Morning Brief

Mixed open seen as shortened trading week resumes; Fed minutes in focus

Key Points


U.S. stock index futures this morning as traders awaited the release of the Federal Reserve's minutes of the June 13-14 FOMC meeting, at which policymakers raised benchmark interest rates by ¼ point. The release is set for around 2 p.m. ET. (CNBC)

The Dow is coming off a record high close, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq continues to sputter. The Nasdaq has fallen in five of the past six sessions, and although it is still this year's best performer of the major indexes, its lead over the Dow and S&P 500 is rapidly shrinking. (CNBC)

Three releases that would normally be seen today are postponed due to the holiday: the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly report on mortgage applications, the Energy Department's usual look at oil and gasoline inventories, and ADP's June report. All three of those reports will be out tomorrow morning. (CNBC)

The government's lone economic report of the day comes at 10 a.m. ET, with the release of May factory orders. Economists look for a 0.5 percent decline following a 0.2 percent fall in April. (CNBC)


U.S. and South Korean troops fired missiles into the waters off South Korea on Tuesday, in a show of force after North Korea's test of an intercontinental ballistic missile. South Korea's president ordered the drills arranged with the U.S. to show "North Korea our firm combined missile response posture." (AP)

* North Korea vows more 'gift packages' of missile tests for US (AP)
* North Korean missile tests Trump (WSJ)
* These are the scenarios for the US response to North Korea (CNBC)

President Donald Trump sets out today on his second foreign trip of his presidency. Trump will meet with world leaders this week including, Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The White House described it as a "bilateral" session, rather than more casual and impromptu encounters. (WSJ)

Qatar Petroleum announced plans to significantly raise natural gas production in the coming years, creating an obstacle to President Donald Trump's goal of "energy dominance." The move threatens to add to a projected glut of liquefied natural gas as a wave of new projects come online in the coming years. (CNBC)

The European Union has approved Italy's $6 billion state bailout for troubled bank Monte dei Paschi, the country's fourth-largest lender. BMPS, the world's oldest bank, turned to the government for a bailout after failing to raise cash on the public market to shore up its capital. (Reuters)

EU lawmakers backed new rules to force large multinational companies to give detailed info on where their profits are generated, to prevent them from reducing their tax bills. Companies ranging from Google to Amazon would be forced to publish profits and tax bills from each of the EU countries where they have businesses. (DJ)

Volvo says every model from 2019 onwards will have an electric motor, making it the first traditional automaker to drop vehicles powered solely by an internal combustion engine. It will only make three types of cars: pure-electric, plug-in hybrids and so-called "mild" hybrids combining a small gas engine with a large battery. (Financial Times)


Apple (AAPL) may get help from the U.S. government in its tax dispute with the European Union, according to a Reuters report. The government is said to be seeking to intervene in Apple's appeal of the decision which ruled that it owed $14.8 billion in taxes to Ireland.

Pfizer (PFE) is among our stocks to watch, with the drug maker exiting a Brazilian joint venture after failing to find a buyer for its 40 percent stake. Reuters reports that Pfizer accepted a token payment worth 30 cents for the stake.

Walt Disney's (DIS) issues with its cable TV channels extend beyond ESPN, according to a Wall Street Journal article which highlights the drops in viewership for Disney's channel's aimed at children.

Intel (INTC) is expected to be overtaken by Samsung as the top seller of semiconductors by revenue for the first time. The numbers will be unveiled in Samsung's upcoming quarterly earnings report on July 28.

Wal-Mart (WMT) has received FTC approval for its $310 million acquisition of retailer Bonobos, announced on June 16.


Samsung is developing a voice-activated speaker powered by its digital assistant Bixby, according to the Wall Street Journal. Should a Samsung speaker hit the market, the South Korean tech giant would face the likes of Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Microsoft. (WSJ)

Joey "Jaws" Chestnut continues his reign as the chowing champion at the annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest at Nathan's Famous in New York. He beat his own record to log a 10th win. He downed 72 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes Tuesday, besting Carmen Cincotti, who ate 62. (NBC News)