Morning Brief

What to watch today: Wall Street volatility, Trump fundraiser protests, and Apple's probe in Russia



U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher Thursday open on Wall Street, following the S&P 500's biggest intraday comeback of 2019. The S&P wiped out a nearly 2% deficit to finish the day higher, while the Dow erased nearly all of an early 589 point drop. Falling Treasury yields, a source of investor angst Wednesday, reversed late in the New York session and this morning. Despite the potential for a positive session, the Dow is still down 1.8% for the week, with the S&P 500 down 1.6%. (CNBC)

* Goldman downgrades Caterpillar, citing weakness in China business due to trade war (CNBC)

China's central bank set the official reference rate for the Chinese currency at 7.0039 yuan per dollar today, the weakest level since April 21, 2008. Investors are watching the currency closely after it went above the 7-yuan-per-dollar level on Monday. That prompted the U.S. Treasury Department to label Beijing a currency manipulator. (CNBC)

* China's exports unexpectedly rise in July — but more US tariffs may weigh on trade (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, the government issues its initial jobless claims report at 8:30 a.m. ET. Later, at 10 a.m. ET, wholesale inventories for June are released. Meanwhile, Kraft Heinz (KHC) and Viacom (VIAB) are out with quarterly earnings this morning, while CBS (CBS), Uber (UBER), and Yelp (YELP) issue their numbers after this afternoon's closing bell. (CNBC)

IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC) is considering distributing its stakes in Match Group (MTCH) and ANGI Homeservices (ANGI) to shareholders. Shares of dating powerhouse Match closed about 25% higher Wednesday. Shares of IAC were up about 10%. ANGI shares were lower. The internet holding company also posted strong revenue. (CNBC)


The House Judiciary Committee wants former White House counsel Donald McGahn to testify before Congress, asking a federal judge to strike down the Trump administration's claim that the president's top aides are immune from its subpoenas. The Committee is investigating possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump. (NY Times)

* Banks hand over documents on Russians possibly linked to Trump (WSJ)

The White House plans to host technology companies tomorrow for a discussion about the rise of violent online extremism days after the weekend massacres in Texas and Ohio. Trump is scheduled to host a fundraiser in the Hamptons on Friday. He's not expected to be at the discussion. (CNBC)

* Walmart employees call for walkout over gun sales (NBC News)

Equinox and SoulCycle, two luxury fitness brands owned by private parent company The Related Cos., are seeking to distance themselves from Friday's Trump fundraiser at the home of their parent company's chairman, Stephen Ross, a supporter of the president. (CNBC)

Today is the start of the Iowa State Fair, a prerequisite stop every four years during presidential elections. More than 20 Democratic candidates will begin weighing nutritionally questionable food choices and navigating media flocks, all while trying to seem both presidential and comfortable with the folks in the Midwest. (AP)

The U.S. government today stepped up its warnings to travelers to Hong Kong because of increasing violence surrounding pro-democracy protests in the Chinese city. Protests were sparked in June by proposed extradition legislation that could have seen suspects sent to mainland China, where protesters say they could face torture. (AP)

* NATO monitoring 'security implications' of China's increased Arctic presence (CNBC)

U.S. immigration authorities arrested nearly 700 people at seven agricultural processing plants across Mississippi in what federal officials said could be the largest worksite enforcement operation in a single state. However, some of those detained will be released for "humanitarian reasons" and required to appear in court. (Reuters)

Apple (AAPL) is under investigation in Russia following a complaint from cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab and may be abusing its dominant position in smartphone apps, Russia's anti-monopoly watchdog said today. Apple reportedly had not updated Kaspersky Lab's Safe Kids application on its operating system. (Reuters)

* Apple and Eli Lilly are studying whether data from iPhones and Apple Watches can detect signs of dementia (CNBC)

Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier currently under indictment for alleged child sex trafficking, misappropriated more than $46 million from L Brands (LB) founder and Chairman Les Wexner and his family, Wexner said. Epstein for years was known for managing Wexner's personal finances before the first sexual misconduct probe. (CNBC)

After a surprise financing offer that developed in bankruptcy court, Barneys New York now has more money and more time. The famed luxury retailer has until Oct. 24 to find a buyer and avoid liquidation. Barneys New York filed for bankruptcy early Tuesday morning, with a plan to significantly reduce its footprint. (CNBC)


Roku (ROKU) reported smaller-than-anticipated losses while also beating revenue estimates. The video streaming device maker added 1.4 million net new accounts during the quarter. The stock was jumping about 13% in the premarket.

Lyft (LYFT) lost 68 cents per share for the second quarter, less than half the loss predicted by analysts. The ride-hailing service's revenue came in well above estimates, as active riders increased by 41% compared to a year earlier.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) released its newest chip for data centers and said it won Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google unit and Twitter (TWTR) as customers for the chip.

Symantec (SYMC) is near a deal to sell its enterprise unit to chip maker Broadcom (AVGO), reported the Wall Street Journal. The division could be valued at about $10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.


Netflix (NFLX) has prevailed in a bidding war against Amazon (AMZN) and Disney (DIS), enticing "Game of Thrones" creators, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, to sign a multi-year film and TV deal. The deal was reportedly worth nine figures and will see Beniof and Weiss leaving HBO to create new projects exclusively for Netflix. (CNBC)

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