Morning Brief

Markets are aiming for a successful conclusion to August

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BY THE NUMBERS

Futures were higher this morning as the final week of August begins. The S&P 500's all-time high close Friday was its 15th of the year but its first since January 26, while the Dow is still 3.1 percent below its all-time high set the same day. (CNBC)

* Cramer: The market missed the mark on these stocks during earnings season (CNBC)

There are no economic reports due today, although later in the week investors will get a look at the latest numbers on home prices, GDP, personal income and spending, and consumer confidence. There's also no earnings reports of note due out today. (CNBC)

Tesla's (TSLA) stock was 5 percent lower in premarket after CEO Elon Musk said that the automaker will remain a public company. Musk said he was confident the deal could have been funded, but said shareholders wanted the company to remain public. (Reuters)

* Inside the unraveling of Elon Musk's Tesla buyout (WSJ)

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) is in talks to buy a stake in India's largest digital payments company, Paytm, according to multiple reports. Paytm is already backed by Japan's SoftBank and Chinese tech giant Alibaba.

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Sen. John McCain's death has led to a vacant Senate seat in Arizona, pitting the pragmatic wing of the Republican party that McCain represented against the ascendant, hard-line forces loyal to President Donald Trump. (NY Times)

* John McCain, hero POW and maverick Republican, dies at age 81 (CNBC)
* Trump rejected plans for a White House statement praising McCain (Washington Post)

Congressional GOP are preparing for their worst case scenario. Axios obtained a spreadsheet that's been circulated through GOP that meticulously previews the investigations Democrats will likely launch if they flip the House.

The U.S. softened its contentious demand for a NAFTA "sunset clause," Mexico said, potentially eliminating a key obstacle to reaching a deal to revamp the trade pact. Trump said the U.S. could reach a deal imminently. (Reuters)

* Trump's stances weaken support for US official to lead global banking body (WSJ)

Trump's approval rating remains stable despite felony convictions and guilty pleas by two close associates of the president, a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found. Democrats held a lead over the GOP in the race for the House.

A federal judge struck down significant sections of three executive orders on government workers, dealing a blow to Trump's attempts to curtail the power of labor unions representing federal employees. (USA Today)

A shooting at a video game competition in Florida has left two people dead along with the suspect and prompted calls from gamers for more security at esports tournaments. It's unclear what kind of security was at the event. (AP)

* Gaming community reacts to Jacksonville shooting (USA Today)

Starting today, edgy outdoor-gear company Moosejaw will be featured on Walmart's (WMT) website with its own, online destination. Walmart is trying to create a massive, digital marketplace to draw more shoppers to its website. (CNBC)

Netflix (NFLX) is reportedly developing a system that would direct new users to sign up for subscriptions outside of its apps that run on Apple (AAPL) devices. That would allow Netflix to avoid paying commissions that Apple charges on app-related transactions. (WSJ)

The Financial Times reported Uber is planning a shift in emphasis from cars to electric bicycles and scooters for shorter journeys as part of its long-term strategy. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi admitted the move would mean a further financial hit for the company.

Ride-hailing company Lyft is teaming up with community groups to offer free and half-price rides on Election Day. Riders will also be able to get help finding their polling location through the Lyft app. (CNN)

STOCKS TO WATCH

United Continental (UAL) will transfer its stock listing to Nasdaq from the New York Stock Exchange, beginning on September 7. CEO Gerry Laderman said the airline's move was partly due to an ongoing effort to control costs.

Twitter (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on September 5. Committee chairman Greg Walden (R-Oregon) said the committee wants more information on how Twitter monitors and polices content.

Elliott Management is said to be critical of the proposed deal by Dell Technologies (DVMT) to buy back its VMware tracking stock, according to the New York Post. Elliott has so far said it has not decided how it will vote its shares, but sources told the paper that stakeholder Carl Icahn is now against the deal.

Cushman & Wakefield (CWK) received two positive analyst recommendations, with the commercial real estate firm's stock rated "overweight" in new coverage at Barclays, and "market outperform" in new coverage at JMP Securities.

CA Technologies (CA) said the FTC had cleared the acquisition of the software maker by Broadcom (AVGO), with both companies continuing to expect the deal to close during the fourth quarter.

WATERCOOLER

"Crazy Rich Asians" generated another $25 million to top the domestic box for a second weekend in a row. Ticket sales for the romantic comedy dropped only 6 percent from its debut weekend, marking one of the best holds in recent history. (Reuters)