Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to rise, House passes budget deal, and SoftBank debuts mega fund



U.S. stock futures were pointing to a modestly higher Wall Street open this morning, following a Thursday slide that saw both the Dow and Nasdaq post their biggest one-day losses in a month. The Dow also closed at a two-week low. Despite all that, the Dow is just below breakeven for the week, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq remain on track for their third positive week in four weeks. (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, the government is out with its first reading of second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of the U.S. economy, at 8:30 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

On the corporate front, Dow component McDonald's (MCD) and Twitter (TWTR) are among the companies reporting quarterly earnings this morning, along with AbbVie (ABBV), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), Goodyear Tire (GT), and Phillips 66 (PSX). There are no earnings reports of note after today's closing bell.


The Trump administration decides today whether to renew a license this week for energy company Chevron's (CVX) operations in Venezuela, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo supporting a renewal and other officials opposing it. At issue is a six-month U.S. Treasury Department license that has allowed Chevron to keep operating despite U.S. sanctions on the OPEC nation's oil sector. (Reuters)

The House passed a bill to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and set budget levels for two years, taking a step toward avoiding a calamity that threatens to disrupt the economy. The House vote sends the measure to the Senate, which is expected to pass it in the coming days and send it to Trump's desk. The president is expected to sign the bill. (CNBC)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are meeting today after weeks of public tensions between the two Democrats. The two have recently unified after President Donald Trump told four congresswomen, including Ocasio-Cortez, to "go back" to where they came from. (USA Today)

The Trump administration outlined the details of a $16 billion aid package for farmers damaged by bad weather and the U.S. trade war with China. The U.S. Department of Agriculture program includes $14.5 billion in direct payments to farmers for a range of crops. Sign-ups for aid start Monday, while payments begin next month. (CNBC)

The Justice Department is pushing state officials to support T-Mobile's (TMUS) merger with Sprint (S), through the selling of assets to Dish Network (DISH), The Wall Street Journal reported. The discussions come in response to some of the state attorneys general who have already filed a federal antitrust suit seeking to block the more than $26 billion merger.

The Senate Intelligence Committee reported that election systems in all 50 states were targeted by Russia in 2016. The attack was larger than previously acknowledged, and is just the first report of several to be released from the committee's investigation into the election interference. (NY Times)

* It's not just the Russians anymore as Iranians and others turn up disinformation efforts ahead of 2020 vote (Washington Post)

Executives at Wall Street's biggest banks have begun throwing financial support to their early favorites in the 2020 Democratic presidential field: Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg. All three candidates combined are to receive contributions during the second quarter from at least 15 bank executives, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. (CNBC)

SoftBank announced today its second mega fund to invest into technology companies developing artificial intelligence technologies around the world. Prominent corporations that are expected to participate in Vision Fund 2 include: Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), iPhone assembler Foxconn, Standard Chartered Bank, and a handful of Japanese financial giants. (CNBC)

Chinese authorities suspect U.S. package delivery company FedEx violated the law by not making shipments of goods from the tech company Huawei to their recipients, the Xinhua state news agency reported today. Investigators reportedly found that FedEx had held back more than 100 Huawei-related shipments. (Reuters)

* China wants to track and grade each citizen's actions — it's in the testing phase (CNBC)

The Australian government released a report today recommending tighter oversight over multinational digital platforms including Alphabet (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB), to ensure fairness for other media businesses and give people more control over how their data is used. (AP)

Apple (AAPL) has agreed to buy the majority of Intel's smartphone modem division. Some 2,200 Intel employees are joining Apple, according to the announcement. Apple paid $1 billion for staff, intellectual property, and other equipment from Intel (INTC). The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019. (CNBC)


Amazon (AMZN) reported mixed results in its second-quarter earnings release, failing to meet profit expectations while exceeding revenue forecasts. It was the first time in five quarters that Amazon did not post record profits, with shipping costs escalating during the quarter.

Alphabet (GOOGL) beat analysts' expectations on revenue and earnings per share in its second quarter, with the company's results boosted by its continued dominance in internet search. Shares were up nearly 8.2% in premarket trading.

Intel (INTC) reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue, and gave an upbeat forecast. Intel's traditional PC business saw a 1% revenue increase compared with an expected decline.

Starbucks (SBUX) raised its full-year earnings and revenue forecast after more customers returned to cafes in the U.S. and China for pricier drinks. The coffee chain saw global same-store sales post a 6% increase, the most in three years.

T-Mobile (TMUS) earned $1.09 per share for the second quarter, 12 cents a share above estimates, although the mobile carrier's revenue missed Street forecasts. T-Mobile also reported a larger-than-expected number of subscriber additions.

Expedia (EXPE) came in 10 cents a share ahead of estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.77 per share. Both revenue and quarterly bookings for the travel services website operator came in slightly ahead of forecasts.

Mattel (MAT) lost an adjusted 25 cents per share for its latest quarter, less than the 40 cents a share Wall Street had been expecting. Revenue was well above estimates for the toy maker, boosted by sales of action figures based on "Toy Story 4" and growth for its "Barbie" and "Hot Wheels" brands.

Charles Schwab (SCHW) announced a deal to acquire assets of USAA's Investment Management Company, including brokerage and managed portfolio accounts, for $1.8 billion in cash.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA, BRKB) raised its stake in Bank of America (BAC) to 950 million shares from the prior 896.2 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. That puts Berkshire's stake in the bank at 10.4%.


Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man just crossed the $1 billion mark after 24 days in theaters. On Thursday, the film had earned an estimated $1.005 billion globally. It is the first Spider-Man movie to make more than $1 billion at the box office. (CNBC)