Morning Brief

What to watch today: Sinking bond yields, canceled Hong Kong flights, and possible no-deal Brexit



U.S. stock futures were trading lower ahead of the Tuesday session, following a sharp sell-off for the second consecutive day on Monday. Global economic worries and falling yields continue to weigh on investor sentiment, driving investors to the perceived safety of gold and the Japanese yen. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq were all roughly 5% off their all-time highs set in July. (CNBC)

* China fixes its yuan midpoint at 7.0326 per dollar (CNBC)
* Bond market close to sending biggest recession signal yet (CNBC)
* Cramer suggests stocks worth owning once the coast is clear (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, the government is out with its July look at consumer prices at 8:30 a.m. ET, after July producer prices on Friday indicated that inflation remains muted. Meanwhile, earnings out this morning include Advance Auto Parts (AAP), Avaya (AVYA), and, while cannabis producer Tilray (TLRY) reports after today's closing bell.

Shares of Uber (UBER), still reeling from last week's disappointing second-quarter results, were under pressure again in this morning's premarket after dropping 7.6% to their lowest close ever at $37 each. Ahead of Tuesday trading, Uber stock was down about 18% from the ride-hailing giant's IPO per-share price of $45 in May. (CNBC)

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Anti-government protesters showed up in droves to Hong Kong's airport for the fifth day today, forcing airlines to suspend check-in for departing flights. Flights had been slowly returning to normal after disruptions yesterday led to mass cancellations. (Washington Post)

* China media says Hong Kong protesters are 'asking for self-destruction' as military assembles nearby (CNBC)

President Donald Trump is touring Shell's soon-to-be completed Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex today, showcasing growing efforts to capitalize on natural gas deposits by turning gas into plastics. The facility, which critics claim will become the largest air polluter in western Pennsylvania, is being built in an area hungry for investment. (AP)

* Elon Musk supports 'free cash handout' presidential candidate Andrew Yang (CNBC)

The U.S. would enthusiastically support a no-deal Brexit if that is what the British government decided to do, U.S. national security advisor John Bolton said during a visit to London aimed at reassuring Britain over U.K.-U.S. ties. Bolton told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that Trump wants to see a successful British exit from the EU. (Reuters)

FBI agents searched the Virgin Islands residence of Jeffrey Epstein, an accused child sex trafficker. The search of Epstein's private island of Little St. James came two days after the wealthy financier died from an apparent suicide while in jail in Manhattan. Attorney General William Barr said that any co-conspirators of Epstein "should not rest easy." (CNBC)

* Top US lawmaker demands answers in Jeffrey Epstein's death (Reuters)

For decades, Placido Domingo, one of the most celebrated and powerful men in opera, has tried to pressure women into sexual relationships by dangling jobs and then sometimes punishing the women professionally when they refused his advances, numerous accusers told The Associated Press.

Oregon has joined a lawsuit to block the merger of U.S. wireless carriers T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S). Fifteen states and the District of Columbia are now seeking to stop the merger, which the states argue is anti-competitive and will cost their residents more than $4.5 billion annually. (Reuters)

* CBS and Viacom negotiating share exchange (CNBC)

Verizon (VZ) is selling Tumblr, the blogging social network that Yahoo purchased for $1.1 billion, to the owner of WordPress for a small sum. WordPress parent Automattic will reportedly acquire Tumblr along with its staff of about 200 and said the price "isn't material to Verizon." (CNBC)

* Google's jobs search draws antitrust complaints from rivals (Reuters)

Samsung introduced what it claimed to be the industry's first 108-megapixel image sensor for smartphone cameras which have a picture resolution equivalent to a "high-end DSLR camera." The sensor highlights Samsung's strategy of winning market share in China's handset industry through innovative smartphone parts. (CNBC)

* Don't buy an iPhone right now — Apple's new iPhones are coming next month (CNBC)
* Apple took us on a surreal walk through San Francisco, looking at digital art on an iPhone (CNBC)


Yum Brands (YUM) named Chief Operating Officer David Gibbs as its next CEO, effective in January when current CEO Greg Creed steps down. Creed will remain on the restaurant chain's board of directors.

UPS (UPS) named PepsiCo (PEP) Executive Vice President Brian Newman as its new chief financial officer, effective Sept. 16. Current CFO Richard Peretz will remain with the company through December to help with the transition.

American Airlines (AAL) won a permanent injunction against its mechanics union, which it had accused of staging illegal slowdowns. The mechanics have denied that accusation.

Constellation Brands (STZ) is selling its Canadian whiskey portfolio to Heaven Hill Brands for $266 million. The deal is expected to close during the second of 2019, as Constellation moves forward with its strategy of focusing on its premium products.

Akamai Technologies (AKAM) announced a $1 billion convertible securities offering. The internet technology company intends to use $50 million from that sale to repurchase common stock.

D.R. Horton (DHI), KB Home (KBH), and PulteGroup (PHM) were all rated "buy" in new coverage at SunTrust. Among other factors, the firm points to the growth potential of all three home builders.

McDonald's (MCD) was rated "buy" in new coverage at MKM Partners, which believes that strong domestic and international sales growth is sustainable for the restaurant chain.


Olive Garden's Never Ending Pasta Pass is back on sale this week, offering customers nine weeks of unlimited pasta for $100. If that's not enough, the Darden Restaurants-owned chain (DRI) is offering 50 fans a $500 Lifetime Pasta Pass. (MarketWatch)