IN THE NEWS TODAY
Hurricane Harvey rapidly intensified early this morning spinning into potentially the biggest hurricane to hit the mainland U.S. in 12 years and taking aim at the heart of nation's oil refining industry. The storm is forecast to make landfall late today or early Saturday, packing winds of up to 125 mph. (Reuters)
*Refineries 'scrambling' to prepare for sudden arrival of Hurricane Harvey (CNBC)
House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday insisted the U.S. will raise the debt ceiling to avoid a default. Ryan's comments echoed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who on Monday said "there is zero chance" that the U.S. will fail to raise the debt ceiling. (CNBC)
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says President Trump hasn't ruled out Mexico paying for his proposed wall. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has insisted that Mexico will not pay for the project, and Trump himself appeared resigned to that during a private call with his counterpart. (CNBC)
A second victim of the collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker near Singapore was identified early this morning. Divers recovered and identified remains of 26-year-old Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon on Thursday night. He is from Suffield, Connecticut. (AP)
A court in South Korea today sentenced the billionaire head of South Korea's Samsung Group, Jay Y. Lee, to a five-year jail term, according to local media reports. The sentencing followed a trial where he was accused of paying bribes to gain government favors for the conglomerate. (CNBC)
Tesla next month plans to unveil an electric big-rig truck with a working range of 200 to 300 miles, Reuters has learned, a sign that the electric car maker is targeting regional hauling for its entry into the commercial freight market. (Reuters)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Twitter (TWTR) leads our list of stocks to watch after Jefferies downgraded the stock to "hold" from "buy". Jefferies said that although Twitter has broad user engagement, monetization is slipping and that Facebook (FB) is the clear winner in the social media space.
Amazon (AMZN) would likely accept losses in order to build its grocery store market share, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal. Separately, S&P/Dow Jones Indices announced that Quintiles (Q) will join the S&P 500 prior to the open on Tuesday, August 29, replacing Whole Foods.
Broadcom (AVGO) beat estimates by seven cents with adjusted quarterly profit of $4.10 per share, while the chipmaker's revenue came in very slightly above forecasts. Broadcom gave an upbeat forecast for the current quarter, but the shares are under pressure after an analyst with RBC Capital said being largely in line was "not enough for now."
Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) said it would evaluate any inquiries about potential transactions, but the automaker had nothing further to say about reports of interest from China's Great Wall Motor.
GameStop (GME) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 15 cents per share, one cent below estimates, with the videogame retailer's revenue slightly better than forecast. Comparable store sales were up 1.9 percent, surprising analysts who had expected a 4.8 percent drop.
No matter how much you earn, getting by is still a struggle for most people these days. Seventy-eight percent of full-time workers said they live paycheck to paycheck, up from 75 percent last year, according to a recent report from CareerBuilder. (CNBC)
Three years after Taylor Swift released 1989 and following months of near-radio silence from the star, the singer returned this week with Look What You Made Me Do, the first single from her forthcoming new album Reputation. (USA Today)