Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to fall slightly, GM-UAW deal near and WeWork cash-strapped

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures are pointing to a lower open, following gains in four of the past five days that have lifted the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq to their highest levels since Sept. 19. Tuesday also marked the Dow's first close over 27,000 since that day. With Tuesday's gains, the Dow and S&P 500 joined the Nasdaq in positive territory for October, and put the S&P 500 on pace for its largest yearly gain since 2013. (CNBC)

Doubts persist over China's commitment to US farm purchases (WSJ)

Bank of America (BAC) headlines this morning's corporate earnings reports, with Abbott Labs (ABT), Bank of New York Mellon (BK), Comerica (CMA), PNC Financial (PNC), Progressive (PGR) and US Bancorp (USB) also reporting. IBM (IBM) and Netflix (NFLX) report after today's closing bell, along with Alcoa (AA), CSX (CSX), Kinder Morgan (KMI) and United Rentals (URI).

BofA posts higher-than-expected profit on retail operations, expense discipline (CNBC)

The unofficial start to earnings season is off to a bullish beginning with companies like UnitedHealth (UNH), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) all blowing past analysts' expectations, easing concerns that the China-U.S. trade battle would derail the economy. Only two companies, Goldman Sachs (GS) and Wells Fargo (WFC), out of 11, missed estimates. (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, the government is out with September retail sales at 8:30 a.m. ET. A little later at 10 a.m. ET, the National Association of Home Builders issues its October sentiment index. The Federal Reserve also releases its Beige Book, the region-by-region assessment of the U.S. economy, at 2 p.m. ET. (CNBC)

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IN THE NEWS TODAY

A deal between General Motors (GM) and the United Auto Workers union could be announced today, ending a 30-day strike that has cost the automaker about $2 billion. The No. 1 U.S. automaker and the union have reportedly agreed to terms on most issues and are finalizing the wording on some matters before an announcement. (Reuters)

SoftBank and J.P. Morgan Chase are discussing a plan to provide a combination of equity and debt to WeWork, CNBC reported. Without additional funding, WeWork is poised to run out of cash by mid-November. It's been a dramatic reversal of fortune for WeWork, which was until recently one of tech's highest-flying private companies.

State and local officials are reportedly in talks with three major drug distributors on a potential $18 billion settlement of litigation that blames them for helping to fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic. The potential settlement would reportedly require McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health to collectively pay the $18 billion over 18 years. (CNBC)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren weathered attacks throughout last night's Democratic debate. It was the first such event since Warren started beating former Vice President Joe Biden in several national polls. Democrats also focused on the economy and the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump in the wide-ranging debate. (CNBC)

Missed the debate? Check out our coverage.

* Warren refuses to take Sen. Kamala Harris' bait on kicking President Trump off Twitter (CNBC)
* Warren dodges questions on middle-class tax hikes under 'Medicare for All' (CNBC)
* Andrew Yang turns question on Trump impeachment into a slam against Amazon for hurting retailers (CNBC)
* Biden's slide and the Trump impeachment saga loom over the fourth Democratic debate (CNBC)

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination. New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez plans to endorse Sanders at a rally this weekend. The endorsements come just two weeks after Sanders suffered a heart attack. (NY Times)

Vice President Mike Pence and Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said they won't cooperate with the House impeachment effort. House Democrats, defying White House calls, decided not hold a vote to authorize the impeachment inquiry. (Reuters & CNBC)

Brexit negotiations have hit a stumbling block on the last day of talks between the U.K. and EU ahead of a crucial summit later this week. A deal needed to be reached today if it stands any chance of being approved by the EU, and then by the U.K. Parliament at the weekend. (CNBC)

China will take countermeasures against the U.S. in response to a bill that favors the Hong Kong protesters.The House yesterday passed a bill that requests various government departments consider whether recent political developments in Hong Kong require the U.S. to change the region's special trading status. (CNBC)

* Pro-democracy lawmakers heckle Hong Kong leader, disrupting her annual policy speech (CNBC)

Chinese tech giant Huawei reported today a double-digit gain in sales despite U.S. sanctions that threaten to disrupt its smartphone and network equipment businesses. Huawei said its sales rose 24.4% in the first nine months of 2019 to $86 billion, faster than the 23.2% gain reported for the first half. (AP)

* Google Pixel 4 could take advantage of Huawei's troubles, but becoming a phone for the masses won't be easy (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

United Airlines (UAL) reported better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit, with revenue essentially in line. The airline also raised its full-year outlook thanks to a surge in passenger bookings.

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) missed estimates with quarterly earnings. The electronic brokerage firm also saw revenue miss estimates despite a 12% year-over-year increase in commissions.

MGM Resorts (MGM) is selling its Bellagio and Circus Circus resorts in separate deals for a total of about $5 billion. It will use the proceeds to reduce debt and return capital to shareholders.

Tech Data Corp. (TECD) has reportedly been approached by private equity firm Apollo Global (APO) about a possible buyout. Apollo is reportedly offering close to $5 billion for the information technology equipment distributor.

Sleep Number (SNBR) reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue.The company said a double-digit increase in sales is being driven in part by demand for its Sleep Number 360 smart bed.

JB Hunt Transport (JBHT) came in below estimates with quarterly earnings, though the transportation services company did see revenue slightly above Wall Street forecasts. Results were pressured by losses in the company's integrated capacity solutions segment.

WATERCOOLER

HBO is developing a series adaptation of Claire Lombardo's novel "The Most Fun We Ever Had" with Amy Adams and Laura Dern on as executive producers. The novel, a multigenerational saga that follows four sisters, was published in June. (Variety)