Morning Brief

What to watch today: UN General Assembly kicks off, GM strikes continue, Thomas Cook collapses



Following a Friday sell-off sparked by trade concerns, U.S. stock futures were pointing to a lower open for the major averages on Monday. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are coming off their first weekly loss in four weeks, and closed at their lowest since September 10 on Friday. All three are still in the green for September, however, with little over a week to go. As the third quarter heads toward the finish line, they're also on track to post a third consecutive positive quarter.

* US Treasury yields fall amid trade talk uncertainties (CNBC)
* New York Stock Exchange owner launches futures contracts that pay out in bitcoin (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, no reports are due today, but there will be one Fed-related event for investors to ponder as St. Louis Fed President James Bullard has a public appearance. No earnings reports of note are out today. (CNBC)

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Faced with growing tumult, President Donald Trump heads into his three-day visit to the United Nations this week hoping to lean on strained alliances while fending off questions about whether he sought foreign help to damage a political rival. He'll try to convince skeptical global capitals to build a coalition to confront Tehran after last week's oil strike. (AP)

* For Trump, long odds on securing new UN action against Iran (WSJ)
* Who's speaking at the UN Climate Summit? Several champions of coal (NY Times)

Trump said he discussed Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and Biden's son in a call with Ukraine's president in late July. Democrats have said that if Trump asked Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden, it is tantamount to promoting foreign interference in the 2020 election. (Reuters)

* Trump admits to discussing Biden in scrutinized talk with Ukrainian leader (NBC News)
* 'The most profound violation' yet: Democrats assail Trump's Ukraine phone call (NBC News)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said today that new U.S. sanctions, under which Iran's central bank was blacklisted for a second time, pointed to U.S. "desperation" in face of Iranian resistance. The U.S. on Friday imposed another round of sanctions on Iran following the September 14 attacks on Saudi oil facilities. (Reuters)

Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared a stage and showered each other with praise last night at a "Howdy, Modi!" rally attended by about 50,000 people, a rare mass showing for a foreign leader on U.S. soil. It was a chance for Trump to reach out to the Indian-American community that voted overwhelmingly against him in 2016. (Reuters)

SoftBank's Masayoshi Son is in favor of removing WeWork's Adam Neumann as CEO, as the company's directors plan to meet this week to propose Neumann step down, CNBC reported. WeWork views Son's move against Neumann as an effort to prevent the company from going public, following a tumultuous week in which WeWork postponed its IPO roadshow. (CNBC)

The world's oldest travel firm Thomas Cook collapsed, stranding more than half a million holidaymakers around the globe and sparking the largest peacetime repatriation effort in British history. Employing 21,000, Thomas Cook currently has 600,000 travelers abroad, forcing governments and insurance companies to coordinate a huge rescue operation. (Reuters)

General Motors (GM) and United Auto Workers union representatives met over the weekend for talks on a new contract, but a strike by union members heads into its eighth day today. The walkout is costly for both GM and the UAW, but the longer it drags on, the more likely it is to be felt by consumers. (CNBC)

Antonio Brown says he is finished with the NFL. In a cryptic tweet on the morning his most recent team was getting ready to play without him, the former New England Patriots receiver said, "Will not be playing in the NFL anymore." He went on to take shots at other people in football who have been accused of sexual misconduct. (AP)


Viacom (VIAB) bought the exclusive cable TV rights to the hit sitcom "Seinfeld" from Sony Pictures Entertainment, beginning in October 2021. Netflix (NFLX) had recently acquired the global streaming rights to "Seinfeld."

Tesla's (TSLA) board of directors must face a shareholder lawsuit over CEO Elon Musk's pay package. The automaker had asked a judge to dismiss the suit, but that request was rejected.

Exact Sciences (EXAS) won Food and Drug Administration approval for use of its at-home colon cancer screening test Cologuard for patients aged 45-49. It had previously only been approved for patients at least 50 years old.

NVR (NVR) will join the S&P 500 prior to the open on Thursday. The home builder's stock replaces Jefferies Financial Group (JEF) in the benchmark index.

Con Edison (ED) was upgraded to "overweight" from "sector weight" at KeyBanc, which cites a number of factors including relative valuation. The utility's stock has already gained nearly 21% this year.

Sanofi (SNY) was upgraded to "overweight" from "equal-weight" at Morgan Stanley, which points to optimism surrounding the French drug maker's new CEO, Paul Hudson.

Fitbit (FIT) shares remain on watch, following a rise Friday on reports that the maker of wearable fitness devices has hired an investment firm to explore a possible sale.


Be sure to order a pumpkin spice latte this morning: Today's arrival of the autumnal equinox makes it officially the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere. The autumnal equinox is the halfway point between our longest and shortest days of the year. (Washington Post)

Amazon's (AMZN) "Fleabag" stole the show Sunday at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards, bringing home four awards, including those for best actress in a comedy, directing, and best comedy series. "Game of Thrones," the eight-season epic, took home the top prize in the drama category. (CNBC)