Morning Brief

Could strong jobs report tip the Fed's hand on rates?

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, ahead of the 8:30 a.m. ET release of the government's August employment report. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq were slightly higher for the week. The indexes were all less 1 percent from record closing highs. (CNBC)

Investors were wondering whether a strong jobs report might tip the Fed's hand to hike interest rates this month for the second time in a decade. Nonfarm payrolls are seen rising 180,000 for August, with the jobless rate edging down to 4.8 percent. (CNBC)

U.S. oil prices were higher this morning, after falling nearly 3.5 percent Thursday, as traders treaded cautiously ahead of the employment report that will help gauge the health of the world's largest economy. On the week, crude was off 9.4 percent. (CNBC)

Samsung said it's stopped sales of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after it found "battery cell issues" in the device. Reports surfaced over the past few days in the U.S. and South Korea that Note 7 handsets were "exploding" during or after charging. (CNBC)

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is in talks with buyout firm Thoma Bravo to sell its software division, hoping to fetch between $8 billion and $10 billion. HPE has received offers for as much as $7.5 billion in a sale process managed by investment bank Goldman Sachs. (Reuters)

High winds and heavy rain from Hermine slammed Florida's northern Gulf Coast Friday. Power outages left tens of thousands of households in the dark, as the first hurricane in 11 years made landfall in the state. The storm struck near St. Marks just after midnight. (Reuters)

For the first time, mosquitoes in Miami Beach have tested positive for the Zika, a disappointing confirmation that the virus remains active in the area. The first cluster of cases was found in a Miami neighborhood called Wynwood. (NY Times)

Hillary Clinton released today a new plan to combat soaring drug prices, following the latest public outcry over Mylan's nearly 400 percent increase in recent years of the cost of EpiPens. (CNBC)

Donald Trump has tapped Citizens United President David Bossie to serve as deputy campaign manager. Meanwhile, the GOP presidential nominee has narrowed the gap in critical swing state of Pennsylvania. Polls indicate Clinton's negatives were surging. (AP & CNBC)

In direct response to Trump's immigration speech in Phoenix, the Clinton campaign is paying six figures to air a TV ad titled "Role Models," starting today. Clinton is attempting to tap into the growing Latino population in Arizona. (USA Today)

Clinton is having her best fundraising month, raking in $143 million in August, a 58 percent jump from July. The campaign is being driven by large contributions to the Democratic party. Trump's campaign has yet to release August numbers. (Washington Post)

Melania Trump filed a lawsuit against the Daily Mail and a Maryland political blogger on Thursday for publishing "false and tremendously damaging" statements claiming the would-be first lady previously worked as an "escort." (NBC News)

Inspired by Colin Kaepernick, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane sat during the national anthem before Thursday's preseason game. Lane follows the lead of the San Francisco 49ers quarterback's response to strained race relations in America. (USA Today)


At the G-20 meeting, which kicks off on Sunday in China, President Barack Obama is expected to address corporate tax avoidance and creating a fairer global tax system. The issue was front and center this week with the EU's order against Apple (AAPL)

In addition to the jobs numbers, the government is out with two more economic reports this morning: July trade deficit figures at 8:30 a.m. ET and July factory orders at 10 a.m. ET.

Richmond Fed President Jeff Lacker speaks at 1 p.m. ET on interest rates in an appearance at an economics conference. Lacker is not a voting member of the central bank's policy committee this year.

August turned out to be a good month for hedge fund titan Bill Ackman, with a nearly 6 percent return. But the billionaire's Pershing Square Capital is still on track for a 14 percent decline this year.

McDonald's (MCD) is getting more interested bidders for its planned sale of locations in China and Hong Kong. Private equity firms Carlyle (CG) and TPG have joined separate consortiums to bid for those stores.

Marriott's (MAR) deal to buy rival hotel operator Starwood (HOT) remains under review by China regulators, according to Dow Jones. Officials have now extended their examination for a third time.


Verifone (PAY) is cutting its fourth quarter and full-year outlook. The move comes after the payment technology maker's third quarter revenue missed estimates.

Lululemon (LULU) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 38 cents per share, a penny above estimates. Revenue was in line. But investors were focusing on weaker than expected guidance from the yogawear maker.

Broadcom (AVGO) earned an adjusted $2.89 per share, 12 cents above estimates, with revenue slightly above. The chipmaker also predicted current quarter revenue slightly above consensus.

Smith & Wesson (SWHC) came in 9 cents above forecasts, with adjusted quarterly profit of 62 cents per share. Revenue was also above estimates. The gunmaker also gave strong forward guidance.

Ambarella (AMBA) posted adjusted quarterly profit of 54 cents per share, 16 cents above estimates. Revenue also beat. Shares of the make of image processing chips remain under pressure, however, due to a series of losses by major customer GoPro (GPRO).

Gap (GPS) reported a 3 percent drop in August same-store sales, a much larger shortfall than expected. The biggest drop came at the retailer's Banana Republic brand, which saw a 10 percent decline.

United Parcel Service (UPS) announced a 4.9 percent average rate increase for its freight service, effective Sept. 19, and a similar increase for the company's other services which goes into effect on Dec. 26.

Harley-Davidson (HOG) is cutting about 200 jobs as the motorcycle maker adjusts its production schedule to account for a lower shipment forecast for 2016.


Starting today, thousands of video game fans crowd into The Forum, former home of the Lakers, for the next release of Activision Blizzard's (ATVI) "Call of Duty," the top-selling PC and console video game in the U.S. for six years in a row. (USA Today)