Morning Brief

What to watch today: Fed in Jackson Hole, US-China trade war, and another 2020 Dem drops out


U.S. stock futures were pointing to a narrowly mixed open on Wall Street following Wednesday's strong gains, the fourth in five sessions for the Dow and S&P 500 and the third in four days for the Nasdaq. Late Wednesday, the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell below that of the 2-year for the second time in a week, sending a possible recession signal. Despite growing concern over the global economy, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are on pace for a positive week after losing ground in each of the past three weeks. (CNBC)

* Inversion signals Fed may be too slow to cut rates, risks recession (CNBC)

Fed officials who voted to lower interest rates three weeks ago agreed that the move shouldn't be viewed as part of a "pre-set course" for future cuts. Fed minutes from the July meeting also said "most participants" saw the cut "as part of a recalibration" in response to changing conditions. Meanwhile, the Fed's annual economic policy symposium opens today in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, the Labor Department is out with its weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Conference Board's Index of leading economic indicators for July follows at 10 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ), Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), and Hormel Foods (HRL) issue quarterly earnings this morning. This afternoon, Gap (GPS), HP Inc. (HPQ), Intuit (INTU), Ross Stores (ROST), Salesforce (CRM), and VMware (VMW) issue their numbers after today's closing bell. (CNBC)

Nordstrom (JWN) late Wednesday beat estimates with quarterly earnings, although revenue missed. Nordstrom's bottom line got a boost from lower expenses and inventory reductions. The stock was up about 9% in the premarket this morning, after advancing 5.5% on Wednesday with the rest of the retail sector. (CNBC)

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China said today it hopes the U.S. will stop its wrong tariff action, adding that any new tariffs would lead to escalation. Washington said early this month it would impose duties on $300 billion of Chinese goods from Sept. 1, which would effectively extend its tariffs to all of China's exports to the United States. (Reuters)

* Trade war with Europe would be larger and more damaging than China (CNBC)

Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who on Wednesday evening ended his climate change-focused 2020 presidential bid, is set to announce today that he'll seek a third term as governor. Inslee said he's confident that Democrats would select a nominee who would champion climate change issues. (AP)

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination last week, said today he will run for the U.S. Senate, becoming the immediate front-runner in a crowded field vying for the right to challenge Republican incumbent Cory Gardner. (AP)

Republican mega donor and private equity investor John W. Childs has continued giving GOP fundraising committees large sums of money since he was charged in February with soliciting prostitution at a massage parlor in Florida. Over the course of the past five months, Childs has donated over $330,000 to Republican groups. (CNBC)

The Group of Seven summit is set to end without a joint communique for the first time in its 44-year history, after French President Emmanuel Macron decided to abandon the tradition citing "a very deep crisis of democracy." The annual summit, set to run Saturday through Monday, brings together the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. (CNBC)

The U.S. and North Korea are expected to reopen denuclearisation talks soon and they will go well, a senior South Korean official said today, boosting hopes for progress in negotiations after a prolonged stalemate. Talks aimed at dismantling North Korea's nuclear program have stalled since a failed summit in February. (Reuters)

* China treads a fine line as it seeks to mediate in Japan-South Korea trade dispute (CNBC)
* China 'will not sit idly by' over US arms sale to Taiwan (AP)


Lingerie maker Victoria's Secret dragged on parent company L Brands's (LB) second-quarter earnings, which topped analysts' expectations on profit while falling short on sales.

Mylan (MYL) was sued by Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk (NVO) for alleged patent infringement, in an attempt to stop Mylan from marketing a generic version of Novo's diabetes drug Victoza.

Wayfair (W) was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Stifel Nicolaus in a valuation call for the online home furnishings retailer's stock, with a price target of $150 per share.


Taylor Swift is planning to rerecord her songs after her catalog was purchased by popular music manager Scooter Braun. Swift said last November that she signed with Universal Music Group instead of staying at Big Machine because she knew that re-signing would only result in her not owning her future work. (AP)