Morning Brief

What to watch today: Earnings deluge, Mueller takes the stand, and Big Tech under fire

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BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a lower open, after a Tuesday rally that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average close within less than 10 points of its record. Overall momentum remains positive, with the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq up for two straight days and three of the past four. Additionally, all three remain on track for a fifth straight positive July, with one week to go in the month. (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, weekly mortgage applications are expected at 7 a.m. ET, while June new home sales numbers are expected at 10 a.m. The Energy Department has its usual Wednesday look at oil and gasoline inventories at 10:30 a.m. (CNBC)

It's an extremely busy morning for corporate earnings, led by Boeing (BA), AT&T (T), Caterpillar (CAT), and UPS (UPS). Also out this morning: Anthem (ANTM), Boston Scientific (BSX), General Dynamics (GD), Hilton Worldwide (HLT), Nasdaq (NDAQ), Norfolk Southern (NSC), Northrop Grumman (NOC), and VF Corp. (VFC).

Facebook (FB), Ford (F), and Tesla (TSLA) are out with quarterly numbers after today's closing bell, along with Align Technology (ALGN), Citrix Systems (CTXS), Equifax (EFX), Las Vegas Sands (LVS), O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY), PayPal Holdings (PYPL), and Xilinx (XLNX).

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Former U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller faces congressional interrogators today, testifying in televised hearings that Democrats hope will weaken President Donald Trump's reelection prospects in ways that Mueller's book-length report did not. Republicans stand ready to defend Trump, and turn their fire on Mueller and his team instead. (AP News)

American trade negotiators will soon head to China for face-to-face talks as the world's two largest economies try to strike a deal. The U.S. officials will travel to China for discussions sometime between Friday — the start of a six-week congressional recess in Washington — and Thursday, August 1. (CNBC)

Boris Johnson will take office today as British prime minister and will unveil the names of the team he has tasked with delivering Brexit by the end of October, with or without a deal. Johnson enters Downing Street at one of the most perilous junctures in post-World War British history. (Reuters)

* Here's what we know about new UK PM Boris Johnson and what he means for Brexit (CNBC)

The U.S. Department of Justice said it is opening a broad antitrust review of big tech companies, which sent shares of Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook lower in after-hours trading. The move is the strongest by Attorney General William Barr toward Big Tech, which faces increased scrutiny on both sides of the political aisle. (CNBC)

Deutsche Bank (DB) notified U.S. financial watchdogs about suspicious transactions by accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, according to a new report. The transactions, which involved Epstein moving money out of the U.S., were flagged after the bank discovered them while looking for indications that the wealthy financier was using his money for sex trafficking. (CNBC)

Trump filed a lawsuit against the Democrat-led House Ways and Means Committee, as well as New York state's attorney general and its tax chief, to block the disclosure of years of his tax returns. The lawsuit came less than a month after the Ways and Means Committee sued the Treasury Department and the IRS to obtain Trump's federal returns. (CNBC)

It's the summertime and that means Trump, along with Democrats running to take him on in 2020, are preparing to travel to the Hamptons where they will be hosted by a slew of influential donors. The move to court donors in this part of New York shows that the fundraising race is heating up as the election cycle heads toward its second year. (CNBC)

China's defense ministry warned today it was ready for war if there was a move toward Taiwan's independence, accusing the U.S. of undermining global stability and denouncing its arms sales to the self-ruled island. This month, the Pentagon said the U.S. State Department had approved sales of weapons requested by Taiwan. (Reuters)

* Beijing suggests it could mobilize troops in Hong Kong if necessary (CNBC)

Japanese automaker Nissan plans to cut more than 10,000 jobs globally as it looks to turn around its business, Kyodo News reported. Nissan has about 139,000 employees around the world. (CNBC)

The proposed merger of T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S) will be the subject of a leadership meeting today by Germany's Deutsche Telekom, which owns 63% of T-Mobile. Separately, Bloomberg reported that Dish has agreed to pay $5 billion for wireless assets that T-Mobile and Sprint will sell to gain approval for the deal. (Reuters)

UPS is expanding its delivery to seven days a week on January 1 and has set up a subsidiary to deliver packages via drones. UPS also announced a new partnership with Michael's Craft stores to expand its "Access Point" service that allows customers to pick up or drop off pre-labeled packages at more than 40,000 brick and mortar locations. (CNBC)

Starbucks (SBUX) is expanding its partnership with Uber's (UBER) Uber Eats service to deliver coffee and food throughout the U.S. beginning in early 2020.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Snap (SNAP), which is the maker of Snapchat, posted a slimmer-than-expected loss for the second-quarter, while exceeding expectations for user growth and revenue.

Texas Instruments (TXN) beat adjusted quarterly profit and revenue forecasts. The stock is getting a boost from the results, especially in light of the company's previous warning about a slowdown in demand that may last for a few more quarters.

Visa (V) reported better-than-expected quarterly numbers yesterday. Visa's results were helped by an overall boost in spending using Visa cards, highlighted by a nearly 9% jump in U.S. payment volume.

iRobot (IRBT) shares are under pressure after the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner maker said tariffs resulting from the trade dispute between the U.S. and China will weigh on company results throughout this year. iRobot also cut its full-year earnings guidance.

Campbell Soup (CPB) is selling its Australian snacks unit Arnott's to private-equity firm KKR (KKR) for a reported $2.2 billion.

General Electric (GE) has hired advisers to explore a sale of its aircraft financing unit, according to Bloomberg, which also reports that Starwood and Apollo Management have put in bids. GE CEO Larry Culp had said in January that he didn't plan to sell the unit, which could fetch around $4 billion.

WATERCOOLER

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) teased potential new menu items on its earnings call as the chain continues to impress investors under CEO Brian Niccol. Chipotle said it's timing the launch of carne asada soon and is testing quesadillas. (CNBC)