Morning Brief

A tough Tuesday is ahead for US stocks


Futures were lower this morning after a Monday session that saw a mixed finish as early strong gains were pared as the day went on. The Dow does have a three-day win streak after posting the best gain of the major averages Monday. (CNBC)

The nation's automakers will release their sales figures today. Investors will be listening closely to an appearance by Fed Chair Jerome Powell at the National Association For Business Economics in Boston. He is scheduled to speak at 12:45 p.m. ET. (CNBC)

PepsiCo (PEP) delivered a 16 percent surge in profit and an earnings beat on Indra Nooyi's last day as CEO. Nooyi's planned resignation sparked speculation the company might split its beverage and snack business, a move Nooyi has fiercely resisted. (CNBC)

* Missing: Female CEOs (NY Times)

Shares of General Electric (GE) were 1 percent higher in premarket. The stock surged Monday after GE's board abruptly removed John Flannery as chairman and CEO and installed former Danaher CEO Lawrence Culp as his successor. (CNBC)

* Cramer: GE's CEO change could mean the company is doing worse than expected (CNBC)


The full Senate will vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation "this week," according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Republicans are moving quickly to confirm the judge before November's midterm elections. (CNBC)

* White House agrees to expand Kavanaugh probe slightly (Washington Post)

A pro-Trump organization decided to continue backing Kavanaugh's nomination, despite a background investigation by the FBI. America First is spending $300,000 to keep the ad running nationwide on Fox News Channel for the next four days. (CNBC)

President Donald Trump took a victory lap Monday after the announcement of a new North American trade deal, heralding the pact as "an extraordinary agreement" and "a new dawn" for the American auto industry. (CNBC)

* Trump's trade victories mean the White House can now 'focus all its ire on China' (CNBC)

Officials said the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami on Indonesia's Sulawesi island surpassed 1,200, as fears grow that many more are dead. Getting aid to affected areas is another challenge after the disaster. (WSJ)

Long-dormant proposals to allow the United States to sue OPEC nations are getting a fresh look in Congress. One bill in particular would change U.S. antitrust law to allow OPEC producers to be sued for collusion. (Reuters)

A record number of people registered to vote in the midterm elections on National Voter Registration Day last week, according to Time. The registrations surpassed the previous record set during the 2016 presidential campaign.

U.S. aerospace and industrial company United Technologies (UTX) received approval by regulators for its deal to buy aviation systems maker Rockwell Collins (COL), with the condition that it must sell two of Rockwell's businesses. (Reuters)

Amazon (AMZN) is raising its minimum wage to $15 for all U.S. employees, effective next month. The new minimum wage will benefit more than 250,000 Amazon employees, including part-time and temporary employees. (CNBC)

Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google unit lost a key executive, with Sridhar Ramaswamy stepping down. Ramaswamy has been head of Google's online ad business for the past five years, but is departing to join venture capital firm Greylock Partners. (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) plans a "family night" screening of Pixar's "Cars 3" at its sprawling battery plant in Sparks, Nevada, this weekend. It's a gesture to thank employees and their loved ones for all their long hours and hard work. (CNBC)


Stitch Fix (SFIX) reported quarterly profit of 18 cents per share, beating the consensus estimate of four cents. However, the subscription fashion service saw revenue fall short of estimates, with the number of active customers also shy of Street forecasts.

Thomson Reuters (TRI) closed its deal to sell a 55 percent stake in its Financial & Risk unit to private equity firm Blackstone (BX). The unit is a provider of data and news to financial customers, with the deal valuing the business at about $20 billion.

KKR (KKR) and fellow private equity firm Bain Capital are starting a $20 million fund to pay former employees of Toys R Us who were left unemployed when the toy retailer went out of business, according to The Wall Street Journal. The two firms – who jointly own the bankrupt company – are not required by bankruptcy law to do so.

General Electric (GE) was upgraded to "outperform" from "sector perform" at RBC Capital, which cites the hiring of Larry Culp as the new chairman and CEO, with the price target increased to $15 per share from $13. However, widely followed J.P. Morgan Securities analyst Stephen Tusa said the move is no reason to celebrate and may indicate "serious issues at play." Tusa, who will be a guest on CNBC's Halftime Report today, reiterated his "underweight" rating for GE and his $10 per share price target.

Weight Watchers (WTW) was added to the America's Analyst Focus list at J.P. Morgan Securities. The firm said the 30 percent pullback from a late June peak represented a compelling entry point, and that the negative reaction to the latest earnings report for the company was overblown.

Activist investor Legion Partners and the California State Teachers' Retirement System hold a combined 5.5 percent stake in Papa John's (PZZA), according to an SEC filing. The two funds have met with board members, and Legion Managing Director Ted White told The Wall Street Journal that they support steps the pizza chain has taken to boost sales.


"Game of Thrones" fans may have to wait until 2019 to see the final season of the HBO fantasy series. But, in the meantime, they can drown their sorrows on some scotch whiskies inspired by the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. (USA Today)

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