Morning Brief

What to watch today: Stocks to bounce, Democrats debate, and Impossible Whopper to go nationwide



U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher Wall Street open after a Fed-inspired sell-off that saw the Dow and S&P 500 post their biggest one-day losses in two months. Investors were disappointed after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday's 0.25% interest rate cut should not necessarily be taken as the first in a series. (CNBC)

* Trump: Powell 'let us down' by not clearly signaling more cuts (CNBC)
* Lower rates already came to housing, and they're not helping much. (NY Times)

Despite Wednesday's sharp declines, the Dow and S&P logged a positive July. Turning the calendar page, stocks have gained ground in August the past two years, but they've also seen some steep August losses this decade, most notably in 2011 and 2015. (CNBC)

A busy morning for earnings brings reports from Dow component Verizon (VZ), General Motors (GM), Dunkin' Brands (DNKN), Wayfair (W), and Yum Brands (YUM). After-the-bell reports today include GoPro (GPRO), Pinterest (PINS), and Square (SQ).

Shares of Qualcomm (QCOM) were falling about 7% in the premarket after the chipmaker reported mixed fiscal third-quarter results, beating on earnings but missing on revenue. Qualcomm also gave a current quarter earnings forecast that falls largely below estimates as it strips out business from China's Huawei. (CNBC)

Shares of Fitbit (FIT) were tanking about 18% in premarket trading after the fitness device maker fell short of estimates on quarterly earnings. Fitbit revenue beat. However, Fitbit cut its full-year sales forecast on disappointing sales of its new Versa Lite smartwatch.

On today's economic calendar, the Labor Department is out at 8:30 a.m. ET with initial jobless claims, ahead of tomorrow's release of the government's July employment report. Meanwhile, the ISM's July manufacturing index and June construction spending are both out at 10 a.m. ET this morning. (CNBC)


The Senate is expected to vote on a two-year budget and debt ceiling deal today, just a week after the House approved the deal. However, there are doubts about whether Republicans can muster a majority to support the spending package. (The Hill)

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence campaign in Cincinnati tonight, the first rally since a North Carolina audience last month chanted "send her back" about a Somali-born congresswoman that Trump called out. (AP)

* Mark Mobius: US markets will go 'haywire' if Trump loses 2020 election (CNBC)

Last night concluded round two of the second Democratic presidential debates. Frontrunner Joe Biden faced heavy scrutiny, but he wasn't the only top tier candidate to come under fire. Sen. Kamala Harris, who shot up in the polls after the first debate, also faced withering attacks. (CNBC)

* Harris argues Trump's 'trade tax' pushed the Fed to cut rates (CNBC)
* Hecklers interrupt Democratic debate over a 2014 New York City police shooting (CNBC)

Trump offered Russian President Vladimir Putin help in putting out vast wildfires raging in Siberia, a move the Kremlin took as a sign that battered ties can be restored. Russia has been keen to try to rebuild U.S.-Russia relations that soured after the Moscow's 2016 election meddling. (Reuters)

The Trump administration named William Perry Pendley as acting director of the Bureau of Land Management. Pendley has pressed to reduce the size of federal lands to boost development, attempted to undermine protections of endangered species and sued the Interior Department on behalf of an oil and gas prospector. (Washington Post)

The U.S. imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, targeting the country's top spokesman and potentially hurting chances of diplomatic talks amid rising tensions between the two countries. Zarif, a critical figure in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, dismissed the action. (Reuters)

The U.S. obtained intelligence that the son and potential successor of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Hamza bin Laden, is dead, NBC News reported. The officials would not provide details of where or when Hamza died or if the U.S. played a role in his death.

Intel (INTC) has applied for licenses to sell some of its products to Huawei following the blacklisting of the Chinese technology giant and a subsequent easing of restrictions on the firm. Intel CEO Bob Swan told CNBC the company has applied for a license to sell "general purpose compute" products to Huawei.

* Gary Cohn: Trump's trade war with China is hurting the US economy more (CNBC)

A group of Nordstrom family members that own nearly a third of the retailer have been working on a proposal to increase their stake to more than half. The family last year aborted talks to take the retailer private after an initial offer of $50 a share was rejected as too low. (WSJ)

Sen. Josh Hawley introduced a bill that would ban Snapchat's (SNAP) Snapstreak feature that encourages users to send photos on the app at least once every 24 hours. The Missouri Republican said it's a way to curb overuse of social media. (Reuters)

SmileDirectClub , which provides invisible teeth-straightening devices, is looking to sell up to $1 billion in stock in an initial public offering (IPO). The size and timing of the offering could still change depending on market conditions. (CNBC)


Beyond Meat (BYND) priced a secondary offering of 3.25 million new shares at $160 per share, 18.6% below Wednesday's closing price for the plant-based burger maker's stock. Shares were dropping about 9% in the premarket. Beyond Meat has rocketed nearly 700% since its IPO in May.

Amazon (AMZN) is in early stage talks to buy a 26% stake in India's Reliance Industries, according to the Economic Times. Reliance is India's largest brick and mortar retailer.

Thomson Reuters (TRI) raised its sales and profit outlook for 2019 and 2020 after reporting a 4% increase in organic revenue for the second quarter. Separately, Thomson Reuters and co-owner Blackstone (BX) finalized a deal to sell their Refinitiv data business to London Stock Exchange for $27 billion in stock.

BlackRock (BLK) is no longer in talks to buy private equity firm Pamplona's stake in cybersecurity firm Cofense, according to the Wall Street Journal. BlackRock already holds a stake in Cofense, and the potential deal was designed to address national security concerns.


Burger King is launching the Impossible Whopper in U.S., starting next week. But it will only be available for a limited time. The nation's second-largest burger chain, owned by Restaurant Brands International (QSR), began testing the plant-based burger from Beyond Meat-rival Impossible Foods at locations in St. Louis in April. (CNBC)