Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow points to gains, Trump tells congresswomen to apologize, and China launches tech board


U.S. stock futures were indicating a higher Wall Street open and a possible reversal of recent negative trends. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all fell Friday and have been lower in three of the past four trading days. They are also coming off their first weekly drop in three weeks, but remain higher for the month of July. The energy sector has been July's worst performer among the S&P sectors, but it could very well move up in the rankings today on a jump in crude oil prices following ramped-up Middle East tensions.

Oil prices rose more than 2% today on concerns that Iran's seizure of a British tanker last week may lead to supply disruptions in the energy-rich Gulf. British Prime Minister Theresa May called for emergency security session today to discuss a response to the seizure. (Reuters)

No economic reports are on today's calendar.

Cal-Maine Foods (CALM), GNC (GNC), Halliburton (HAL). and PetMed Express (PETS) are out with quarterly earnings this morning, while Whirlpool (WHR), TD Ameritrade (AMTD), and Zions Bancorp (ZION) are among the handful of companies releasing quarterly numbers after today's closing bell.

* Three-quarters of FANG are about to report. Here's what to watch (CNBC)


President Donald Trump stepped up his attacks on four Democratic congresswomen who have criticized his policies, calling on them to apologize as he himself faced charges of racism. Trump, who last week told all four women of color to "go back" to where they came from, said yesterday that the women should "apologize to America." (AP)

The top Democrat on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee said he believes there is "substantial evidence" that Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors, and he plans to ask former special counsel Robert Mueller to present those facts at a congressional hearing on Wednesday. (Reuters)

* Mueller witness George Nader is charged with transporting 14-year-old boy for sex, child porn (CNBC)

The U.K. will find out who its next prime minister will be this week as voting within the U.K.'s ruling Conservative Party comes to a close. Today is the last day that members of the party can submit their preferred candidate, with former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson facing the current holder of that post, Jeremy Hunt. (CNBC)

* Sure, Boris Johnson is funny. But has he ever done a job well? (NY Times)

China on Monday launched a new Nasdaq-style tech board — the Science and Technology Innovation Board, or "STAR Market" — on which 25 companies were listed, as the country attempts to address investor concerns like market volatility and lack of governance. It's the third time in 10 years that China has established a new major equity market. (CNBC)

* Super-fast internet from satellites is the next big thing in the space race (CNBC)

Hong Kong police fired rubber bullets and tear gas in running clashes with protesters late last night amid chaotic scenes as anger over an extradition bill morphs into a fresh front against what many see as a broader erosion of freedoms by Beijing. Millions have taken to the streets in the past two months in an unprecedented show of force. (AP)

Puerto Rico today braced for what many people expected to be one of the biggest protests ever seen in the U.S. territory as irate islanders pledged to drive Gov. Ricardo Rossello from office. Protests come after Rossello said he would not quit, but promised to not seek reelection. (AP)

Equifax (EFX) is nearing a deal to settle the government investigations into its 2017 data breach that exposed nearly 150 million accounts and Social Security numbers. The settlement, in which Equifax would pay around $700 million, could be announced as soon as today, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google unit has finalized a settlement with the FTC over alleged violations of children's data privacy laws, the Washington Post reported. The fine is said to be "multimillion-dollar" but the exact amount wasn't reported.

CBS (CBS) and AT&T (T) were unable to come to an new distribution agreement, causing CBS stations to go dark on AT&T services like DirecTV and U-verse for millions of viewers. (The Hill)

Robert Morgenthau, the longtime Manhattan district attorney known for his pursuit of white-collar crime around the globe, died Sunday at the age of 99. He retired a decade ago, after serving 35 years as Manhattan's top prosecutor, overseeing some of the country's most notorious criminal cases. (WSJ)


Phillips (PHG) reported better-than-expected quarterly comparable sales, as the Dutch health technology company sold more of its hospital equipment in the China and U.S. markets.

M&T Bank (MTB) was downgraded to "neutral" from "overweight" at Piper Jaffray, following second-quarter earnings for the bank that missed Wall Street's forecasts. Piper Jaffray also cut its price target on the stock to $168 per share from $196 a share.

Stitch Fix (SFIX) was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Stifel Nicolaus, which cited an attractive entry price for the styling service's shares.

Ralph Lauren (RL) confirmed the departure of Brand Group President Valerie Hermann, effective at the end of September. The news had earlier been reported by Women's Wear Daily.


Over the weekend Disney (DIS) proved, once again, that it is the king of the box office. "The Lion King," the company's latest remake of one of its animated classics, hauled in an estimated $185 million in the U.S., the highest opening in July ever. The previous record was held by "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ which earned $169.1 million during its debut in 2011. (CNBC)