Morning Brief

Stocks are set for a lower open with new Trump tariffs on China expected



U.S. stock futures were pointing to a lower Monday open on Wall Street after the biggest weekly gain for the S&P 500 in two months. The S&P heads into the new week with a five-session winning streak, the first since February. (CNBC)

One potential negative for the markets is an expected announcement as early as today by the Donald Trump administration of $200 billion in new China-related tariffs, although that anticipated move was widely reported Friday. (CNBC)

* Beijing won't just play defense in trade war: Chinese media (Reuters)

Meanwhile, senior Wall Street executives from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Blackstone were in Beijing, meeting with current and former Chinese officials and bankers. (NY Times)

On today's economic calendar, the New York Fed issues its manufacturing index at 8:30 a.m. ET. There are no major earnings reports this morning; FedEx (FDX) and Oracle (ORCL) top this afternoon's list. (CNBC)


Scattered showers are possible early this week in the flood-ravaged Carolinas after deadly storm Florence continued to drench North Carolina on Sunday, cutting off the coastal city of Wilmington. (Weather Channel)

* South Carolina rivers may begin cresting tonight into tomorrow (USA Today)
* The White House considered in recent days replacing FEMA chief who face accusations of misused resources (WSJ)

The woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during a high school party in the early 1980s has come forward publicly. Kavanaugh flatly denies the accusation. (Washington Post)

* Three GOP senators weigh in on delaying Kavanaugh vote (CNN)

Michael Bloomberg is actively considering a 2020 campaign, concluding that running as a Democrat would be his only path to the White House even as he voices disagreements with progressives. (NY Times)

* Jamie Dimon again walks back Trump criticism, saying he wouldn't make a good candidate (Reuters)

Meredith Corporation (MDP) has agreed to sell its Time media brand to Marc and Lynne Benioff for $190 million. The deal is unrelated to Salesforce (CRM), where Marc Benioff is chairman and co-chief executive. (CNBC)

Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla has gone from "production hell to delivery logistics hell," in response to a consumer complaint about delays in delivery of its Model 3 electric sedan. (Reuters)

* Musk wants Tesla to do collision repairs in-house, blaming outside shops for long wait times (CNBC)

Musk's SpaceX is expected to name the first private passenger to fly around the moon at an event this evening. Musk posted photos Sunday showing a huge rocket that will be used for the mission. (USA Today)

DowDuPont (DWDP) said CEO Edward Breen will take over as the executive chairman of its specialty-products unit after the chemicals major separates into three different units. (Reuters)

In separate filings, Campbell Soup (CPB) and activist hedge fund Third Point each urged shareholders of the foodmaker to vote for two completely different board nominee slates. (Reuters)

Amazon (AMZN) is investigating suspected data leaks and bribes of its employees. Such moves can give an edge to independent merchants who sell their products on Amazon. (WSJ)

Cautious and clumsy consumers should be prepared to pay more to protect the new, bigger iPhones. The tech giant rolled out additional AppleCare options including monthly plans and theft and loss protection. (USA Today)


Teva's (TEVA) migraine drug Ajovy was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, sending shares sharply higher in premarket trading. Ajovy should be available in about two weeks.

Unilever's (UN) ninth largest shareholder, Aviva Investors, plans to vote against the consumer goods giant's plan to move its headquarters to the Netherlands, according to the Financial Times.

Tronc (TRNC) is in early-stage talks to be acquired by rival newspaper publisher McClatchy, according to sources quoted by the Chicago Tribune. Tronc owns the Tribune, the LA Times and other major newspapers.

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) is looking at other potential buyers for its Magneti Marelli parts unit, according to a Bloomberg report, after viewing a bid by KKR (KKR) as too low.


Bills defensive back Vontae Davis shocked teammates by retiring at halftime. In a statement later, Davis said, "I shouldn't be out there anymore," adding he can no longer physically play at a "high level." (USA Today)

"The Predator" was able to fend off "The Nun" at the domestic box office, launching with a tepid $24 million in ticket sales. "The Nun" dropped to second place, with $18 million in its second weekend. (Reuters)