Morning Brief

What to watch today: June job growth, California quakes, and the census controversy


U.S. stock futures were under some pressure this morning as Wall Street awaited the government's June employment report at 8:30 a.m. ET. Weaker-than-expected job growth could be the lever the Fed needs to rationalize an interest rate cut later this month. On Wednesday, the Dow and Nasdaq closed at record highs, joining the S&P 500. (CNBC)

Government bond yields in most major economies worldwide have been flirting with all-time lows in the last few days, indicating that investors are wary of an impending recession. The 10-year Treasury yield, while slightly higher, was trading under the 2% level early Friday. (CNBC)


A powerful earthquake struck Southern California, touching off house fires and damaging buildings in a desert town northeast of Los Angeles, but authorities had no early reports of injuries. The 6.4 magnitude quake, the largest in two decades in the area, struck about 113 miles northeast of Los Angeles. (Reuters)

The U.S. government issued its first public defense of its blacklisting of Chinese technology firm Huawei, saying it had ample reasons to restrict its access to U.S. products. The tech giant first challenged the law back in March in a Texas court. (WSJ)

Spurred on by President Donald Trump, government lawyers scrambled to find a legal path to add a controversial citizenship question to the 2020 Census, despite their conclusions in recent days that no such avenue exists. A federal judge has given the administration until 2 p.m. today to explain how it intends to proceed. (Washington Post)

Trump sung the praises of America's military, heritage, and spirit at his Fourth of July bash in Washington, after concerns of severe weather threatened to drown out the event. Trump had promoted the event heavily through his Twitter account, promising "the show of a lifetime" with huge fireworks displays, flyovers, and M1 Abrams tanks. (CNBC)

Sen. Kamala Harris said busing students should be considered by school districts trying to desegregate their locations, not the federal mandate she appeared to support in pointedly criticizing rival Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden last week. (AP)

Some DirecTV and AT&T (T) U-verse subscribers found themselves without access to Nexstar stations, after the two failed to reach an updated agreement. More than 120 stations in 97 markets across the nation, which include ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC affiliate stations, went dark on July 3. (USA Today)

Netflix (NFLX) is expected to shell out around $15 billion this year to secure exclusive content for its streaming service. As its cash flow continues to careen negative, some analysts wonder if the company needs to alter its strategy and diversify its revenue.

Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg has welcomed criticism from OPEC's secretary general, describing it as the "biggest compliment yet" to a growing movement of young protesters demanding action over climate change. "Thank you!" Thunberg said in response to thinly-veiled criticism from a prominent fossil fuel leader. (CNBC)

Beyond Meat's (BYND) sales pitch to customers has focused on the benefits of abstaining from meat: a healthier planet and a healthier lifestyle. But dietitians are not completely sold on the plant-based burger trend. "They are not necessarily healthier than beef burgers." (CNBC)


Univision is exploring a possible sale, the Wall Street Journal reported. A potential deal would conclude the broadcasters $13.7 billion buyout in 2007.

The U.K.'s competition watchdog issued an initial enforcement order today asking Amazon (AMZN) to pause its investment into food delivery start-up Deliveroo. The Competition and Markets Authority said it has "reasonable grounds" for suspecting Amazon and Deliveroo have or could "cease to be distinct."

South Korea's Samsung said today that profits for the three months that ended June more than halved from a year earlier following continued weakness in the price and demand of memory chips. The world's largest smartphone maker and supplier of memory chips said operating profit was slightly better than industry estimates.


Sony's "Spider-Man: Far From Home" soared to $27 million yesterday in the North American box office, a record for a Marvel film. Sony (SNE) is expecting the latest Spider-Man film to bring in $125 million during its first six days in theaters. (Variety)