Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow leaps on China report; White House won't cooperate with inquiry

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures pushed higher Wednesday morning on reports suggested that Beijing is still willing to discuss a partial trade deal with Washington, and increase annual purchases of U.S. agricultural products to get a deal done.

Bloomberg reported, citing an official with direct knowledge of the negotiations, that China would discuss a possible agreement as long as no more tariffs are imposed by the President Donald Trump administration — including planned levies due this month and in December. Separately, the Financial Times reported that officials in China are offering to increase annual purchases of U.S. agricultural products in order to reach a partial deal. (CNBC)

* China demands US lift tech curbs, will 'safeguard' interests (AP)

Trade tensions are running high as the two countries prepare to meet tomorrow and Friday for high-level trade talks. The long-running dispute has slowly expanded beyond trade policy, exacerbating fears about further damage to a fragile global economy. (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, weekly mortgage applications are set to be released at 7 a.m. ET and August's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey is released at 10 a.m., along with wholesale trade. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell delivers opening remarks at 11 a.m. ahead of the release of Federal Open Market Committee's minutes at 2 p.m. No earnings reports of note are out today. (CNBC)

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IN THE NEWS TODAY

The White House said it will not cooperate with House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, claiming that the proceedings amount to "baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process." White House counsel Pat Cipollone added the Dem's move is "a strategy to influence the next election" in 2020. (CNBC)

Most Americans, including 1 in 5 Republicans, back an impeachment inquiry or already believe Congress should remove President Trump from office, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows. The survey shows how public sentiment has moved amid the unfolding scandal over Trump's request that Ukraine investigate his potential 2020 rival Joe Biden. (CNBC)

Bernie Sanders began reintroducing himself to the 2020 campaign, venturing outside his home to say he doesn't plan on leaving the presidential race following last week's heart attack — but that he may slow down a frenetic pace that might have contributed to his health problems. Sanders will be at next week's Democratic presidential debate. (AP)

* Biden proposes to make community college tuition-free and reduce student loan bills (CNBC)

Saudi Arabia's full oil production capacity will be recovered by the end of November, Saudi Aramco's CEO said today. The CEO of the world's largest oil company also expressed his concern over an "absence of international resolve" against the perpetrators of Sept. 14 attacks on Aramco facilities that forced the company to shut down half of its production. (CNBC)

The United Auto Workers union's top negotiator in talks with General Motors (GM) to resolve a more than three-week strike said a key issue separating the two sides is job security. The strike at the United States' biggest carmaker began on Sept. 16 and talks are set to resume today. (Reuters)

Apple (AAPL) became the latest company targeted for Chinese pressure over protests in Hong Kong when the ruling Communist Party's main newspaper criticized the tech giant today for a smartphone app that allows activists to report police movements. Beijing has pressed companies to take the government's side against the protests. (AP)

A top Trump immigration official said nearly 1 million migrants were taken into custody along the U.S. southern border in fiscal year 2019. The figure marks the highest volume of arrests there since 2007 due to an influx of Central American families. (CNBC)

Nearly 800,000 California customers can expect to lose electricity for up to several days in a planned PG&E power shutdown of unprecedented scale due to heightened wildfire risks from high winds. PG&E has come under scrutiny in recent years over maintenance of transmission wires and other equipment implicated in a number of major wildfires. (Reuters)

Montgomery, the capital of the southern U.S. state of Alabama, known as the birthplace of the civil rights movement for its 1950s bus boycotts over segregated seating, has elected the first black mayor in its 200-year history. Steven Reed, a county probate judge who is black, defeated David Woods, a white businessman, Reuters reported.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) is considering splitting off its Starz channel into a separate company, The Wall Street Journal reported. No final decisions have been made.

A court ruled that Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) must pay $8 billion in punitive damages to a man who previously won $680,000 over his claims that it failed to warn that young men using its antipsychotic drug Risperdal could grow breasts.

Shares of FireEye (FEYE) are up nearly 5.5% in premarket trading after the cybersecurity company posted strong preliminary sales results for the quarter.

WATERCOOLER

Scientists John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Chemistry today for the development of lithium-ion batteries, an important technology in enabling the world to move away from fossil fuels. (Reuters)

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