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Morning Brief

Central banks in US and Japan hold the keys to Wall Street

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were higher, ahead of this morning's start of Fed's two-day September meeting. Wall Street gave up strong Monday morning gains to close slightly lower. Apple (AAPL), which soared nearly 12 percent last week, was a drag on the market. (CNBC)

The Fed releases its policy statement and economic projections tomorrow afternoon, and central bank chair Janet Yellen holds a post-meeting news conference. Expectations are low for an interest rate hike, but December is at about 50 percent odds. (CNBC)

Perhaps overshadowing the Fed, the Bank of Japan also begins a two-day meeting today, with talk the central bank there could cut rates further into negative territory, but reduce purchases of long-dated bonds, while continuing to short-dated purchases. (CNBC)

Oil was under some pressure this morning, after Venezuela said global supplies were 10 percent oversupplied. Technical indicators also pointed to cheaper prices. U.S. crude rose Monday, the second advance in three sessions. (Reuters)

Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in a series of explosions in New York and New Jersey, was charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer in a shootout with police Monday morning in New Jersey. (NBC News)

Authorities said the key to breaking the case was a fingerprint found on an unexploded bomb in New York. Meanwhile, flip phones used on devices Chelsea and Seaside, New Jersey were both bought at same store last year. (NBC News)

President Barack Obama plans to push world leaders today to do more to meet the needs of the world's refugees, in his final address as president to the annual United Nations summit in New York. (USA Today)

Against the backdrop of the U.N. gathering, billionaire investor George Soros is pledging to invest up to $500 million in programs and companies benefiting migrants and refugees fleeing life threatening situations. (CNBC)

Donald Trump Jr. set off Twitter outrage, comparing Syrian refugees to poisonous Skittles candy. His tweet read: "If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That's our Syrian refugee problem." (CNBC)

The possibility of a Donald Trump victory over Hillary Clinton, although still small, has risen among U.S.-based business leaders, while expectations that Clinton will assume the presidency have fallen. (CNBC)

George H.W. Bush, who lost his presidential re-election campaign to Bill Clinton in 1992, plans to vote for Hillary Clinton. That's according to Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the former Maryland lieutenant governor. (Politico)

The federal government is issuing new self-driving vehicle guidelines. Effective immediately, the rules tell automakers, suppliers, and tech firms what's expected as they develop and deploy automated technologies. (CNBC)

In prepared testimony, Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf plans to tell the Senate Banking Committee at a hearing today he's "deeply sorry" for the unauthorized account scandal, and takes "full responsibility." (NY Times)

Samsung said its investigation into one of two reports of Galaxy Note 7 fires in China found no battery problem. The electronics giant announced a global recall of 2.5 million devices due to complaints of batteries burning up. (AP)

Wal-Mart (WMT) has completed its $3 billion acquisition of internet retailer Jet's founder Marc Lore, who's joining Wal-Mart as head of U.S. e-commerce, gets a huge payday from the deal. (Reuters)

As General Motors (GM) looks to take on Tesla's (TSLA) upcoming Model 3 mass market electric car, it set the price on the Chevrolet Bolt at $37,495, below $30,000 once a federal tax credit is applied. (USA Today)

GM and the Canadian autoworkers union announced a tentative contract deal early this morning, averting a 3,900-worker strike that would have shut some manufacturing facilities north of the border. (Reuters)

American Airlines (AAL) employees today start wearing a new uniform, the first in nearly three decades, representing one of the last transitions of the American-US Airways merger, which closed in late 2013. (USA Today)


Investors will be parsing this morning's August housing starts and building permits data for signs of excessive weakness or strength that might sway the Fed. Economists see starts falling 1.7 percent and permits rising 1.8 percent.

On the earnings front, Dow transportation component FedEx (FDX), software maker Adobe Systems (ADBE), and home builder KB Home (KBH) are out with quarterly results after closing bell on Wall Street this afternoon.

Ascena Retail (ASNA) reported adjusted profit of 8 cents per share, half of what Wall Street had been expecting. The Ann Taylor parent also warned on guidance. The stock was down more than 20 percent in the premarket.

Homebuilder Lennar (LEN) reported better-than-expected adjusted earnings of $1.01 per share. Revenue of $2.83 billion also exceed forecasts. Orders for new homes were up 8 percent.


Community Health Systems (CYH) was soaring in premarket trading; up about as much as Monday's loss on reports that the company is in talks to sell assets to Apollo Global Management (APO).

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn slashed his stake in Chesapeake Energy (CHK) by more than half. Icahn cited tax planning as the reason for the move, which reduced his stake to 4.55 percent from 9.4 percent.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR) now has hedge fund firm Alden Global Capital as a 9.5 percent shareholder. The fund said it has been in contact with the home goods retailer's management about representation on the board.

JPMorgan (JPM) is naming Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) investment officer Todd Combs to the bank's board.

Intel (INTC) named Bob Swan as its next chief financial officer, replacing longtime CFO Stacy Smith. Swan was eBay's (EBAY) CFO for nine years and helped guide the spinoff of PayPal (PYPL).

FedEx (FDX) plans to raise shipping rates in 2017, with an average 3.9 percent increase at FedEx Express and 4.9 percent for its ground services. Rival UPS (UPS) recently unveiled an average rate increase of 4. 9 percent.


Fast food chains are testing upscale menu items, such as a Pesto Mozzarella Melt at McDonald's (MCD) and Truffle Bacon Cheeseburgers and Bacon Truffle Fries at Wendy's (WEN). (CNBC)