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What to watch today: Dow to rally, Dorian tracks toward Florida, and Tesla hikes China prices

BY THE NUMBERS

August will likely conclude as just the second negative month of 2019, but a month-end rally is set to continue today as U.S. stock futures showed strong gains. The Thursday close for the Dow was the highest since Aug. 8, and the two-day gains for the Dow and S&P 500 are their largest since early June. Both have slashed their August deficits to about 1.9%, and the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are all set to break a string of four consecutive weekly losses. (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, the government releases July personal income and consumer spending at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Chicago purchasing managers index is out at 9:45 a.m. ET, along with the University of Michigan's final August consumer sentiment index at 10 a.m. ET. Campbell Soup (CPB) and Big Lots (BIG) are out with quarterly earnings this morning, with no reports scheduled after today's closing bell. (CNBC)

Shares of Ulta Beauty (ULTA) were losing about a quarter of their value in premarket trading, after the cosmetics retailer lower its forward earnings guidance. Ulta's quarterly same-store sales increased less than expected. Earnings also missed estimates. Revenue was essentially in line. (CNBC)

The opening hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" is now a podcast. Listen to market moving news and interviews on the go. And just a reminder that today is still a full market day, ahead of the long weekend. We'll be back in your inbox Tuesday morning after Labor Day with the day's news.

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Hurricane Dorian is expected to strengthen into a dangerous Category 4 storm in the coming days as it heads toward Florida's Atlantic coast. No evacuations were ordered as of this morning, but many are expected as the storm's path becomes clearer before it makes landfall on Labor Day or early Tuesday. The entire state of Florida is under a declaration of emergency. (Reuters)

* Airlines brace for Dorian as storm threatens to snarl Labor Day weekend travel (CNBC)
* To deal with the hurricane, Trump cancels a Poland trip, sending Pence instead  (AP)

Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong was arrested today, ahead of another week of mass protests that has gripped the city for the last three months. The arrest comes as a pro-democracy group, which led some of the larger protests in the area, canceled tomorrow's planned protests in view of a police ban. (CNBC)

Chinese soldiers stationed in Hong Kong are not there merely for symbolic purposes, and they will have "no reason to sit on their hands" if the situation in the China territory worsens, according to government-controlled media. Trump recently said a violent China response to demonstrations would make a trade deal tough. (Reuters)

The U.S. and China are giving signs that they will resume trade talks as the two economic superpowers discussed the next round of in-person negotiations in September, ahead of Sunday's looming deadline for new U.S. tariffs on additional China imports. (Reuters)

Electric vehicle maker Tesla (TSLA) raised prices for some vehicles in China as the yuan trades at its weakest levels in more than a decade. The U.S.-China trade frictions and a tit-for-tat tariff war between the countries has prompted Tesla, which currently imports all the cars it sells in China, to adjust its prices multiple times over the past year. (Reuters)

Huawei will launch a new flagship phone next month which may not come with Google apps, a source told CNBC, as the Chinese firm faces being blocked from accessing the search giant's software. Huawei is pushing ahead with the launch despite being on a U.S. blacklist known as the Entity List that restricts U.S. firms from doing business with Huawei.

US prosecutors probe Huawei on new allegations of technology theft (WSJ)
* Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi plans to launch a robotaxi service in Shanghai (CNBC)

Disney (DIS) announced it has sold its stake in the YES Network to an investor group including Amazon (AMZN). The investor group, which also includes the Yankees and Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI), acquired the 80% stake of the YES Network that was not already held by the Yankees. (CNBC)

The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly investigating whether e-cigarette maker Juul used deceptive marketing and targeted minors. Regulators have criticized Juul for fueling a teen vaping "epidemic," scrutinizing the company's early advertising campaigns that used young models and bright colors that positioned Juul as a lifestyle brand. (CNBC)

* Juul faces heightened scrutiny, Illinois and DC launch probes (AP)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Dell Technologies (DELL) reported adjusted quarterly profit well above the consensus estimates, along with strong revenue. Dell also said it is successfully mitigating the impact of tariffs imposed by the U.S. and China.

General Electric (GE) won a partial dismissal of a shareholder lawsuit that had accused it of fraudulent accounting. The judge did give shareholders permission to amend their complaint.

Workday (WDAY) reported better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit, while the maker of human resources and financial software also saw revenue come in above forecasts. Workday saw subscription revenue jump 34% during the quarter, and gave a strong forecast for current quarter subscription revenue.

Groupon (GRPN) is being targeted by activist investors, according to the Wall Street Journal. The paper said those investors are hoping to persuade management to buy back stock, enter a strategic partnership, or sell the company.

WATERCOOLER

Novak Djokovic will look to keep a recent shoulder injury at bay as he resumes his U.S. Open title defense in the third round, while Serena Williams will look to take another step closer to a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title today. Djokovic and Williams are facing American Denis Kudla and American Caty McNally. (Reuters)