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Morning Brief

What to watch today: Futures little changed, China's tariff exemptions, and GOP wins House race

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were indicating very little change at the Wall Street open, after mixed market action in recent days. The Dow is currently on a five-day win streak, its longest since early June, but the Nasdaq is riding a three-day losing streak. The S&P 500 has been up in four of the past five days, but has moved less than a point in each of the past two sessions. All this comes before policy-setting meetings at the European Central Bank tomorrow and the Fed next week. (CNBC)

* Treasury yields tick higher ahead of key central bank meetings (CNBC)

On today's U.S. economic calendar, the government issues the August producer price index at 8:30 a.m. ET and July wholesale trade at 10 a.m. ET. No major earnings reports are set for this morning. Aurora Cannabis (ACB), Oxford Industries (OXM) and Tailored Brands (TLRD), behind Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank, are out with quarterly numbers after today's closing bell. (CNBC)

* Weekly mortgage applications rise as buyer's market takes hold (CNBC)

Shares of GameStop (GME) plunged about 16% in premarket trading, after the videogame retailer reported wider-than-expected loss per share. GameStop also saw revenue fall short of forecasts, with comparable store sales falling nearly 12%. (CNBC)

Dave & Buster's (PLAY) shares were sinking about 15% in the premarket, after the company lowered full-year guidance, citing a "competitive environment." However, Dave & Buster's did beat estimates with quarterly profit and revenue. (MarketWatch)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Republican Rep. Dan Bishop defeated Democratic challenger Dan McCready in a North Carolina race, according to an NBC News projection. Bishop's victory is a bright spot for a GOP House delegation that lost 40 seats in the midterm elections and is suffering from a recent wave of retirements before the 2020 elections. (CNBC)

Trump says Fed 'boneheads' should cut interest rates to zero 'or less,' US should refinance debt (CNBC)

President Donald Trump said he fired national security advisor John Bolton, adding that Bolton had "disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions." Bolton said he had "offered to resign" the night before. Either way, the departure of Bolton, a hawk on Iran and North Korea, shocked Washington. (CNBC)

* Iran urges US to 'put warmongers aside' after Bolton firing (AP)

Congressional lawmakers are holding an emergency hearing today into the Trump administration's decision to stop considering requests from immigrants seeking to defer deportation for medical treatment and other hardships. Immigration officials and medical and legal experts are scheduled to testify. (AP)

* Democrats pressure Republicans by advancing gun control bills (Reuters)

China's Ministry of Finance today announced plans to exempt 16 types of U.S. goods from additional tariffs, including food for livestock, cancer drugs and lubricants. The exemption, which is scheduled to go into effect from Sept. 17, will be valid for a year and comes as high-level trade officials from the two countries prepare to meet next month. (CNBC)

* Hong Kong stock exchange makes $36.6 billion bid for London stock exchange (Reuters)

Hong Kong activists called off protests today in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. and denounced a Chinese state newspaper report that they were planning "massive terror" in the city. Hong Kong has been rocked by months of sometimes violent unrest, prompted by anger over planned legislation to allow extraditions to China. (Reuters)

This morning, Sept. 11, 2019, the NYSE observes a one-minute moment of silence at 9:20 a.m. ET, with a single strike of the bell, to honor the terror attack victims and their families as well as the survivors and first-responders. (NYSE)

Peloton seeks to raise as much as $1.16 billion in its initial public offering, the company known for its connected at-home fitness equipment said. Peloton plans to price its shares between $26 and $29. The company is offering 40 million shares, which would value Peloton at $8.06 billion at the high end of the range. (CNBC)

* WeWork IPO full speed ahead with roadshow to kick off as soon as next week (CNBC)

A Kansas resident was the sixth person to die in the U.S. of a mysterious respiratory illness related to vaping, state officials said, as public health officials scrambled to understand a nationwide health problem. The investigation has not linked the illnesses to any specific e-cigarette products, but some are pointing to those containing vitamin E oil. (Reuters)

New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of rape by a former trainer. Britney Taylor said Brown sexually assaulted her on three occasions, which Brown has denied. The NFL is launching an investigation to the allegations, according to the Patriots. (AP)

STOCKS TO WATCH

RH (RH) reported better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit while also beating revenue estimates. The home furnishings retailer also raised earnings guidance for the third time this year.

Charles Schwab (SCHW) will cut about 600 jobs, about 3% of the discount brokerage's workforce. Schwab is trying to cut expenses as it deals with the impact of falling interest rates.

General Electric (GE) is seeking to raise up to $3 billion by selling shares of oilfield services company Baker Hughes (BHGE) and reducing its stake to a minority level. GE had a 50.4% stake in Baker Hughes as of June 30.

Philip Morris International (PM) increased its quarterly dividend by 3 cents to $1.14 per share, an increase of 2.6% for shareholders of the tobacco producer.

Costco (COST) was downgraded to "perform" from "outperform" at Oppenheimer, following a 45% year-to-date gain for the warehouse retailer's stock. Oppenheimer said it sees less upside for the shares given its premium valuation, although it remains upbeat on Costco's long term prospects.

Micron Technology (MU) was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Longbow Research, which points to improving pricing fundamentals in the memory and flash storage chip market.

WATERCOOLER

Taco Bell may not have jumped on the alternative meats bandwagon, but the Mexican fast-food chain is gearing up to launch its "not-so-new 'new' vegetarian menu." Starting tomorrow, Taco Bells across the nation will have its first-ever vegetarian menu board and also introduce a black bean Crunchwrap Supreme and a black bean Quesarito. (USA Today)