Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to rise as Q3 ends and whistleblower to testify 'soon'

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BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were pointing higher this morning, closing out the third-quarter and concluding a volatile three months on Wall Street. Markets closed lower last week on reports that the White House is considering limiting U.S. investment into China. However, a Treasury official said over the weekend "the administration is not contemplating" such a move at "this time." U.S.-China trade talks are set to resume Oct. 10. (CNBC)

* Two indicators for China's manufacturing activity beat expectations (CNBC)

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, a 2019 policy voting member, told CNBC today he was "open-minded" when asked about the right level for interest rates, but suggested more cuts could be needed if economic headwinds increase. Evans, noted for his dovish views at the central bank, was still upbeat on the fundamentals for the U.S.

On the economic calendar, Chicago PMI figures for September are due at 8:45 a.m. ET, and Dallas Fed manufacturing index data are published at 9:30 a.m. ET. No major quarterly earnings are scheduled for today. (CNBC)

Budweiser APAC opened higher by nearly 1.5% in its initial public offering in Hong Kong today, in the second largest IPO this year. The listing comes as the monthslong protests continue to rock Hong Kong, with its IPO market reportedly hit by the unrest. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said the whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump will testify before Congress "very soon." The whistleblower filed a complaint expressing concern Trump was "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election." (CNBC)

* Trump-Ukraine whistleblower is a CIA employee who was detailed to the White House (CNBC)

While Congress is on a two-week recess, members of the House Intelligence Committee return to the U.S. Capitol this week to carry out an investigation that is likely to produce new subpoenas for documents and other material. The committee is scheduled to hold a closed-door hearing on Friday with the intelligence community's inspector general. (Reuters)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview that aired Sunday that he takes "full responsibility" for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote columns for The Washington Post. However, the prince denied allegations that he ordered the murder. (AP)

Steve Bullock will apply to be the first — and perhaps only — Democrat in the presidential primary who accepts public financing for his campaign, a potentially risky move that could give his struggling fundraising a boost but would also require the Montana governor to abide by a cap on the amount of money he can spend. (AP)

Apparel retailer Forever 21 said last night it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The fast-fashion retailer obtained $275 million in financing from its existing lenders with J.P. Morgan Chase and $75 million in new capital from TPG Sixth Street Partner, as well as affiliated funds to help support its operations in bankruptcy. (CNBC)

CVS Health (CVS) stopped selling Zantac products at its drugstores, after the FDA said the popular heartburn drug sold by Sanofi (SNY) could contain low levels of a probably human carcinogen. CVS said it's action comes "out of an abundance of caution." (WSJ)

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk provided an update over the weekend about the company's next-generation rocket, built to carry people deep into space, laying out a rapid schedule for the program's development. "I think is the fastest path to a self-sustaining city on Mars," Musk said. (CNBC)

Areas of the northern Rocky Mountains looked more like mid-winter rather than early fall as a snowstorm dumped record amounts of wind-driven snow. Winter storm warnings were posted for parts of western Montana, northern Idaho and northeast Washington. Snow also was forecast for areas in Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, Nevada and California. (AP)

STOCKS TO WATCH

J.P. Morgan (JPM) increased by 9% its price target on Apple (AAPL) to $265 per share, which represents a 20% increase from where the stock closed Friday.

General Motors (GM) and United Auto Workers (UAW) are continuing talks on a new labor deal today, as a strike by the union's members enters its third week.

BP's (BP) Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley is preparing to step down within the next year, according to Bloomberg. Dudley took over after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill crisis.

WATERCOOLER

The DreamWorks animated adventure "Abominable" topped the box office with nearly $21 million in ticket sales over the weekend, according to studio estimates. "Abominable" marks the seventh No. 1 film this year for Universal, or eight if you count "Downton Abbey," released by the studio's specialty label, Focus Features. (AP)

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