Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to fall, Uber tumbles, and McConnell considers gun background checks



U.S. stock futures were pointing to a lower open ahead of the Friday session, after a three-day rally that saw the S&P 500 and Nasdaq erase Monday's sharp losses. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all registered their biggest one-day gains since early June, as worries over a China currency devaluation and falling global yields subsided. (CNBC)

The yield curve everyone's worried about is inches away from flashing a recession signal (CNBC)
Cramer says a 'set of bogus worries' spooked investors out of stocks this week (CNBC)

China's central bank today set the official midpoint reference for the yuan at 7.0136 per dollar, the weakest level since April 3, 2008 but stronger than what analysts were expecting. It's the second time this week that the People's Bank of China set the daily benchmark at a weaker level than the psychologically important 7-yuan-per-dollar. (CNBC)

Uber (UBER) shares are down about 8% in premarket trading, after the company delivered disappointing second-quarter results. It was a miss on both top and bottom lines for Uber. Net losses for the ride-hailing company soared to $5.24 billion, largely owing to stock based compensation. (CNBC)

* Uber's Q2 losses were bigger than total 2018 losses for all but three S&P 500 companies (CNBC)

Goldman Sachs (GS) is casting a wide net for customers of its new credit card with Apple (AAPL), approving some subprime borrowers for the product. The bank, which is in charge of deciding who gets the Apple Card, is accepting some applications from users with less-than-stellar credit scores, according to people with knowledge of the matter. (CNBC)

On Friday's economic and earnings calendars, the government is out with the July producer price index at 8:30 a.m. ET. Meanwhile, E.W. Scripps (SSP), PG&E (PCG), and Tribune Media (TRCO) report quarterly earnings this morning. There are no companies of note scheduled to report after today's closing bell.

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President Donald Trump said Joseph Maguire, the current chief of the National Counterterrorism Center, will become the acting director of national intelligence. Trump's announcement on Twitter came after the deputy director of national intelligence, Sue Gordon, resigned. She said in a note to Trump that stepping down was not her "preference." (Reuters)

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice over his 2018 firing, which came just over 24 hours before he planned to retire, alleging the punishment was "politically motivated and retaliatory." It names Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray, as well as the DOJ and FBI, as defendants. (CNBC)

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he was not taking his front-runner status for granted as he returned to Iowa on Thursday, ahead of a wave of rival Democratic presidential contenders who will in coming days visit the state that starts the party's nominating contest. More than 20 presidential contenders will attend the Iowa State Fair. (Reuters)

Shifting the gun violence debate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he now wants to consider background checks and other bills, setting up a potentially pivotal moment when lawmakers return in the fall. The Republican leader won't be calling senators back to work early, as some are demanding. (AP)

* Man with rifle and body armor alarms shoppers at Missouri Walmart (NY Times)

After U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested nearly 700 potentially undocumented immigrant workers in Mississippi, more than 300 of those taken into custody were released. The raids could be the largest such operation thus far in any single state. (CNBC)

* Immigration raids to have long-term effects on poultry towns (AP)

Malaysia filed criminal charges today against 17 current and former directors at subsidiaries of Goldman Sachs following an investigation into a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal that led to the demise of state fund 1MDB. The U.S. bank has been under scrutiny for its role in helping to raise $6.5 billion through bond offerings. (Reuters)

Political turmoil has returned to Rome with one of the country's deputy prime ministers calling for snap elections and declaring that the coalition government is unworkable. There has been clear confrontation between the two-party coalition, formed of the leftist, anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the anti-immigration, populist Lega party. (CNBC)

Several hundred protesters handed out anti-government flyers to arriving passengers at the Hong Kong International Airport today. Protesters said they wanted to reiterate their demands and put their case "in front of an international audience," according to social media posts from demonstrators. (CNBC)

* Hong Kong's main public train system struggles to serve commuters amid protests (CNBC)

Huawei has launched its own operating system, HarmonyOS, said the CEO of the Chinese tech giant's consumer division. It's part of Huawei's play in the so-called Internet of Things, which refers to devices connected to the internet. (CNBC)

Chipmaker Broadcom (AVGO) formally announced its acquisition of Symantec's (SYMC) enterprise business after the closing bell on Thursday. Broadcom is paying $10.7 billion in cash, according to a statement. (CNBC)

J.C. Penney is at risk of delisting from the New York Stock Exchange after shares of the department store chain traded under $1 for a period of 30 consecutive business days. Shares of the department store chain have plunged more than 70% over the past year. (CNBC)

Beyond Meat (BYND) abandoned plans to enter the Japanese market, according to Reuters quoting Japan trading house Mitsui & Co, although a future expansion is possible. Mitsui has a small stake in the plant-based burger maker, but said a joint venture plan is no longer in the works.

Amarin (AMRN) said the Food and Drug Administration will hold an advisory committee meeting on whether labeling for the company's' heart disease drug Vascepa should be expanded. Amarin wants an expanded label to reflect upbeat results from clinical trials, but the scheduling of that meeting means a three-month delay in a final decision. (Stat)


CBS (CBS) beat Wall Street estimates with adjusted quarterly profit and revenue. Results were boosted by strong ad sales for the March NCAA men's basketball tournament, as well as an increase in content licensing and distribution fees.

Activision Blizzard (ATVI) beat estimates with adjusted quarterly profit, and the videogame publisher's revenue also came in slightly above expectations. Activision also raised its full-year outlook, with the company saying key franchises like "Call of Duty" are showing momentum.

Dropbox (DBX) also beat analysts' forecasts in its fiscal quarter. The cloud storage company saw paying users rise by 14% compared to a year ago, although revenue per user fell below Street forecasts.

Yelp (YELP) beat estimates by 4 cents with quarterly profit of 16 cents per share, while the online review site operator's revenue was essentially in line with analyst forecasts. Yelp said a change in its operations is allowing it to expand sales without having to add to its sales force.

Farfetch (FTCH) posted smaller-than-expected losses than Wall Street expected. Farfetch, a technology platform provider for the luxury fashion industry, also saw revenue beat estimates, but lowered its full-year guidance for a key growth metric. Separately, Farfetch announced the acquisition of luxury brand platform maker New Guards Group for $675 million. Shares of Farfetch were losing about third of their value in the premarket.


Universal's "Hobbs & Shaw" is expected to stay at No. 1 in theaters across the U.S. this weekend, but it has competition. Paramount's "Dora and the Lost City of Gold," CBS Films/Lionsgate's "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark," Disney/Fox's "The Art of Racing in the Rain," New Line's "The Kitchen," and Bleecker Street's "Brian Banks" are all out. (Deadline)