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Wall Street takes aim at records again ahead of Yellen speech

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were searching for direction this morning, as the Nasdaq closed Tuesday just shy of a new record. The Dow and S&P 500 both inched higher and came near their all-time highs. Investors also await Fed Chair Janet Yellen's Jackson Hole speech Friday. (CNBC)

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan told the Nikkei it's appropriate for the U.S. central bank to remove some of the policy accommodation and move towards a more neutral stance.

As the Fed meets in Jackson Hole, to discuss its framework for making monetary policy, many on Wall Street are convinced there isn't one. The CNBC Fed Survey found that 60 percent of respondents say the central bank lacks a framework for deciding on interest rates.

Oil prices were lower this morning, after gaining nearly 1.5 percent Tuesday. Industry data from the American Petroleum Institute showed a surprise inventory build. The government releases its weekly crude stockpile report at 10:30 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

A powerful earthquake hit central Italy early Wednesday, burying residents under rubble as they slept and killing at least 33 people. As dawn broke, locals picked through ruins in the worst-affected towns of Amatrice and Accumoli, while authorities searched for survivors. (NBC News)

Backed by air support from the U.S.-led coalition, the Turkish military began a ground incursion into Syria today to clear Islamic State militants from the border. The mission came hours before Vice President Joe Biden was due to meet with Turkish leaders. (NY Times)

Donald Trump accused Hillary and Bill Clinton of setting up a "business to profit from public office." Newly released emails from Clinton's time as Secretary of State showed Clinton Foundation donors sought, and sometimes received, access to Hillary Clinton. (NBC News)

Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook hosts a fundraiser for Clinton later today in the San Francisco Bay Area. Clinton also attends a fundraiser at the Palo Alto home of Amy Rao, who runs a technology firm and has been a longtime Clinton fundraising bundler. (Mercury News)

Tesla (TSLA) announced new versions of its Model S sedan and Model X crossover, with faster acceleration and longer battery range. The electric automaker claims its Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode is the fastest production car in the world, in terms of acceleration. (CNBC)

As Spotify gears up for a potential initial public offering next year, the music-streaming service is negotiating new deals to obtain the rights to play tunes in years to come. Some labels are looking for a bigger revenue share, on par with Apple Music. (WSJ)

BuzzFeed plans to split its news department from its entertainment division to enhance revenue from digital videos. The reorganization followed reports of revenue misses. NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC, has also invested in BuzzFeed. (Vanity Fair)

Four private equity funds at Apollo Global Management (APO) have agreed to pay $52.7 million to settle SEC charges. The accusations included false information about fees and failing to supervise a senior partner who charged personal expenses. (Seeking Alpha)

Martin Shkreli, who hiked the price of HIV medication Daraprim by 5,000 percent, is defending drugmaker Mylan (MYL) for increasing the price of EpiPens by 461 perent. (The Daily Mail)


After Tuesday's surprise pop in new home sales, mortgage applications and existing home sales this morning should be a focus, ahead of Yellen's Friday speech.

Existing home sales for July are expected at 5.5 million, down 0.9 percent, when reported at 10 a.m. ET. There is also FHFA home price data for June at 9 a.m. ET.

Mortgage application filings fell 2.1 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinances were down 3 percent. However, total volume and refis were 28 percent and nearly 45 percent higher respectively, compared to the same week a year ago.

Besides today's economic data, there are key earnings coming after the bell from tech firm HP Incorporated (HPQ), as well as retailers PVH (PVH) and Williams-Sonoma.


Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca (AZN) has agreed to sell its small molecule antibiotics business to Pfizer Inc (PFE) in a deal that could be valued at more than $1.5 billion.

Samsung shares fell 2 percent today in Korean trading, after the technology giant said stronger-than-expected demand for its new Galaxy Note 7 meant it had to push back the release date in some markets.

Fitbit (FIT) did not steal rival Jawbone's trade secrets, a judge ruled. Jawbone accused Fitbit of patent infringement and poaching employees who brought along confidential data.

La-Z-Boy (LZB) posted a surprise drop in fourth-quarter sales, missing forecasts. The recliner maker was hurt by weaker wholesale demand and lower foot traffic at its furniture stores.

Intuit (INTU) reported a fourth-quarter loss, although revenue did rise 8 percent. however, the maker of QuickBooks and TurboTax first quarter outlook was below analyst forecasts.


If you're looking for a European summer hideaway, Villa les Cèdres on the south of France's sparkling Cote d'Azur, with the 10-bedrooms and 30 stables, is up for sale for $1 billion. (CNBC)

After bringing an NBA championship to Cleveland, LeBron James now turns his attention to helping the city's economy through a new TV series. "Cleveland Hustles" premiers tonight at 10 p.m. ET on CNBC.