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Morning Brief

Dow poised for another try at a 23K close

Key Points


Futures were higher this morning, giving the Dow another shot at closing above 23,000 for the first time after exceeding that mark for the first time ever intraday Tuesday. Nonetheless, the Dow did close at its 50th record high of 2017 and the S&P 500 also posted a record close. (CNBC)

Abbott Labs (ABT), M&T Bank (MTB), Northern Trust (NTRS), and US Bancorp (USB) are among the companies issuing quarterly reports this morning. Dow stock American Express (AXP) and United Continental (UAL) report quarterly results after the bell.

IBM (IBM) was higher premarket after earnings and revenue beat forecasts. However, IBM did report its 22nd consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue declines, as it continues to transition to newer, higher growth businesses. (CNBC)

*Cramer pushes back against 'peak earnings' theory with 4 cheap stocks (CNBC)

Several pieces of housing-related data are out this morning, starting with the release of the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly look at mortgage applications. And at 8:30 a.m. ET, the government is out with September housing starts and building permits. (CNBC)


Proponents of a bipartisan deal struck by two senators to stabilize Obamacare were seeking today to win Republican support for the measure, which would restore subsidies to health insurers that President Donald Trump has scrapped. (Reuters)

*Trump appears to support a short-term deal to stabilize health-care markets (CNBC)
*With Obamacare in limbo, insurers brace for drop in enrollment (WSJ)

Talks to revise the NAFTA will go into next year, top officials say. In a joint statement following the fourth round of talks, officials from the U.S., Canada and Mexico said "significant conceptual gaps" will change the negotiating time frame. (CNBC)

A federal judge in Hawaii blocked President Trump's latest bid to impose restrictions on citizens from eight countries entering the United States, which had been set to take effect this week. It was supposed to commence at midnight today. (CNBC)

The top U.S. communications regulator dismissed Trump's suggestion that the NBC network's broadcast licenses could be pulled after it ran stories the president declared untrue, saying "the FCC under my leadership will stand for the First Amendment." (AP)

President Trump said Rep. Tom Marino withdrew from consideration for the nation's drug czar, following an investigation that detailed his role in pushing for a law that weakened DEA enforcement during a growing opioid crisis. (CNBC)

Chinese President Xi Jinping says China supports an open world economy and pledged further liberalization of its market to foreign investors, even as he touted the benefits of a socialist system at the opening of the 19th Communist Party Congress. (CNBC)

Harvey Weinstein has resigned from the board of The Weinstein Company, as he faces allegations that he sexually harassed or assaulted a number of women over three decades in the film business. (Reuters)

Amazon (AMZN) said the head of Amazon Studios, Roy Price, resigned from that job following his suspension over sexual harassment allegations. He had been put on leave last week after the allegations first surfaced. (CNBC)

Retailer Kohl's is officially in business with the online shopping giant. Starting today, 10 Kohl's stores in the Los Angeles and Chicago markets will both sell Amazon's smart home products and accept the online retailer's returns. (CNBC)

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is buying payments technology company WePay for an undisclosed amount, though a source quoted by the Wall Street Journal said it was above the roughly $220 million valuation that stemmed from a 2015 fundraising round.

Tesla (TSLA) is trying to disguise layoffs by calling the widespread terminations performance related, allege several current and former employees. One fired employee says direct performance reviews were thrown out and rewritten by upper management. (CNBC)


Cree (CREE) earned an adjusted four cents per share for its latest quarter, matching forecasts, with the lighting product's companies revenue also matching estimates. However, the stock is being pressured by a lower than expected current quarter outlook.

Rio Tinto (RIO) and two former top executives were charged with fraud by the SEC, which accuses the mining company of inflating the value of coal assets in Mozambique and concealing critical information while raising billions of dollars from investors.

AstraZeneca (AZN) and Merck (MRK) got good news on their jointly developed ovarian cancer drug Lynparza, with the FDA granting priority review for use of the drug to treat breast cancer. That puts the drug on track for possible approval for the new use during the first quarter of 2018. Separately, Merck was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Citi, based on increased sales forecasts for Merck's Keytruda cancer drug.

McDonald's (MCD) is reportedly the subject of a probe in South Korea, following complaints of illness following the consumption of allegedly undercooked hamburger patties. Media reports in that country say investigators have raided the McDonald's office in Seoul in search of evidence.

Bill Ackman's Pershing Square continues its push for board seats at ADP (ADP). Pershing will hold an event this Thursday at which Ackman and two dissident board candidates will be interviewed by a Sanford C. Bernstein analyst. The ADP board vote will take place at the annual meeting November 7.


Scott Kelly, a retired astronaut who set the record in 2015 for total accumulated days in space, said he is not "going to ever doubt" SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Musk plans to use a 42-engine rocket, called BFR, to send humans to Mars by 2024. (CNBC)