundless." The rumors sparked a hashtag campaign: #SaveTwitter. (Reuters)

Delek US Holdings (DK) is the subject of an upcoming bid by Carl Icahn-controlled CVR Energy (CVI), according to the New York Post. The paper also said there is speculation Icahn is building a personal stake in the oil refiner. (NYP)


The final trading day of the week is also the busiest for economic numbers, with two key reports out at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Retail sales are expected to post a 0.5-percent gain for July after a 0.6-percent advance in June, while the Producer Price Index is seen rising 0.1 percent for July after June's 0.5-percent jump.

At 10 a.m. ET, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index should come in at 92.0 for the August preliminary reading, according to consensus forecasts, two points higher than the final July number.

At the same time, the government is out with June business inventories, expected to be up 0.1 percent after a 0.1-percent gain in May.

J.C. Penney (JCP) is among the few companies out with quarterly earnings this morning, following a string of upbeat retail reports Thursday. There are no reports of note out after today's closing bell.


Nordstrom (JWN) reported quarterly profit of 67 cents per share, 11 cents above estimates. Revenue was essentially in line with forecasts. Nordstrom also raised its 2016 earnings guidance above current Street consensus.

Planet Fitness (PLNT) earned an adjusted 17 cents per share for the second quarter, 2 cents above estimates. Revenue for the fitness chain was well above Street consensus. The bottom line was helped by substantial growth for same-location sales, and the company also raised its annual guidance.

Nvidia (NVDA) came in 3 cents above estimates with quarterly profit of 40 cents per share, while revenue for the graphics chipmaker was also above estimates. Nvidia's sales growth was its best in almost five years, with good demand in its gaming business.

General Motors (GM) is seeking a new court hearing over $10 billion in liabilities involving faulty ignition switches. The automaker contends that the court made two fundamental errors when it rejected GM's attempt to use its 2009 bankruptcy as a way to shield itself from litigation.

Silicon Graphics (SGI) will be bought by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for $275 million or $7.75 per share. That represents a 30-percent premium for shareholders in the maker of server, storage and software products.


Simone Biles, the heavy favorite in the women's all-around gymnastics competition at the Rio Olympics, did not disappoint on Thursday. Biles and teammate Aly Raisman took gold and silver, respectively, rallying from the halfway point to best Russia's Aliya Mustafina, who won bronze. (NBC News)

Michael Phelps defeated teammate Ryan Lochte in the men's 200m individual medley, setting a record for four-straight top finishes in the event and locking down his 22nd gold medal. (NBC News)

Fiji took home its first-ever gold medal after the nation's rugby sevens team defeated Great Britain 43-7 in the sport's inaugural year at the Olympics. (NBC News)