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Wall Street looks to buck history this month

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Following the long Labor Day holiday weekend, U.S. stock futures were modestly higher this morning. The Dow and S&P 500 were on pace for their best quarter of the year. The Nasdaq was poised for its biggest quarterly gain since the final three months of 2013. (CNBC)

U.S. oil prices were higher this morning, around the $45 per barrel level. Crude surged on Monday, after Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to cooperate on world oil markets. But the Saudi energy minister said there's no need to freeze output for now. (Reuters)

Enbridge (ENB), the largest pipeline company in Canada, has agreed to buy Spectra Energy (SE) in an all-stock deal valued at about $28 billion to create the largest North American energy infrastructure company. (Press Release)

Science and technology innovator Danaher (DHR) has agreed to buy Cepheid (CPHD) for about $4 billion. Cepheid is a global molecular diagnostics company. Cepheid shares were up about 50 percent in premarket trading. (Press Release)

German pharmaceutical and crops maker Bayer said negotiations with Monsanto (MON) have advanced, and it's now willing to offer more than $65 billion to acquire the world's largest seed company. Bayer said it's prepared to offer $127.50 per share. (Reuters)

Volkswagen (VLKAY) has agreed to buy a minority stake in truck maker Navistar (NAV). VW is paying $256 million for a 16.6 percent stake. The deal comes a year after the VW emissions cheating scandal. (CNBC)

General Motors (GM) settled two federal cases over its faulty ignition switches, which have been linked to 124 deaths and 275 injuries. The automaker said there were three more federal cases scheduled to be heard next year. (NBC News)

All operations at London City Airport were suspended this morning after a group of Black Lives Matter protesters occupied the runway. Meanwhile, British Airways flights were delayed at a number of U.S. airports due to a check-in glitch. (CNBC)

As the iPhone nears its 10th birthday, the latest models arrive tomorrow, but probably won't include the kind of significant new features Apple (AAPL) consumers have come to expect every other year. (WSJ-subscription)

Charles Harder, Hulk Hogan's lawyer in the successful Gawker lawsuit funded by billionaire Peter Thiel, has sent a letter to New York magazine on behalf of Roger Ailes, suggesting legal action over its reporting about the former chairman of Fox News. (NY Times)

The trial in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal, which is scheduled to open on Thursday with jury selection, will play out like a documentary on the rise and fall of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's presidential ambitions. (NY Times)

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, who's previously accused the Fed of keeping interest rates low to help President Barack Obama, said the central bank has created a "false economy" and rates should change. Trump campaigns in North Carolina tonight. (CNBC)

Hillary Clinton, in the swing state of Ohio, struggled with a coughing fit. The Democratic nominee has suffered from periodic coughing bouts, raising questions by the right about her health. Clinton has no public events scheduled for today. (NBC News)

Clinton's national lead over Trump remains steady at 6 points, according to the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey weekly tracking poll. In a four-way general election match-up with third-party candidates, Clinton leads Trump by a slightly narrower 4-point margin.

The influence of CEOs over the political leanings and donations of their employees, intentional or not, is substantial, according to a new academic study. A chief executive's politics may be one of the most significant factors in swaying their employees. (NY Times)

President Barack Obama canceled what would have been his first meeting with Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, who described Obama in vulgar terms. Obama continues his trip to Asia on the heels of the G-20 in China. (Reuters)

Hurricane Newton made landfall early this morning, near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The remnants of the storm promise to bring rain to parts of the U.S. southwest. Meanwhile, Hermine is expected to slowly meander off the Northeast coast. (Weather.com)

BY THE NUMBERS

Investors look ahead to the Fed's meeting later this month and wonder whether Friday's weak jobs report was enough to put off the second interest rate hike in 10 years to December.

San Francisco Fed President John Williams speaks at 9:15 p.m. ET in Reno. Williams is expected to take questions from the media.

Another clue on the economy is out this morning, with the Institute for Supply Management releasing its non-manufacturing index at 10 a.m. ET. A reading of 55.0 for August is seen, down slightly from 55.5 in July.

The earnings calendar is also light, with Marvell Technology (MRVL) as one of the few companies out this morning. Dave & Buster's (PLAY) leads the short list of after-the-bell profit reports.

Barnes & Noble (BKS) got a positive mention in Barron's, which said the shares are a bargain based on a misperception the bookseller is being badly outflanked by Amazon (AMZN).


STOCKS TO WATCH

Carl Icahn bought nearly 307,000 more shares of Herbalife (HLF) on Aug. 31, according to an SEC filing, and now holds about a 19.6 million share stake. Earlier last week, Icahn rejected rumors he wanted to sell Herbalife, saying he bought 2.3 million shares.

Online payment giant PayPal (PYPL) has struck a deal with MasterCard (MA) to allow PayPal transactions in stores, according to the Wall Street Journal. PayPal struck a similar agreement Visa (V) earlier this year.

Liberty Media (LMCA) is close to a deal to buy a 10 to 15 percent stake in racing car series company Formula One, according to the Financial Times. A final deal is expected to be announced within the next two weeks.

General Electric (GE) announced deals to acquire two European 3-D printing firms for a total of $1.4 billion. The technology has been used by engineers to build prototypes for decades but has become more widespread.

U.S. semiconductor giant Intel is to acquire Movidius, a company behind so-called "computer vision" chips that can play a key role in technologies from virtual reality to driverless cars.

WATERCOOLER

Just a little more than a week ago, some people were burning Colin Kaepernick jerseys. Now, they're flying off the shelves. Kaepernick has been sitting during the national anthem as a protest over social issues impacting African Americans. (USA Today)

What had been a troubled U.S. summer box office ends on an upbeat note as Sony's horror-thriller "Don't Breathe" dominated the four-day Labor Day weekend with $19.6 million and "Suicide Squad" crossed the $300 million mark. (Variety)