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Morning Brief

Wall Street win streak in jeopardy as shortened trading week begins

Key Points


Stock futures were lower this morning, the first trading day of September, as U.S. investors get their first chance to react to the latest North Korean threats following the three-day holiday weekend. The major averages are all riding win streaks and the Nasdaq is coming off both a record close and its biggest weekly gain of 2017.

*Get ready: September is usually the worst month for stocks (CNBC)

Jet-engine maker United Technologies has agreed to buy aircraft parts manufacturer Rockwell Collins for $30 billion, including debt. Under the deal, Rockwell shareholders will receive $140 per share in stock and cash, split between $93.33 in cash and $46.67 in United Tech stock. (Reuters)

U.S. oil prices were rising this morning as the gradual restart of refineries in the Gulf of Mexico that were shut by Hurricane Harvey raised demand for crude, ending a spike in gasoline prices. As a result, retail gas prices at the pump were steady. (Reuters & AAA Gas Prices)

There are three Fed-related speeches today, all coming from those with votes on monetary policy for 2017: Fed Gov. Lael Brainard, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, and Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan. The next meeting of Fed policymakers is set for September 19-20.


South Korea warned North Korea appears to be preparing to test another intercontinental ballistic missile. The United States also told the United Nations that the regime is "begging for war" after Pyongyang set off its most powerful nuclear bomb yet. (WSJ)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking after a BRICs summit in China today, said imposing tougher sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear missile program would be counter-productive and said threats of military action could trigger "a global catastrophe." (Reuters)

*The UN is considering tougher sanctions on North Korea—but that could actually help Pyongyang (CNBC)

South Korean warships today conducted live-fire exercises at sea for a second straight day after North Korea's biggest-ever nuclear test. Washington and Seoul agreed to lift restrictions on South Korean missiles they'd previously agreed upon, according to the South Korean presidential office. (AP)

*Seoul wants bigger warheads, North Korean ICBM reportedly on the move (Reuters)
*Allies for 67 years, US and South Korea split over North Korea (NYT)


Texans take another step toward recovery from Harvey today, several returning to work for the first time since the storm struck. Many large Texas employers, universities and transit services are reopening or beginning full service, some for the first time since Harvey struck the state on Aug. 25. (Reuters)

A powerful Category 4 storm, Hurricane Irma, plowed toward the Caribbean and the southern United States this morning as islands in its path brace themselves for the life-threatening storm. Florida and Puerto Rico each declared a state of emergency. (Reuters)

Congress will return today from its summer break and, in a test of the uneasy alliance between President Trump and Senate Republicans, will have to grapple with keeping the federal government open, paying U.S. creditors and passing a $7.85 billion hurricane-aid bill. (WSJ)

*Mnuchin: Congress should tie Harvey aid to bill to raise the debt ceiling (AP)

New York and Washington state vowed to sue President Trump if he ends a program shielding from deportation immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children. Trump is expected to announce today he will end the so-called Dreamers program but give the Congress six months to craft legislation to replace it. (Reuters)

*On DACA, President Trump has no easy path (NYT)

Chinese President Xi Jinping told an international summit today that although the global economy had improved, risk factors had also increased. The leader appeared to rebuke the United States' recent resistance to international agreements, including the Paris climate accord. (Reuters)

Tronc, the publisher of The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune, said it had acquired The Daily News, the nearly 100-year-old tabloid that for decades set New York City's agenda with its gossip, sports, and city coverage. (NYT)

Angry Birds maker Rovio Entertainment is planning an IPO after its move into films and merchandise significantly boosted its business. The group did not set a figure for how much it aims to raise. (Financial Times)

Amtrak said its regularly operations resumed this morning at New York Penn Station after summer track work, which began in early July, was completed "on time and on budget." The $40 million infrastructure project, which began in July, was dubbed "the summer of hell." (Amtrak)


Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google unit could be hit with a record fine by the European Commission later this month, according to the Sunday Times, in a case involving allegedly anti-competitive moves involving Google's Android smartphone software.

Blackstone (BX) has called off the sale of a $2.8 billion Australian shopping mall portfolio, according to Reuters, amid worries about competition from (AMZN). A source told Reuters that Blackstone will renovate the properties instead of selling them.

Volkswagen (VLKAY) put the sale of its Ducati motorcycle unit on hold, according to Reuters, which said disagreements on strategy and resistance from German trade units were among the obstacles to a deal.

Intel (INTC) will receive a ruling from European antitrust officials Wednesday on whether it offered illegal rebates to shut out rivals.

Boeing (BA) received a favorable decision from the World Trade Organization, which reversed a ruling that the jet maker had received illegal support for its 777X jet.


SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Twitter artificial intelligence could be the "most likely" cause of a third world war. His comment was in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin who said Friday that the first global leader in AI would "become the ruler of the world." (CNBC)

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