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Morning Brief

Stocks look to regain footing in Thursday's session on Wall Street

BY THE NUMBERS

Futures were higher this morning amid a late-month display of negative sentiment that has seen the S&P 500 down for four straight days. The Dow has been down for three straight sessions, although it is still up 1.6 percent for September. (CNBC)

The Fed hiked its benchmark interest rate a quarter point yesterday, upped its anticipation for economic growth this year and next, and provided a road map of what lies ahead through 2021. The FOMC projects one more hike before the end of the year. (CNBC)

* Cramer cautions against trading stocks every time Fed chief 'opens his mouth' (CNBC)

Investors will have no shortage of economic reports to consider today, starting with three reports at 8:30 a.m. ET — initial jobless claims, August durable goods order and the second revision of second quarter GDP. At 10 a.m., the National Association of Realtors releases August pending home sales. (CNBC)

Consulting firm Accenture (ACN), cruise line operator Carnival (CCL), food producer Conagra (CAG), spice-maker McCormick (MKC), and drug store chain operator Rite Aid (RAD) all issue quarterly earnings this morning. Progress Software (PRGS) is among the companies after-the-bell. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to come forward alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, will tell the Senate Judiciary Committee today that "I am no one's pawn," according to prepared testimony. (CNBC)

* Trump: 'I could be persuaded' to change mind on Kavanaugh after hearing (CNBC)

President Donald Trump said he doesn't want to fire Rod Rosenstein and may postpone a meeting with the Justice Department official that was scheduled for today. Rosenstein has reportedly given the impression he doesn't want to quit. (WSJ)

Trump told reporters yesterday that China supposedly respects him for his "very, very large brain," during a news conference where he addressed wide-ranging issues including trade, North Korea and Kavanuagh. (CNBC)

* Mick Mulvaney: I think you can take Trump at his word not to shut down government (CNBC)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump agreed to start trade negotiations in a move that will likely shield Tokyo from the Trump administration's proposed 25 percent duty on imports of Japanese vehicles and automotive parts. (CNBC)

Trump claimed that he rejected a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week as the countries struggle to reach a new NAFTA deal. However, Canada's government says it never requested a meeting. (CNBC)

Saudi Arabia will add extra oil to the market over the next couple of months to offset a drop in Iranian production. But it is also worried it might need to limit output next year to balance global supply and demand as the U.S. pumps more crude. (Reuters)

New data from Aetna Behavioral Health shows the amount of money companies spend on the mental health of their employees has been rising at a rapid clip — with annual costs increasing twice as fast as all other medical expenses in recent years. (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) opens a New York City brick-and-mortar store today, featuring a range of products that are highly rated on its website. The company said Amazon Prime members will pay "the Amazon.com price" when they shop there. (CNBC)

SurveyMonkey (SVMK) surged 42 percent in its stock market debut Wednesday, ending trading at $17. The software company that offers digital survey and data analytics services for enterprise and personal use priced its shares at $12 a piece. (CNBC)

Uber agreed to pay $148 million in connection with a 2016 data breach and subsequent cover-up, according to the California Attorney General's office. Uber paid the hackers $100,000 to delete the data and keep the breach quiet. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

CVS Health (CVS) and Aetna (AET) have reached an agreement to sell part of their Medicare drug plan businesses to WellCare Health Plans. The deal, if approved would triple WellCare's current Part D membership from 1.1 million to 3.2 million. 

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) earned 36 cents per share for its second quarter, short of the 50 cent consensus estimate, while revenue also fell short of forecasts. The household goods retailer saw comparable store sales fall 0.6 percent, with analysts having expected a 0.3 percent increase. The company also issued weaker than expected full-year earnings guidance.

Papa John's (PZZA) has reached to potential buyers and asked them to submit bids, according to Reuters, with a first round of offers expected by October. On Wednesday, founder John Schnatter denied a CNBC report that he had reached out to private equity firms about putting together an offer for Papa John's.

Canopy Growth (CGC) shareholders approved a $4 billion investment by an affiliate of spirits producer Constellation Brands (STZ). The cannabis producer said the transaction is expected to be completed on or before October 31.

H.B. Fuller (FUL) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 86 cents, falling four cents short of estimates. Revenue also missed forecasts, with the adhesives and specialty chemicals maker's results hurt by higher raw material costs, currency fluctuations, and difficult business conditions.

WATERCOOLER

Popular battle royale game Fortnite is getting into the holiday spirit through a Halloween-themed update that's packed with new stuff, including a variety of spooky items for users, a werewolf skin and more. (The Verge)