Wall Street is set to open higher after Dow surges 185 points as trade fears ease

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were modestly higher this morning after markets rallied in Tuesday's session. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all saw their best daily performances of September, with the Dow also hitting its highest level since January. (CNBC)

* Cramer: Why China has much more to lose in a trade war (CNBC)

Tesla's (TSLA) stock remains on watch after a report said the Justice Department is running the criminal investigation in tandem with a civil fraud probe by the SEC of CEO Elon Musk's Aug. 7 tweets about taking the company private. (CNBC)

* Tesla is 'headed for the graveyard,' predicts former GM exec Bob Lutz (CNBC)

On the data front, at 8:30 a.m. ET, housing starts, building permits and the U.S. International Transactions report is due. Mortgage applications were released at 7 a.m. ET, showing a rise of 1.6 percent as interest rates hit a 7-year high. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

The question now that the Chinese government retaliated against the latest U.S. trade salvo with new tariffs is whether President Donald Trump will follow through on a threat to put tariffs on the rest of Chinese imports. (WSJ)

* China's second-in-command: We're facing 'greater difficulties' in keeping economy stable (CNBC)

Beijing will "outlast" Washington in their trade war and "emerge stronger," according to Chinese state media. "If the U.S. really wants to end the trade conflict, it should show more sincerity," state media reports. (CNBC)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a agreement that both said would usher in a new era of peace. North Korea also agreed to take further steps towards denuclearization. (USA Today)

The woman accusing President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault — Christine Blasey Ford — said an investigation by the FBI should be "the first step" before she testifies before the Senate. (CNBC)

* Republicans are privately worried about Kavanaugh (Axios)

Trump is expected to travel to North and South Carolina today to assess the damage from Hurricane Florence, which left more than 32 people dead and some 300,000 utility customers without power. (USA Today)

* Florence hammers North Carolina agriculture – losses include 3.4 million dead chickens, turkeys (CNBC)

A majority of Americans believe Bob Woodward's book and the anonymous NYT op-ed, which warned of internal resistance to Trump, according to a new poll. There's no evidence they've changed American's opinions of him. (Axios)

Democrats were given fresh ammunition to use during the midterms after White House chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the Trump administration will "probably" address reform of "larger entitlements" next year. (CNBC)

* The 5 battlefields for control of the House (NY Times)

Danske Bank CEO Thomas Borgen quit in a money laundering scandal which involved 200 billion euros — or $234 billion — flowing through its Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015, most of which was suspicious. (Reuters)

A new review by ProPublica found that 15 employers in the past year, including Uber, have advertised jobs on Facebook (FB) exclusively to men. Many of the job postings played on stereotypes and were not visible to women.

Google's G Suite is launching a new "Work Insights" tools that show managers whether and how employees are using productivity apps like Docs and Sheets. The product, similar to Microsoft's analytics product, is currently in beta. (CNBC)

United Airlines (UAL) debuted a new boarding process in an effort to combat clusters of travelers around gates, and make sure flights depart on time as more travelers opt to fly. Passengers will line up in two lines instead of five. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

AutoNation (AN) CEO Mike Jackson will leave his current position as chairman, president, and CEO of AutoNation in 2019 and take a role as executive chairman.

AbbVie (ABBV) was sued by California Department of Insurance for allegedly giving health-care providers kickbacks for prescribing its arthritis drug Humira. The company allegedly also provided additional professional services, such as free insurance processing and marketing assistance.

Tilray (TLRY) announced approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration to import marijuana to the United States for medical research.

Microsoft (MSFT) announced new easy-to-use cloud services that draw on A.I. to help with certain kinds of work -- namely customer service and marketing. The move could help its cloud business software become more competitive with Salesforce (CRM).

WATERCOOLER

The Apple Watch Series 4, and new watchOS 5 software that's rolling out to older Apple Watch models, continues to build on Apple's already fantastic smart watch and fitness tracker. Read the hands-on review from CNBC's Todd Haselton.