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Morning Brief

US stocks try to cap winning week; Yellen and Draghi speak

Key Points


U.S. stock index futures were higher this morning as investors firmly focused on Jackson Hole, Wyoming today, where they'll hear speeches from Fed Chair Janet Yellen (10 a.m. ET) and ECB President Mario Draghi (3 p.m. ET) at the Kansas City Fed Symposium. (CNBC)

*Fed Chair Yellen set to deliver what could be historic speech in Jackson Hole (CNBC)
*Markets are waiting for possible Jackson Hole surprise from central bankers (CNBC)

The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq might have a chance to extend this week's gains. Despite losing ground the past two sessions, all three are still higher for the week with the Nasdaq poised to break a four-week losing streak and the Dow and S&P 500 poised to end two weeks of losses. (CNBC)

Stocks of major food retailers collapsed Thursday, erasing nearly $12 billion in market value, after Amazon said Whole Foods Market will cut prices on many of its best-selling grocery products in just four days. (CNBC)

*Amazon says Whole Foods deal will close Monday, with discounts to begin then (CNBC)

The chance of a government shutdown, should Congress fail to reach an agreement around the debt ceiling, may cause a surge in market volatility ahead. A shutdown would cause a spike in the CBOE volatility index and depress the value of the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, according to one CEO. (Trading Nation)

The lone economic report of the day comes at 8:30 a.m. ET, with the release of durable goods orders for July. Consensus forecasts call for a drop of 6.0 percent, compared to the July increase of 6.4 percent. (CNBC)


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)


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)