Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to gain after Trump delays tariffs and Walmart expands delivery


Following Wednesday's late-day surge, U.S. stock futures were set to add to gains after President Trump announced a delay in the implementation of China tariff increases. The Dow has risen for six straight days, and a gain today would give it its longest win streak since May 2018. (CNBC)

The S&P 500 has regained the 3,000 mark after rising in five of the past six days, and both the Dow and S&P 500 posted their highest closes since July 30 on Wednesday. The Nasdaq's Wednesday advance broke a three-day losing streak and gave it its highest close since July 31. Even the beleaguered Russell 2000 is seeing some glory, up 1% or more for three straight days and exiting correction territory. (CNBC)

* Oil falls 2.9% following report Trump discussed easing sanctions on Iran (CNBC)
* US Treasury yields rise ahead of ECB decision (CNBC)

Trump tweeted last night a delay on increasing tariff rates from 25% to 30% on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15 as a "gesture of good will" to China. Trump said the postponement came "at the request of the Vice Premier of China, Liu He, and due to the fact that the People's Republic of China will be celebrating their 70th Anniversary." (CNBC)

* Trump rules out for now cutting capital-gains taxes (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, the Labor Department releases its weekly look at initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. At the same time, the government publishes the August consumer price index. Supermarket operator Kroger (KR) is out with quarterly earnings this morning, while chipmaker Broadcom (AVGO) issue its numbers after today's closing bell. (CNBC)

SmileDirectClub (SDC) makes its Wall Street debut today after pricing its initial public offering at $23 per share, above the projected range of $19 to $22. That price means the IPO will raise $1.3 billion and value the maker of teeth straightening devices at $8.9 billion. (CNBC)


The top 10 Democrats running for 2020 face off today in the third round of presidential debates. The matchup between former VP Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been months in the making. Also on stage is Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, Beto O'Rourke, and Julian Castro. (NY Times)

* Big money donors consider staying away from Kamala Harris if she fails to perform at the next debate (CNBC)
* Michael Cohen cooperating in probe into whether Trump Organization falsified records (CNBC)

The White House is preparing to ban flavored e-cigarettes as federal health officials call for restrictions to combat an outbreak of a mysterious lung disease that has sickened hundreds and killed at least six people. The FDA is finalizing guidance to remove all non-tobacco flavors of e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, from the market within 30 days. (CNBC)

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma has reached a tentative agreement to settle some 2,000 opioid lawsuits filed by local governments, Native American tribes and states set to go to trial next month. The deal will likely cost the company and its billionaire owners, the Sackler family, between $10 billion and $12 billion. It's expected to soon file for bankruptcy. (CNBC)

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said today that Facebook's (FB) proposed cryptocurrency libra would put the sovereignty of governments at risk and "cannot authorize the development of libra on European soil." Le Maire has been critical of libra in the pas and has highlighted issues with potential money laundering and terrorism financing. (CNBC)

Walmart (WMT) said today it will be expanding a new "unlimited" grocery delivery service, which costs users $98 annually, to 1,400 stores this fall. As part of the nationwide roll-out, it said the service will be available in 200 metro areas where it already has regular grocery delivery, reaching more than 50% of the U.S. population, by the end of the year. (CNBC)

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) is set to revive the planned IPO of its Asia Pacific unit, according to Reuters, and plans to raise about $5 billion. AB InBev, which had aimed to raise as much as $9.8 billion in the IPO of Budweiser Brewing Company APAC to help with its heavy debt burden of over $100 billion, aims to re-launch the float as soon as next week.

Some 2,500 people are still listed as missing in the Bahamas more than a week after Hurricane Dorian pummeled the Caribbean island chain, although that number may include evacuees who fled to shelters. Authorities said today the current death toll is 50 but believe the number will rise. (Reuters)

T. Boone Pickens, the wildcatter "Oracle of Oil," hedge fund founder and philanthropist who rewrote the playbook for corporate raiders, has died. He was 91. In late 2017, he put his sprawling Mesa Vista Ranch in the Texas Panhandle on the market for $250 million, and a few months later, he closed his energy hedge fund, BP Capital, to outside investors. (CNBC)


Blackstone (BX) raised $20.5 billion for its largest-ever real estate fund. The private equity firm plans to invest in property around the world.

AT&T (T) said weakness in its wireless equipment unit could hurt current quarter revenue, and also said this quarter's revenue at its WarnerMedia unit would fall by $400 million from a year ago.

Yelp (YELP) may be an acquisition target of daily deals company Groupon (GRPN). The Wall Street Journal said Groupon is planning an acquisition amid shareholder discontent about its performance, and that the online review site may be a logical matchup.

General Electric (GE) received $2.7 billion from its previously announced plan to reduce its ownership in Baker Hughes (BHGE). GE sold shares at $21.50 per share and reduced its stake in Baker Hughes to 38.4% from more than 50%.

Oracle (ORCL) Co-Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd is taking a health-related leave of absence, with his responsibilities covered by Co-Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz and Oracle founder Larry Ellison. The business software giant also released mixed quarterly earnings.

British American Tobacco (BTI) will lay off 2,300 workers by January, about 4% of its workforce. The move by the world's second largest tobacco company will affect more than 20% of its upper management roles.


Basketball superstar LeBron James's attempt to trademark the phrase "Taco Tuesday" was shot down by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It said the phrase was "a commonplace term" and cited several articles that showed "Taco Tuesday" is used widely "to express enthusiasm for tacos by promoting and celebrating them on a dedicated weekday." (NY Times)