×

US stocks set to conclude best September in four years

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were mixed this morning, but Wall Street is set to conclude its first positive September since 2013. On the final trading day of the month and the third quarter, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are also on pace for a third straight week of gains, and the S&P is coming off a record closing high along with the small-cap Russell 2000 and the Dow Transports. (CNBC)

The government releases August personal income and spending numbers this morning at 8:30 a.m. ET. The University of Michigan issues its final September consumer confidence index at 10 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

Shares of video streaming company Roku (ROKU) were higher in the premarket this morning, one day after its first day of trading as a public company. On Thursday, the entertainment technology company jumped 67 percent, closing at $23.50 per share. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer says senators from both parties are close to finalizing a bipartisan deal to shore up the health insurance exchanges created under Obamacare. The move would stabilize the market for individuals who buy their own insurance plans on the federal or state-based exchanges. (Reuters)

*Uncertainty over Obamacare subsidies pushes insurer off North Dakota exchange (CNBC)

Trump administration health affairs chief Tom Price will repay the federal government nearly $52,000 for his "seat" on more than two dozen private jet trips, which cost taxpayers more than $400,000. He also promised to refrain from using charter flights in the future. (CNBC)

White House top economic advisor Gary Cohn says that tax cuts the GOP proposed this week will be paid for entirely through economic growth. He also said the administration is not willing to go higher than 20 percent on the corporate tax rate. (CNBC)

*Cohn says a typical US family earns $100K a year...here's how much they really make (CNBC's Make IT)
*Cramer is skeptical about the GOP tax plan's chances of passage; here's how to play it (CNBC)

The White House urged the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission to put on hold the sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange to a Chinese-led group, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Trump administration declared that its relief efforts in Puerto Rico are succeeding, but people on the island said help was scarce and disorganized while food supplies dwindled in some remote towns eight days after Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory. (AP)

*Calls grow for Trump to bring more resources to aid Puerto Rico (Reuters)

After a report that President Trump's son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, and other senior White House officials were using private email accounts, the White House has launched an internal investigation into the use of private email. (Politico)

Twitter (TWTR) has suspended approximately 200 accounts linked to Russia while it investigates efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. However, Senator Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Twitter's response was inadequate. (CNBC)

The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears stood to observe the national anthem on Thursday. Players and coaches from both teams locked arms on their respective sidelines in a display of unity. No one sat and no one kneeled. (USA Today)

Amazon's (AMZN) Whole Foods unit said it suffered a limited data breach involving payment card information. The breach involved restaurants and other venues within some Whole Foods stores and did not involve the overall payment system for groceries. (CNBC)

Alphabet-unit Google (GOOGL) is reportedly building a tabletop smart screen device capable of making video calls, accessing company apps, and controlling smart-home devices. It would be in direct competition with Amazon's Echo Show. (TechCrunch)

Dara Khosrowshahi, the new CEO of Uber, will meet the head of the London transport system next Tuesday as the Silicon Valley giant steps up the fight to regain its license in the British capital. Regulator Transport for London said last week it would not renew Uber's license. (Reuters)

IKEA is buying online on-demand services platform TaskRabbit, which lets users hire people to help them move, clean up the house, or assemble furniture. Much of Ikea's furniture requires customers to screw together table legs, bedframes, and dining room chairs. (AP)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Apple (AAPL) said national security-related quests for information from the government increased by more than four-fold during the first half of the year compared to a year ago. Apple got about 13,500 requests, compared to about 3,000 during the first half of 2016.

KB Home (KBH) beat estimates by 5 cents with quarterly profit of 51 cents per share. Revenue was slightly above forecasts amid double-digit sales and profit growth. KB Home saw average selling prices rise by 12 percent, with profit margins expanding as well.

Volkswagen (VLKAY) added a new $3 billion provision for losses related to its diesel emissions scandal, on top of the roughly $24 billion it has already cost the automaker. Volkswagen said the additional set-aside relates to fixes for certain vehicles that are proving more complex and time-consuming than originally anticipated.

Wal-Mart's (WMT) Jet.com unit is planning to launch its own grocery line, according to the New York Post, featuring more than 60 private label food and household items.

Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 4 can still drive profit growth, according to an analyst report at Bernstein. The firm said the PlayStation 4 has a number of drivers that previous versions of the videogame console did not have, largely related to the transition to digital downloads.

WATERCOOLER

It's a race to Mars for billionaire Elon Musk. The SpaceX CEO provided an update to his vision of creating a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars. SpaceX also aims to do 30 launches next year. (CNBC)

*Lockheed Martin unveils fully reusable crewed Martian lander (CNBC)
*Elon Musk has 100 days to build a battery system or could lose $50 million (CNBC)