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September on pace for an unusually solid finish on Wall Street

BY THE NUMBERS

Stock index futures were hovering near breakeven ahead of the Thursday session, one day after Republicans released their blueprint for a massive overhaul to the U.S. tax system. The Dow broke a four-day losing streak on Wednesday while the S&P 500 was registering a record intraday high.

With two days left in the month, the major averages are on pace to do something they don't usually do in September: finish higher. With Wednesday's gains, the Nasdaq joined the Dow and S&P 500 in positive territory for the month, opening the possibility of the first positive September since 2013. (CNBC)

Two key economic reports are out at 8:30 a.m. ET this morning, with the government issuing weekly initial jobless claims and the third reading of second-quarter GDP. The Energy Department will issue its weekly look at natural gas inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

A heavy week for Fed-speak continues with both Kansas City Fed President Esther George and Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer making public appearances. George is not a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) for 2017. (CNBC)

*Two key reports this week could force the Fed's hand (CNBC's Trading Nation)

The number of millionaires in the world rose by nearly 8 percent last year to an all-time high of around 16.5 million people, with record total wealth of $63.5 trillion, according to a report by global consultancy firm Capgemini. (Reuters)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Republicans have unveiled sweeping changes to the U.S. tax code in a proposal that dramatically lowers taxes on businesses and many households. But one of the tax breaks in the administration's crosshairs would hit Democratic voters the hardest, according to a CNBC analysis.

*Wall Street likes it, but most Americans disagree with cutting corporate taxes (CNBC)
*GOP tax plan still has lots of holes and a surprising twist: Cowen analyst (CNBC)

After Americans took to Twitter to debate President Trump's criticism of NFL players protesting during the national anthem, a network of Twitter accounts suspected of links to Russia seized on both sides of the issue with hashtags. (NY Times)

Trump criticized Facebook (FB) as "anti-Trump" and questioned its role during the 2016 presidential campaign. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded by saying allegations that Facebook has always been against Trump is wrong and said the social network was an overall force for good. (CNBC & Reuters)

First, Hurricane Maria knocked out power and water to Puerto Rico. Then diesel fuel, gas and water became scarce. Now, it's money. The aftermath of the powerful storm has resulted in a near-total shutdown of the U.S. territory's economy that could last for weeks. (AP)

The U.S. will reportedly send "strategic" military assets to South Korea more often to better deter North Korea after Pyongyang tested ballistic missiles and an apparent hydrogen bomb in recent weeks. The Pentagon has not confirmed the decision to send assets, the Washington Post reports.

New Delhi is expected to purchase two dozen unarmed drones from the United States to monitor growing Chinese activity in the Indian Ocean. President Trump's administration authorized the sale in June, with the price tag estimated at $3 billion, according to a defense researcher. (CNBC)

Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella said the company's Bing search engine will concentrate on expanding in the PC search market, after losing its deal with Apple's (AAPL) Siri digital assistant. Nadella made his comments at a Reuters-sponsored event in New York.

Equifax (EFX) interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. issued another apology for the credit reporting agency's massive data breach, and promised to put steps in place to give consumers more control and access to their credit records. (WSJ)

Japan's Toshiba says it had signed an $18 billion deal to sell its chip unit to a consortium led by Bain Capital LP, overcoming a key hurdle as it scrambles for funds to stave off a potential delisting. (Reuters)

If you're under 13 or have a twin, it might not be a good idea to use Face ID on Apple's new iPhone X. The tech giant released security guidelines Wednesday. Apple said that the probability of a random person unlocking an iPhone X with Face ID is 1 in 1,000,000. But it could have a problem with twins or under 13s. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Roku (ROKU) is among our stocks to watch today, after pricing its IPO at $14 per share. That was at the top of the expected range for the maker of streaming video devices, valuing it at about $1.3 billion.

Jabil Circuit (JBL) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 64 cents per share, 3 cents above estimates, while the electronics manufacturer saw revenue exceed estimates as well. The company said it expected to continue to gain market share in coming quarters, but did give a current quarter earnings range that partially falls below Street forecasts.

Thor Industries (THO) earned $2.26 per share for its latest quarter, easily beating estimates of $1.95. The recreational vehicle maker also reported revenue that beat Street forecasts, completing a record fiscal year that saw a growing backlog and strong sales growth.

Toyota (TM) formed a joint venture with fellow automaker Mazda to develop electric vehicle technology.

Sanofi (SNY) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) received European Union approval for their moderate-to-severe dermatitis treatment Dupixent. The injectable drug had received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration In March.

WATERCOOLER

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who helped usher in the 1960s sexual revolution with his groundbreaking men's magazine and built a business empire around his libertine lifestyle, died on Wednesday at the age of 91, Playboy Enterprises said. (Reuters)