Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to rise, 'path to complete' trade deal, and Netflix loses 'The Office'


U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher Wall Street open after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that the U.S. and China were close to a trade deal. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have each fallen for three straight days, while the Dow is down for two of the past three sessions. (CNBC)

The averages are still on pace, however, for their best monthly gains since January, and both the Dow and S&P 500 still have their best June gains in decades — the Dow since 1938, the S&P 500 since 1955. (CNBC)

Mnuchin said today the U.S. and China were almost there on a trade deal. And he's confident President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping can make progress at this week's G-20 summit. "We were about 90% of the way there (with a deal) and I think there's a path to complete this," he said. (CNBC)

* Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says sanctions must be working for Iran leadership to be so upset (CNBC)

On today's U.S. economic calendar, the government is out with May durable goods orders at 8:30 a.m. ET, the Mortgage Bankers Association releases its weekly look at mortgage applications at 7 a.m. ET. The Energy Department is out with its usual Wednesday release on oil and gasoline inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

Large U.S. tech companies are finding ways around the Trump administration's Huawei ban, which paused shipments to the blacklisted Chinese tech giant. The Wall Street Journal reports that Micron (MU), Qualcomm (QCOM) and Intel (INTC) have resumed shipments of some products to Huawei.

Shares of Micron Technology (MU) were up nearly 10% in premarket trading today after the company said it expects demand for its chips to recover later this year. The chipmaker beat estimates of its quarterly profit and top line results in yesterday's third-quarter earnings report. (Reuters)

* Bitcoin soars close to $13,000, hitting a 17-month high (CNBC)

General Mills (GIS), BlackBerry (BB), HIS Markit (INFO), Paychex (PAYX), and Schnitzer Steel (SCHN) are out with quarterly earnings this morning, while H.B. Fuller (FUL), Herman Miller (MLHR), KB Home (KBH), and Rite Aid (RAD) are out with their numbers after today's closing bell. (CNBC)


The outcome of the G-20 meeting between Trump and Xi could be a watershed moment that could impact the course of markets and the global economy for the second half of the year. Stocks are likely to see a temporary relief rally and bonds could sell off if there is a "ceasefire" declared in the trade wars by the U.S. and China this weekend, but the damage to the global economy could continue until a tariff-ending deal is struck. (CNBC)

* The trade war is weighing on Chinese home buying in the US (CNBC)
* U.S., North Korea in informal talks for third summit, South Korea's Moon says (WSJ)

Nike reportedly halted the sale of a range of sports shoes in China after its Japanese designer showed support for Hong Kong protests in an Instagram post. Earlier this month, the brand Undercover posted on its Instagram account a photo of protesters with the slogan "no extradition to China," referencing a proposed law to allow extraditions to mainland China that triggered large-scale protests in Hong Kong. (CNBC)

* Hong Kong activists call on G-20 leaders to help 'liberate' city (Reuters)

Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said it would be "very smart" for Iran to de-escalate tensions with the U.S., amid fears of another military confrontation in the Middle East. Trump announced fresh sanctions on the Islamic Republic this week and warned an Iranian attack on Americans would be met with "great and overwhelming force" and "obliteration." (CNBC)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held meetings in India's capital today amid growing tensions over trade and tariffs that has strained the partners' ties. The countries call each other a strategic partner despite retaliatory tariffs they imposed on some of the other's goods this month. (AP)

Today kicks off the first 2020 presidential debate for Democratic candidates, where the field is so large that organizers split the debate into two 10-person debates for tonight and tomorrow. Tonight we'll see Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Gov. Jay Inslee, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tim Ryan, John Delaney and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. (NPR)

* What Democratic debates have historically revealed about the candidates' skills and character (CNBC)

Robert Mueller, the special counsel who led the Justice Department's Russia investigation, will testify publicly before two House committees on July 17. Mueller will face questions about the report summarizing his investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election and instances where Trump tried to derail the probe. (CNBC)

The House passed a bill to send emergency aid to the southern border, setting up another face off with the White House and Senate Republicans over immigration policy. The GOP-held Senate will likely try to pass its own version of the border aid bill before lawmakers leave town Thursday for their July 4 recess, but the White House has threatened a veto. (CNBC)

* 'We're in a dark place': Children returned to troubled Texas border facility (NY Times)

Wayfair (W) employees are staging a walkout today to protest the company's apparent sale of $200,000 of mattresses to a detention camp for migrant children along the Mexican border. The roughly 1,600 mattresses and 100 bunk beds are scheduled to arrive in Carrizo Springs, Texas, today and tomorrow. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) bought autonomous vehicle startup for an undisclosed price. The deal confirms Apple's continued interest in self-driving car software, and it will bolster the tech giant's engineering ranks with additional employees who can build autonomous vehicle technology. had been valued at $200 million in its most recent funding round. (CNBC)

Netflix (NFLX) will lose its most-watched TV show, "The Office," in 2021 to a new streaming service being launched by NBCUniversal parent Comcast (CMCSA). Separately, Walt Disney (DIS) hired Netflix executive Matt Brodlie to lead international content development for its Disney+ service. Brodlie was director of Netflix's original film division. (CNBC)

Kinder Morgan (KMI) will be allowed to begin work on a $2 billion natural gas pipeline in Texas without having the state's energy regulator approve the proposed route. A state judge ruled that the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and gas business in the state, did not have the authority to prevent the company from proceeding. (Reuters)


FedEx (FDX) reported adjusted quarterly profit and revenue above Wall Street forecasts. However, FedEx warned that the U.S.-China trade dispute and the end of its contract with Amazon (AMZN) would hurt its fiscal 2020 results.

Walmart (WMT) plans a public listing of a minority stake in its Japanese supermarket unit Seiyu, but added that it plans to keep a majority stake in the business. No time frame for a listing was given.

Tesla (TSLA) has delivered 49,000 vehicles in North America during the soon-to-end second quarter, according to news website Electrek. That could mean that Tesla would not meet CEO Elon Musk's projection last month that Tesla would beat its all-time quarterly delivery record of 90,700, although Elektrek did not give a delivery number for international markets.

Lyft (LYFT) and Uber (UBER) will face higher access fees at JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty airports, with the Port Authority proposing a $4 per vehicle charge for app-based services that pick up or drop off at those airports.

Big Lots (BIG) Chief Financial Officer Timothy Johnson will step down in office, to be succeeded by former Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) executive Jonathan Ramsden. At the same time, the discount retailer reaffirmed its financial forecast for the current quarter and full year.

Energizer Holdings (ENR) was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Deutsche Bank, which said Wall Street is overemphasizing declining Rayovac sales, and undervaluing positive trends in the Energizer-branded battery business.


Ryan Murphy is bringing even more stars onscreen in his upcoming Netflix (NFLX) movie "The Prom." The film, an adaptation of the Tony-nominated Broadway musical, will feature Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Ariana Grande, Awkwafina, James Corden, Keegan-Michael Key and Andrew Rannells. (Variety)