Morning Brief

Wall Street sees a dress rehearsal for Friday's jobs show

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were little changed on this final day of August. The Dow and S&P 500 were clinging to small monthly gains, while the Nasdaq was up nearly 1.2 percent. Investors get the ADP private-sector jobs report this morning, ahead of tomorrow's key government data. (CNBC)

Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren made a case for hiking rates. Speaking at the same forum in China today, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans indicated he favors low rates. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari speaks in St. Paul at 8 a.m. ET. (Reuters)

Oil prices were under pressure this morning, though U.S. crude was up nearly 12 percent so far in August. The American Petroleum Institute said inventories were slightly higher than expected. The government is out with its stockpile data at 10:30 a.m. ET. (Reuters)

Donald Trump has accepted an invitation to travel to Mexico today to meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto. The planned meeting comes ahead of tonight's speech in Arizona designed to clarify the GOP presidential nominee's stance on undocumented immigrants. (CNBC)

Republican billionaire Meg Whitman, in her first appearance for Hillary Clinton, said she wouldn't rule out serving in a cabinet position if the Democratic nominee were to beat Trump. Whitman unsuccessfully ran for governor in California in 2010. (LA Times)

Three high-profile incumbents on Capitol Hill — Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and John McCain as well as Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz — took the first steps to keeping their jobs by winning in Tuesday's primaries. (NBC News)

Facebook's (FB) "trending topics," which faced allegations of political bias earlier this year, now requires little-to-no human input. But that's causing trending topics to veer off course, highlighting a false news story and various other mix-ups. (NBC News)

JetBlue (JBLU) is set to make history this morning, as the first American airline to launch regularly scheduled flights to Cuba since diplomatic relations thawed between Washington and Havana. (Sun Sentinel)

A triple weather threat is looming this week. A hurricane watch was issued for parts of Florida's Gulf Coast. North Carolina's Outer Banks prepares for heavy rain. Meanwhile, Hurricane Madeline in the Pacific Ocean churned toward Hawaii. (NBC News)

ISIS's No. 2 commander has died after being wounded in Syria, a U.S. military intelligence official told NBC News. Abu Muhammad al-Adnani was also the terror group's charismatic director of external operations and main propagandist.

Theranos, the blood-testing firm struggling with regulatory sanctions, has withdrawn its request for emergency clearance of its Zika test. The FDA found the startup didn't include proper patient safeguards in a study on the proposed test (WSJ)

Europe needs more banking mergers for the sector to become more profitable, Deutsche Bank (DB) chief John Cryan said today, amid a report Germany's biggest lender had looked at No. 2 player Commerzbank. (CNBC)

Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google plans to launch a ride-sharing service in San Francisco this fall, and may expand it, if successful. The Google carpooling service, powered by Waze navigation app, could be a rival to services like UberPOOL. (WSJ)

Google's Nest Labs, the maker of internet-connected smoke detectors and thermostats, is undergoing a major restructuring. The group's entire development team is becoming a part of Google, which paid $3.2 billion for Nest in 2014. (Fortune)


Treasury Secretary Jack Lew speaks this morning at the Brookings Institution in Washington. In remarks at 8:30 a.m. ET, Lew is expected to preview the upcoming G-20 meeting in China and explain what the U.S. hopes to accomplish there.

In addition to the ADP's August jobs report at 8:15 a.m. ET, the Chicago purchasing managers index for August is out at 9:45 a.m. ET, while July pending home sales from the National Association of Realtors is released at 10 a.m. ET.

Mortgage rates held steady last week as some borrowers decided to take advantage of the savings potential. Total home loan application volume increased 2.8 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refis rose 4 percent last week.

Bob Evans Farms (BOBE) and Brown-Forman (BFB) are out with quarterly earnings this morning, while (CRM), Box (BOX), Five Below (FIVE), and Shoe Carnival (SCVL) are among the companies set to issue quarterly numbers after this afternoon's closing bell.


H&R Block (HRB) reported an adjusted loss of 55 cents per share, 2 cents wider than anticipated. Revenue was also short of forecasts. The tax preparer cited fewer customers and the negative impact of currency fluctuations.

Palo Alto Networks (PANW) reported a quarterly profit of 50 cents per share, matching estimates, while revenue exceeded forecasts. The cybersecurity firm also gave a full-year forecast above forecasts, but current quarter outlook below estimates.

AstraZeneca (AZN) has agreed to pay $5.52 million to resolve a foreign bribery case brought by U.S. regulators. The British drugmaker had been accused of improper payments by its sales and marketing personnel to state officials in Russia and China.

Express Scripts (ESRX) has introduced a program for next year to cap patient spending costs on diabetes drugs. The pharmacy benefits manager is trying to limit drug spending increases by participants to about half of the nearly 18 percent rise that's forecast overall for 2017.

Amazon (AMZN) is debuting its Amazon Dash buttons in Britain today, with 48 brands available for instant re-order. The wifi-enabled device, launched in the U.S. in March 2015, has attracted more than 150 brands in America.


The world's largest indoor theme park, at cost of $1 billion, opened today in Dubai. The size of 28 football fields, IMG Worlds of Adventure features rides with characters from Cartoon Network and Disney's Marvel universe, including Spider-man and the Hulk. (CNBC)