Morning Brief

Stocks are set to surge after Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says China trade war 'on hold'

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Key Points

BY THE NUMBERS

Futures were sharply higher this morning after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S.-China trade war was "on hold." A strongly positive open would reverse a recent trend that has seen the Dow and S&P 500 post weekly losses in three of the past four weeks. (CNBC)

* Small-cap stocks are in the 'early innings' of a record run (CNBC)

General Electric (GE) stock was 2 percent higher in premarket after the U.S. industrial conglomerate announced a deal to merge its transportation business with rail industry equipment maker Wabtec (WAB). Reuters first reported it was a near a deal.

There are no economic releases on today's calendar, but investors will get a chance to hear from three Fed speakers making public appearances: Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari. Bostic is a voting member of the FOMC for 2018, Harker and Kashkari are not. (CNBC)

Cheetah Mobile (CMCM) is among the few companies releasing quarterly earnings this morning, while Pure Storage (PSTG) is on the short list of companies releasing earnings after the closing bell. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Secretary Mnuchin and President Donald Trump's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said the agreement reached between Beijing and Washington's negotiators set up a framework for addressing trade imbalances in the future. (Reuters)

* US sends mixed messages on China (WSJ)
* Mnuchin: Trump could tolerate NAFTA vote slipping into 2019 (Politico)

Trump's personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, told The New York Times in an interview that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office plans to complete its probe into alleged obstruction of the Russia inquiry by the president by September 1.

Trump said that he would demand an investigation into whether the FBI had placed surveillance on his 2016 presidential campaign and whether such activity was ordered by members of former President Barack Obama's administration. (CNBC)

Jeb Bush announced that his father, former President George H.W. Bush, returned to his family compound in Maine after being hospitalized for two weeks with a blood infection. He was taken ill on April 22, the day after attending the funeral for his wife Barbara Bush. (USA Today)

Hawaii residents were coping with Kilauea's volcanic eruption over the weekend. Authorities warned that lava flows reaching the Pacific Ocean could produce noxious clouds of acid fumes, steam, and tiny, glass-like particles. (Reuters)

Nicolas Maduro on Sunday won re-election to a six-year term in a Venezuelan presidential election. Opposition candidate Henri Falcon called the election a sham and advocated for a new vote later this year. (WSJ)

Prince Harry married American actress Meghan Markle over the weekend, in a ceremony that took place at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Here are the photos of the wedding, which was a global affair with millions around the world watching. (CNBC)

Microsoft (MSFT) bought Semantic Machines, an artificial intelligence (A.I.) start-up, as it looks to boost its efforts in developing conversational A.I. The company did not disclose any financial details of the acquisition. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH 

Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google operation was the subject of a piece in last night's episode of "60 Minutes", highlighting the company's power and airing comments from critics who say Google is stifling competition.

Tesla (TSLA) is the subject of two recommendation from proxy adviser ISS, which said shareholders should vote against directors Antonio Gracias and James Murdoch, and vote for a proposal to separate the chairman and CEO roles. Both jobs are currently held by Elon Musk.

21st Century Fox (FOXA) won dismissal of a lawsuit by former Fox News anchor Andrea Tantaros that had accused the company of spying on her in retaliation for sexual harassment accusations.

Envision Healthcare (EVHC) is a takeover target of a joint effort from hospital operator HCA (HCA) and private equity firm KKR (KKR), according to Reuters. Envision is a provider of services to physicians.

Pinnacle Foods (PF) has hired Evercore Partners to explore strategic alternatives, according to a New York Post report. The paper notes that Pinnacle has been facing pressure from activist investor Jana Partners to merge with ConAgra Foods (CAG).

WATERCOOLER

Twentieth Century Fox's R-rated superhero film "Deadpool 2" made $125 million in ticket sales at North American theaters and took in an additional $176 million overseas on the weekend. It was 20th Century Fox its biggest opening weekend in two years. (NY Times)