Morning Brief

Fed minutes, earnings, and oil dominate Wall Street

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were under some pressure this morning, as investors await the minutes of the latest meeting of Fed policymakers. After Monday's record closes for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq, all three fell on Tuesday. (CNBC)

The Fed minutes, out at 2 p.m. ET, were likely to show policymakers warming to the idea of an interest rate hike, after saying last month near-term risks to the economic outlook were diminished. St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard speaks at 1 p.m. ET. (CNBC)

Oil prices were falling from five-week highs this morning, on doubts whether producer talks to rein in oversupply would succeed. Meanwhile, the API showed a larger-than-expected weekly stockpile decline. The government's inventory report is out 10:30 a.m. ET. (Reuters)

It's a big day for retailer earnings. Target (TGT) beat estimates on earnings and essentially matched on revenue. But same-store sales were weaker, and so was the outlook. Meanwhile, Lowe's (LOW) missed estimates on earnings, revenue, and same-store sales. (CNBC)

Cisco Systems (CSCO) issues earnings after-the-bell this afternoon, amid reports the tech giant plans to lay off about 14,000 employees, or nearly 20 percent of its global workforce. The firm is transitioning from its hardware roots into a software-centric organization. (Reuters)

Apple's (AAPL) gradual rollout of carrier billing has reached Japan, where iPhone users can buy games and charge them to their phone bill. Meanwhile, Apple plans to build its first Asia-Pacific research and development center in China. (Reuters)

Univision has won the auction for Gawker Media, agreeing to pay $135 million for the bankrupt blog network. Ziff Davis and Univision were the only two bidders for Gawker, which filed for bankruptcy after Hulk Hogan won a $140 million judgement in a privacy case. (Recode)

Pinterest is launching video ads in beta, which could be a game changer to grow revenue ahead of an eventual initial public offering for the social media platform. (CNBC)

Barnes & Noble (BKS) CEO Ronald Boire, who had been at the helm of the retailer for less than a year, has been shown the door, after the board said he "was not a good fit for the organization." (CNBC)

Promising new cholesterol-lowering drugs, priced at $14,000 a year per person, could add $120 billion annually to the American health care costs if taken by all eligible patients, according to an economic analysis published Tuesday in JAMA. (USA Today)

Many companies are cutting jobs in response to rising health care costs spurred by Obamacare, according to a new survey by the New York Fed. Roughly a fifth of service sector and manufacturing executives said they're reducing the number of workers. (WSJ)

Donald Trump is shaking up his campaign's leadership amid flagging poll numbers, promoting Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager. Paul Manafort stays on as chair, but Stephen Bannon, co-founder of conservative Breitbart News, comes on board as CEO. (NBC News)

Trump is due to get a classified intelligence briefing in New York today. Meanwhile, the GOP presidential nominee Tuesday reached out to African American voters, vowing in Wisconsin to restore law and order. (Reuters)


Even with mortgage rates sitting near record lows, home loan applications failed to make gains last week. Total application volume decreased 4 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

One year after taking the helm at J.C. Penney (JCP) Marvin Ellison sits down with analysts today near the department store's home turf in Texas to talk transformation, consumer challenges, and what's in store for the future at the 114-year-old retailer.

GoPro (GPRO) starts selling its six-camera virtual reality Omni rig today. For $5,000 users get six HERO 4 Black cameras, a metal housing, and software allowing users to capture and publish high-resolution VR content. The product is meant for professionals.


Urban Outfitters (URBN) reported second-quarter profit of 66 cents per share, 10 cents above estimates, with revenue also beating forecasts. The stock was surging in premarket trading.

Cree (CREE) beat estimates on revenue but missed on earnings. The lighting and semiconductor products maker saw a 13 percent sales drop in lighting. The stock was falling in the premarket.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (PLKI) was under pressure, after matching estimates with earnings, but falling short on revenue. Popeyes also cut its same sales forecast and the number of planned store openings.

MetLife (MET) has outlined its plan to fight its designation as a systemically important financial institution. In a court filing, the insurer said regulators used a flawed process.

Lumber Liquidators (LL) received a favorable ruling from a California court, which rejected claims the flooring maker did not warn consumers about the presence of cancer causing formaldehyde in some of its products.

Energy giant Southern Company (SO) announced the pricing of a previously announced 32.5 million common share offering, which will bring in proceeds of about $1.6 billion.


Gymnastics all-around champ Simone Biles captured her fourth gold and fifth medal of Rio, closing out her historic run with a win in floor. U.S. teammate and London floor champ Aly Raisman took silver, her third medal of the games. (NBC News)

American Kerri Walsh Jennings had never lost a beach volleyball match in four Olympics, but Brazil's Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas beat Jennings and April Ross in the Rio semis. The U.S. women take on Brazil's other team in tonight's bronze match. (USA Today)

In the medal count, the U.S. was in the lead with a total of 84 — 28 gold, 28 silver, and 28 bronze — before today's competition. China and Great Britain were neck-and-neck with 51 and 50 medals respectively, though Britain had the edge in golds 19 to 17. (NBC News)

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