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Morning Brief

Stocks on win streak as traditionally rough October hits midway point

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were higher this morning. The Dow and S&P 500 have posted five straight weekly gains and are on track for a seventh straight positive month. Both set record intraday highs Friday before finishing off their best levels of the day. The Nasdaq posted a record closing high Friday. Netflix (NFLX) reports earnings after the bell. (CNBC)

*An obscure report this week could prove a boon for stocks (CNBC's Trading Nation)

It's a busy week for Fed speakers, beginning today with a public appearance from Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari in Minneapolis at 9 a.m. ET. Kashkari is a voting member of the central bank's policymaking panel for 2017. (CNBC)

Fed Chair Janet Yellen sketched a bright outlook for the economy and for inflation prospects in coming months. She said on Sunday the impact of recent hurricanes will likely slow growth slightly but only temporarily and should be followed by a rebound by year's end. (CNBC)

*Fed's Rosengren sees three to four rate hikes next year (Reuters)

It's a light day for economic numbers, with the New York Fed's Empire State Manufacturing Index the only release of note. The 8:30 a.m. ET report is expected to show the index falling to 20 for October from September's 24.4. (CNBC)

Oil futures were sharply higher this morning as Iraqi forced entered the oil city of Kirkuk, taking territory from Kurdish fighters and raising concerns over exports from OPEC's second-largest producer. (Reuters)


The White House released its first economic analysis of the GOP tax plan. Kevin Hassett, chairman of Trump's Council of Economic Advisors, said the average U.S. household income would jump at least $4,000 a year but could rise as much as $9,000 annually. Other economists have balked at those numbers. (CNBC)

Congress will tackle health care again and seek a bipartisan deal this week after President Donald Trump's decision to stop making subsidy payments to health insurers. The deal would likely provide a short-term extension of payments. (WSJ)

*Trump Obamacare move seen harming Americans, bipartisan prospects (Reuters)
*NAFTA talks set to be extended as time runs out (Reuters)

Trump's campaign has reportedly spent more than $1 million on legal fees during the third quarter of this year, nearly double it spent in the previous quarter. The spending came as special counsel Robert Mueller investigates Russian meddling in the U.S. election. (USA Today)

Fire crews gained ground as they battled the wildfires that have devastated California wine country and other parts of the state, and thousands of people got the all-clear to return home. The blazes were blamed for at least 40 deaths. (AP)

More than 300 people died after twin bomb explosions in Mogadishu, an official said today, as locals packed hospitals in search of friends and relatives caught up in Somalia's deadliest attack in a decade. (Reuters)

The Spanish government has given Catalonia three days to declare whether it will try to break away from Spain or not, moving ever closer towards imposing direct rule on the northeastern region of the country. (CNBC)

*Austria likely takes a right turn as 31-year-old declares election victory (AP)

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the NFL, alleging that he remains unsigned as a result of collusion by owners following his protests during the national anthem to bring attention to the mistreatment of African-Americans. (AP)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted "well in excess" to expel producer Harvey Weinstein this weekend, after allegations that he sexually harassed or assaulted a number of women over the past three decades. (Reuters)

Food service company Aramark (ARMK) is buying food and supplies company Avendra and uniform provider AmeriPride Services for a total of $2.35 billion. Avendra is 55 percent owned by hotel operator Marriott International (MAR). (WSJ)

Tesla (TSLA) fired about 400 workers last week, according to multiple reports, following an annual review. In a statement, the automaker did confirm the dismissals but did not specify the number of employees involved.

Procter and Gamble (P&G) on Monday is expected to file an 8-K describing the preliminary results of last week's vote against Nelson Peltz's board seat. Peltz said it was "too close to call." Now a rare "snake pit" process is seen. (CNBC)

In a tweet over the weekend, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange claimed his organization has made a 50,000 percent return on bitcoin after investing in the cryptocurrency in 2010, and it's all thanks to the U.S. government. (CNBC)

This weekend, the low-budget "Groundhog Day"-like horror flick "Happy Death Day" debuted at No. 1 at the box office, surpassing expectations and blowing away the much costlier "Blade Runner 2049." (AP)


Apple (AAPL) was upgraded to "overweight" from "sector weight" at KeyBanc, which said Apple's aggressive market segmentation strategy seems likely to increase profit margins. Separately, Chinese device maker Huawei could surpass Apple in the smartphone market this year, according to an analyst from a top research firm.

Viacom (VIAB) agreed to an extension of carriage talks with Charter Communications (CHTR), according to Reuters.

T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S) are planning to announce a merger without any asset divestitures, according to a Reuters report. People familiar with the matter are quoted as saying the two mobile phone companies want to preserve as much of their spectrum holdings as possible before regulators seek concessions.

General Motors (GM) reached a tentative contract agreement with striking Canadian workers, potentially ending a walkout that began September 18.

BlackBerry's (BBRY) patent licensing director, Victor Schubert, told Reuters he had left the company but did not give a reason. He is the second executive to depart from BlackBerry's patent team, following patent strategy leader Mark Kokes. Kokes left in September to join a health technology company.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at Jefferies in a valuation call. The drugmaker's stock is up more than 18 percent over the past three months.


Here's a grocery price check. Though Amazon has promised steep discounts at Whole Foods stores, now that it owns the organic supermarket chain, Costco still reigns supreme in the ongoing grocery price wars, according to JPMorgan. (CNBC)

A tracker of holiday retail deals and hours said it's received confirmation from six U.S. shopping centers that their Macy's locations will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving like last year. Macy's had a 6 p.m. start in 2014 and 2015. (CNBC)