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Morning Brief

Stocks may fall this week, despite Monday's all-time highs

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were lower this morning, with projected losses that could erase weekly gains by the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq. Ahead of Friday trading, the three stock measures were less than 1 percent away from Monday's intraday highs. (CNBC)

The normalization of monetary policy is hampered by a low neutral rate, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said late Thursday. But earlier in the day, San Francisco Fed Bank President John Williams signaled support for a rate hike. (Reuters)

Nearly 500 million people are living in countries with negative interest rates, according to S&P Global — a factor that could fuel a return to a "cash-only" society, and people putting savings in personal safes rather than banks. (CNBC)

Oil prices were steady around $48 per barrel this morning, after U.S. crude surged 3 percent Thursday on continued hope international producers could agree on measures to support prices. WTI was up nearly 8.4 percent as of Thursday's settle. (Reuters)

One of the four U.S. Olympic swimmers caught up in Ryan Lochte's fabricated tale of robbery in Rio reached a deal with authorities to donate $11,000 in order to leave Brazil. The U.S. Olympic Committee apologized to Brazil last night for the behavior of the swimmers. (NBC News)

Viacom (VIA) and controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone have reached an agreement, which would result in CEO Philippe Dauman's departure. As part of the proposed settlement, Dauman would get an exit package worth about $72 million. (Reuters)

Donald Trump campaigns in Michigan today, after telling a North Carolina rally he regrets comments that "may have caused personal pain." Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is reportedly set to finally start running television ads. (Reuters & USA Today)

Trump's VP running-mate Mike Pence has filed a sparse financial disclosure. Pence's family's income from the beginning of 2015 through Aug. 16 was $173,000, all from his salary as governor of Indiana. (CNBC)

Former President Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea, plan to stop raising money for the Clinton Foundation and turn over operations to independent parties if Democrat Hillary Clinton were elected president. (WSJ-subscription)

Hillary Clinton told the FBI that former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican, had advised her to use a personal email account. The disclosure was included in the notes the FBI handed over to Congress earlier this week. (NY Times)

The State Department conceded for the first time Thursday that it delayed making a $400 million payment to Iran for several hours in January "to retain maximum leverage" and ensure three American prisoners were released the same day. (NY Times)

Corrections Corporation of America (CXW) said it's "disappointed" in the DOJ's recommendation to reduce reliance on privately operated prisons. The stock, which tumbled nearly 35 percent Thursday, was up more than 10 percent in the premarket. (CNBC)

A federal judge has denied a motion for preliminary approval of Uber's $100 million settlement with its drivers on grounds the deal was not sufficient. The case stems from the ride-hailing firm classifying drivers as independent contractors. (CNBC)

A cluster of Zika cases, most likely transmitted by local mosquitoes, has been identified in Miami Beach, and federal and state officials are considering whether to advise pregnant women to avoid traveling to the area. (NY Times) will shut down next week after nearly 14 years of operation. The decision comes just days after Univision successfully bid $135 million for the properties of Gawker Media, which was in bankruptcy after a $140 million award in the Hulk Hogan privacy case. (CNBC)

Amber Heard is donating her $7 million divorce settlement from actor Johnny Depp to charity. The 30-year-old actress said she's dividing the money equally between the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. (Reuters)


There are no economic reports today, although there's one Fed-related speech on the calendar with St. Louis Fed President James Bullard scheduled to speak at a conference at 1 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, Baker Hughes releases its weekly oil rig count, also at 1 p.m. ET.

Earning reports this morning include quarterly numbers from Deere & Co. (DE), Estee Lauder (EL), Foot Locker (FL), Hibbett Sports (HIBB), Madison Square Garden (MSG), and The Buckle (BKE). There are no major earnings out after this afternoon's closing bell.

Barack Obama's presidency has been the second-most bullish for stocks since 1929, according to Bespoke Investment Group analysis. Coming into office after the 2008 financial crisis, the market has been in a bull market during 98.3 perecent of his time in the White House.


Gap (GPS) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 60 cents, a penny above estimates. However, the parent of Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy gave lower than expected full-year guidance, saying it's still unsatisfied with the pace of improvement.

Ross Stores (ROST) earned 71 cents per share, 4 cents better than estimates. Revenue was slightly above. The discount retailer saw same-store sales increase of 4 percent come in higher than forecasts. Ross also raised its annual earnings guidance.

Applied Materials (AMAT) came in 2 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 50 cents per share. Revenue was essentially in line. The semiconductor manufacturing equipment maker issued better than expected current quarter guidance.

Nike (NKE) formed a supply chain partnership with private equity firm Apollo Global Management (APO), creating a new business designed to more efficiently move Nike products to market.

Cintas (CTAS) was tanking in premarket trading, following disclosure that a Louisiana law firm is conducting an investigation into the uniform maker's proposed acquisition of G&K Services (GK) for $97.50 per share. The firm is investigating whether the deal undervalues G&K.

Emerson Electric (EMR) bought the valves and controls unit of Pentair (PNR) for $3.15 billion in a move to expand its portfolio of automation products. Emerson, which has been shedding non-core businesses, is focusing on growing its industrial automation endeavors.

Square (SQ) now has Steven Cohen's Point72 Asset Management as one of its largest shareholders, after an SEC filing showed the investment firm holds a 5.4 percent stake in the payment processing company.


Jamaica's Usain Bolt dominated the 200m, finishing in 19.79 seconds for his third straight gold in the event. Bolt was six-for-six in individual Olympic sprint finals, and can get a record tying ninth track gold in Friday's 4x100m relay. (NBC News)

U.S. decathlete Aston Eaton literally ran away with the title of World's Greatest Athlete, sprinting past France's Kevin Mayer in the 1500m to secure his second straight gold. Eaton's 8893 points sets a new Olympic record. (NBC News)

In the medals race, the U.S. remained in the lead with 100 overall — 35 gold, 33, silver, and 32 bronze. China had two more medals than Great Britain overall, 58 to 56 — but Britain had two more golds. The closing ceremony in Rio is on Sunday. (NBC News)