Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to rise, China grants new waivers, and Trump to address UN



U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open, following a Monday session in which the major averages barely moved. The S&P 500's loss of less than a point Monday did give it two straight losing sessions, while the Nasdaq has been down two straight days and three of the past four. All that said – the major averages are all up roughly 2% for September, and are also poised to chalk up a third straight quarterly gain.

* Treasury yields tick higher as investors monitor trade developments (CNBC)
* Cramer warns of similarities to the dot-com era: 'This is not a normal market, so we do need to be careful' (CNBC)

Investors are looking at two decent-sized reports on the economy out today. The S&P Case-Shiller home price index is out at 9 a.m. ET, followed by the Conference Board's consumer confidence index at 10 a.m. ET. AutoZone (AZO) and CarMax (KMX) are out with quarterly earnings this morning. Dow component Nike (NKE) issues quarterly numbers after today's closing bell.

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China granted new waivers to several domestic state and private firms exempting them from retaliatory tariffs on soybeans imported from the U.S., Bloomberg reported. It said the waivers would apply to between 2 million tonnes and 3 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans. Some of the companies have already reportedly bought about 1.2 million tonnes of soybeans.

* Trump surprised when Mnuchin says he asked China trade delegation to cancel farm tour (CNBC)
* GOP Sen. Rick Scott: Americans must stop buying Chinese products (CNBC)
* China to place government officials inside 100 private companies, including Alibaba (CNBC)

President Donald Trump is expected to make his case for keeping pressure on Iran today at a United Nations General Assembly speech made more dramatic by attacks on Saudi oil facilities that rattled the Middle East and raised concerns about a broader war. (Reuters)

Trump ordered his staff to freeze nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine a few days before a phone call in which he pressured the Eastern European nation's leader to investigate the family of political rival Joe Biden, a new revelation that comes as more Democrats move toward impeachment proceedings. (AP)

* Trump says he did not ask Ukraine to investigate Biden in exchange for aid (CNBC)

Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google does not have to apply the "right to be forgotten" globally, the top court in Europe ruled Tuesday. The European Court of Justice decision states that Google's delisting of search results that concerned EU citizens only applies in the bloc's 28 member states. (CNBC)

* EU court rules on Starbucks and Fiat tax breaks (CNBC)
* UK's highest court says Boris Johnson's parliament suspension is unlawful (CNBC)

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) raised about $5 billion in a Hong Kong initial public offering of its Asia-Pacific unit, after the deal was priced at the bottom of the expected range. The world's largest brewer relaunched its initial public offering this month after cancelling a plan for a bigger IPO of the unit in July. (Reuters)

Facebook (FB) announced the acquisition of CTRL-labs, a New York startup that specializes in allowing humans to control computers using their brains. CNBC reported the deal was between $500 million and $1 billion, and its vision is that it will use a wristband that allows people to control their devices.

* Amazon plans Alexa wireless earbuds with fitness-tracking built in, bigger Echo with better sound, source says (CNBC)

Federal prosecutors in California are conducting a criminal probe into e-cigarette maker Juul, the Wall Street Journal reported, though the focus is unknown. Regulators have criticized Juul for fueling a teen vaping "epidemic," scrutinizing the company's early advertising campaigns that used young models and bright colors. (CNBC)

Forecasters said Tropical Depression Karen would unleash heavy rains across the northeastern Caribbean today that could cause flooding and landslides in Puerto Rico and nearby islands. Schools and offices were already ordered closed in Puerto Rico as well as in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, with officials warning people to stay indoors. (AP)


Walt Disney (DIS) said Disney Parks West president Catherine Powell is leaving the company after 15 years, with her position now being eliminated. Separately, Disney was rated "outperform" in new coverage at Wells Fargo Securities, with a price target of $173 per share. The firm said Disney is not just a media company, but a unique global consumer brand leader.

Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is accused in a lawsuit of urging investors to approve the purchase of SolarCity at a premium to its market value despite the automaker's cash crunch. Tesla bought SolarCity in 2016 for $2.6 billion.

Apple (AAPL) was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Jefferies, which feels Street iPhone estimates are too conservative and that Apple's opportunities in services is underestimated broadly by investors.

Ralph Lauren (RL) was upgraded to "overweight" from "neutral" at Atlantic Equities, which said valuation is at a level last seen during the 2009 recession despite the improved performance of the apparel maker.


Today's National Voter Registration Day, a massive effort to register voters before the upcoming elections in the fall. The day is backed by a variety of companies and groups, from the National Association of Secretaries of State to Facebook and Google. (USA Today)