Morning Brief

US stocks maintain positive momentum as new week begins



U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher Wall Street open after the Dow and S&P 500 posted their sixth weekly gain in seven. The Nasdaq was coming off a modest weekly decline, breaking a two-week win streak. For the month, the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq are all solidly higher. They were up on Friday too. (CNBC)

There are no economic reports out today. But some clues on growth may come when Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic speaks at 11 a.m. ET in Tennessee. It's a light day of earnings with Estee Lauder (EL) out this morning. No major companies report this afternoon.

After a week of retail earnings from Walmart (WMT), J.C. Penney and Macy's (M), this week brings Kohl's (KISS) and off-price retailer TJX (TJX) tomorrow; Target (TGT) and Lowe's (LOW) on Wednesday; and Gap (GPS) on Thursday.


Shares of SodaStream (SODA) were soaring about 10 percent in premarket trading after the Israeli-based at-home carbonated drink-maker agreed to be bought by U.S. beverage giant PepsiCo (PEP) for $3.2 billion in cash, or $144 per share. (CNBC)

Shares of Tesla (TSLA) were under pressure again in the premarket this morning after they sank nearly 9 percent on Friday. The stock has fallen in seven out of the last 10 sessions since Elon Musk's go-private tweet on Aug. 7. (CNBC)

Tesla rival Lucid Motors is in talks with Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund about a possible investment. Musk has said the fund could help him fund his proposal to take the electric automaker private. (Reuters)

* Musk's dream of taking Tesla private with current shareholders may be very hard (CNBC)
* Musk to Arianna Huffington: Cutting back on my work hours isn't an option (AP)

Apple (AAPL) pulled illegal lottery apps in China as the U.S. tech giant seeks to comply with tightening regulations there. Apple didn't specify an exact number of pulled apps, but Chinese state media put the number at about 25,000. (WSJ)

Facebook (FB) was accused by HUD of allegedly allowing landlords and home-sellers to use the social network's ad platform to engage in housing discrimination. Separately, Facebook is fighting a demand by the DOJ to help crack the encryption in its Messenger app.

* Twitter CEO: Company 'left-leaning' but it doesn't affect policy (Washington Post)

Venezuela's president announced on Friday a single exchange rate pegged to his socialist government's petro cryptocurrency, effectively devaluing it by 96 percent in a move economists said would fan hyperinflation in the chaotic country. (Reuters)

* Goldman faces losses on Venezuelan bond deal that drew criticism (WSJ)
* Analysts: Venezuela's massive currency devaluation is a 'scam' (CNBC)

Monday is an historic day for Greece as nearly a decade of external financial help comes to an end. The government there has managed to end a third bailout rescue, implementing all the measures demanded by creditors. (CNBC)

The U.S. and China are meeting later this week in Washington to try to find some common ground in their escalating trade war, but don't expect a "grand bargain," according to an international trade scholar. (CNBC) 105405058

* Euro falls with investors cautious about US-China trade talks (Reuters)

The Trump administration has rejected an effort by Turkey to tie the release of a U.S. pastor with relief for a major Turkish bank facing billions of dollars in U.S. fines, telling Ankara other issues are off the table until the minister is freed. (WSJ)

After heading home Friday without a verdict, the jury in the tax and bank fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort reconvenes again today. Manafort faces life in prison if he's found guilty on all 18 counts against him. (USA Today)

Michael Cohen, President Trump's former lawyer, is under investigation for bank and tax fraud, and investigators are looking at more than $20 million in loans to a taxi company he owns with his family. (NY Times)

President Trump insisted that White House lawyer Don McGahn isn't "a John Dean-type 'RAT,"' making reference to the Watergate-era White House attorney who turned on Richard Nixon. (AP)

* John Dean: 'I am actually honored" to be insulted by Trump' (Axios)

Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani insisted that "truth isn't truth" when it comes to the investigation probing Russia's role in influencing the 2016 elections, as he voiced anew his concern that the president could be lured into a perjury charge by the special counsel. (CNBC)

Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Stivers is leading the fight against a Democratic 'blue wave' this fall, but Trump isn't making his job any easier. (CNBC)

* Stivers makes the case for legal immigration, even as Trump seeks to reduce it (CNBC)
* Stivers urges Medicare, Social Security reform as deficits surge following the GOP tax cut (CNBC)
* Stivers explains why Jim Jordan remains in Congress despite claims he ignored sex abuse reports (CNBC)

Italian actress and director Asia Argento, among the first women in the movie business to publicly accuse producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, arranged to pay an actor after he said she sexually assaulted him when he was 17, documents show. (NY Times)


"Crazy Rich Asians" took in an estimated $25.2 million in its debut weekend, topping domestic box office sales. The movie is based on a best-selling novel by Singaporean-American Kevin Kwan. (CNBC)