Morning Brief

What to watch today: Busy earnings day, ECB policy decision, and House votes on budget bill

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BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a slightly higher open on Wall Street this morning, following record closes for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. The Dow did not join the record party Wednesday, falling after downbeat earnings reports from Caterpillar and Boeing. All three averages remain on track for a positive week, which would be the third in the past four. The beleaguered Russell 2000 is finally out of correction territory after posting its best day in nearly a month yesterday. (CNBC)

On today's U.S. economic calendar, the Labor Department is out with its weekly report on initial jobless claims. Also, durable goods orders for June are out at 8:30 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

On the earnings front, 50 companies are reporting today. Dow component 3M (MMM) and NBCUniversal and CNBC parent Comcast (CMCSA) are out with quarterly earnings this morning, with American Airlines (AAL), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Hershey (HSY), International Paper (IPI), LabCorp (LH), Raytheon (RTN), Rockwell Automation (ROK), Royal Caribbean (RCL), Southwest Airlines (LUV), Tempur Sealy (TPX), and Waste Management (WM) are also reporting.

Alphabet (GOOGL), Amazon.com (AMZN), Starbucks (SBUX), and Intel (INTC) will grab the after-the-bell earnings spotlight today, with T-Mobile US (TMUS), Aflac (AFL), Boston Beer (SAM), Expedia (EXPE), Juniper Networks (JNPR), Mattel (MAT), and MGM Resorts (MGM) out with quarterly numbers, as well.

IN THE NEWS TODAY

The House is expected to vote today on President Donald Trump's two-year budget bill. The deal would raise U.S. discretionary spending to $1.37 trillion in fiscal year 2020, up from $1.32 trillion this year, according to reports, and will face resistance. Some conservatives who have called for deeper spending reductions pushed for the White House to reject the potential agreement as details emerged in recent days. (CNBC)

* Trump vetoes resolutions seeking to block arms sales to Gulf allies (WSJ)

A federal judge in San Francisco blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a new rule that aimed to bar almost all asylum applications at the U.S.-Mexico border. The rule requires asylum-seekers to first pursue safe-haven in a third country they had traveled through on their way to the United States. (Reuters)

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said he will resign August 2 after nearly two weeks of furious protests and political upheaval touched off by a leak of crude and insulting chat messages between Rossello and his top advisors. (AP)

The European Central Bank will issue its latest policy statement and interest rate decision this morning, with some sort of easing move – or indication of one in the future – expected. That's followed by ECB President Mario Draghi's post-meeting news conference at 8:30 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

* Investors wonder if the ECB can do enough to make a difference (WSJ)

North Korea fired at least two short-range missiles early today. It was the first launch reported since Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met at the end of June at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas. (NBC News)

Nissan said today it would slash 12,500 jobs globally by 2022 and cut output to rein in costs as it suffers from sluggish sales and rising costs. The automaker is still trying to recover from a scandal surrounding ousted Chairman Carlos Ghosn. Japan's No. 2 automaker posted a 98.5% plunge in first-quarter operating profit to $14.80 million. (CNBC)

Two more Uber (UBER) directors are resigning from the board. Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington and Benchmark General Partner Matt Cohler told Uber of their intentions to resign this week, the company disclosed in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. (CNBC)

Victoria's Secret owner, L Brands (LB), has hired outside counsel to review the company's relationship with accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, a company spokesperson said today. Epstein was arrested earlier this month on an indictment, which charged him with trafficking dozens of underage girls. (CNBC)

* Jeffrey Epstein on suicide watch after accused sex trafficker is found injured in New York jail (CNBC)

Boeing (BA) said it will take a $4.9 billion charge in the second-quarter due to the worldwide grounding of its 737 Max planes after two fatal crashes that killed 346 people. Boeing said it is assuming that the planes will return to service early in the fourth-quarter of this year but warned that could also be later. (CNBC)

Samsung announced it has fixed issues that plagued the Galaxy Fold's initial launch. The $2,000 foldable phone will launch sometime in September, five months after it was supposed to launch. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Facebook (FB) reported better-than-expected profit and revenue for its second quarter. Facebook also said new data privacy rules will slow its revenue growth and raise expenses, and also disclosed a new Federal Trade Commission antitrust probe.

Shares of Tesla (TSLA) plunged over 11% in premarket trading after it posted a significantly wider adjusted loss than expected by Wall Street. That came despite record deliveries of its electric cars, with profit margins falling during the quarter.

Ford (F) fell 3 cents a share short of forecasts, with adjusted quarterly profit of 28 cents per share. The automaker's revenue came in above estimates. Almost all of Ford's second-quarter profit came from North America, thanks to its profitable pickup trucks. Ford also gave a lower-than-expected full-year forecast.

PayPal (PYPL) cut its full-year revenue outlook, with CEO Dan Schulman calling the cut a result of delayed partner implementations that will eventually kick in for the payment services company.

Nike (NKE) is exploring options – including a possible sale - of its surfwear brand Hurley International, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to Reuters.

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings, and the fastest growth in beer sales in more than five years. Beer volumes were up 2.1% in the quarter compared to a year earlier, as prices rose and consumers bought more of the company's higher priced offerings.

WATERCOOLER

The seventh and final season of "Orange Is the New Black," a series that took Netflix by storm, hits the streaming platform tomorrow. Netflix (NFLX) also said it isn't bringing back "Tuca & Bertie" or "Designated Survivor" for new seasons on the streaming platform. (Thrillist and Variety)