Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow pauses, China's trade hopes rise, and earnings slew continues


U.S. stock futures were not pointing strongly in either direction ahead of the Wednesday open, but that could change as some key earnings reports are released before the opening bell. Stocks are coming off Monday's gains, which saw the S&P 500 post its first close over 3,000 since Sept. 19, and the Nasdaq close at its highest since that date.

* Long-term negative rates have 'adverse consequences' we don't fully understand, says Jamie Dimon (CNBC)

The Dow is lagging the other averages, due almost entirely to a slide in Boeing (BA) shares. The stock has dropped more than 11% in the past three sessions, shaving about 280 points off the Dow over that time. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq have alternated between gains and losses for the past seven sessions. (CNBC)

Today brings a busy day for corporate earnings. Dow components McDonald's (MCD), United Technologies (UTX), Travelers (TRV) and Procter & Gamble (PG) are out with quarterly earnings this morning, along with Biogen (BIIB), Harley-Davidson (HOG), Hasbro (HAS), Kimberly-Clark (KMB), Lockheed Martin (LMT), PulteGroup (PHM), Quest Diagnostics (DGX), Regions Financial (RF), Sherwin-Williams (SHW), UPS (UPS) and Fifth Third (FITB).

After-the-bell earnings reports today include Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), Discovery Financial (DFS), Texas Instruments (TXN) and Whirlpool (WHR). On today's economic calendar, the National Association of Realtors issues its September report on existing home sales at 10 a.m. ET. (CNBC)


China and the U.S. have achieved some progress in their trade talks, Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said today, and any problem could be resolved with mutual respect. The two countries have been working to resolve their trade dispute, with the U.S. announcing a "phase 1" deal with China on trade matters and suspending a scheduled tariff hike for October. (Reuters)

* US entity list 'cannot hurt' Chinese tech development, Beijing says (CNBC)

U.S. lawmakers conducting an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump will hear today from the top U.S. official in Ukraine, who once said it was "crazy" to withhold military aid for the country for domestic political reasons. William Taylor, a former Army officer, will be the latest in a series of officials to meet behind closed doors with House representatives. (Reuters)

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is hoping to receive enough backing from lawmakers in two key Brexit votes today. Johnson has seen his plans scuppered on two different occasions over the last few days, but now faces a vote on his Withdrawal Agreement Bill and then on whether he's able to rush it through Parliament before the Oct. 31 deadline. (CNBC)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's ruling Liberals won a second term in Canada's national elections, but lost the majority. A minority government in the 338-seat House of Commons would leave Trudeau in a weakened position and needing the support of left-leaning opposition parties to push through key pieces of legislation. (Reuters)

The Turkish president will meet with his Russian counterpart today to discuss dividing influence in Syria as a five-day Turkish cease-fire halts hostilities as U.S. troops pull out of the area. The Turkish president has said he would seek Russia's support to create a safe zone in Syria that is free of the fighters that Ankara views as a threat. (WSJ)

WeWork is close to accepting a bailout plan led by SoftBank over a $5 billion syndicated debt package rounded up by J.P. Morgan (JPM). Having already lost out from WeWork's scrapped IPO, J.P. Morgan now risks losing its role as a major financier and will collect nothing for months of work. (CNBC)

British fintech firm Revolut has partnered up with Mastercard (MA) to help it expand into the U.S. by the end of the year. The deal means all of Revolut's first debit cards in the U.S. will be issued with Mastercard, while a minimum of half its European cards will carry the payments giant's branding. (CNBC)

The nation's three biggest drug distributors and a major drugmaker agreed to an 11th-hour, $260 million settlement yesterday over the toll taken by opioids, averting the first federal trial over the crisis. The pharmaceutical industry still faces more than 2,600 other lawsuits over the crisis. Participants in those cases said the Ohio deal buys them time to try to work out a nationwide settlement of all claims. (AP)

Facebook announced it removed four networks of "coordinated inauthentic behavior" tied to Russia and Iran from its services as it launches new features designed to make posts related to the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential election more transparent. (CNBC)


TD Ameritrade (AMTD) reported better-than-expected financials yesterday. The company did say it expects an earnings decline as it adjusts to losing revenue after joining its rivals in cutting commissions to zero.

Stamps (STMP) announced a partnership with UPS (UPS) that gives discount shipping rates to users of the company's postage printing services.

Boeing (BA) maintained its quarterly dividend at $2.055 cents per share, amid its struggles involving the grounded 737 Max jet. The latest dividend is payable Dec. 6 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 8.

Howard Hughes Corp. (HHC) plans to sell about $2 billion in assets following a strategic review. The real estate developer also named Paul Layne, who had been president of the company's central region, as its new CEO. The stock came under pressure after the announcement, with investors having believed the company would be sold or go private.

Bank of America (BAC) was upgraded to "overweight" from "neutral" at Atlantic Equities, citing what it calls an impressive third quarter with ongoing deposit growth.

Novartis (NVS) posted better-than-expected earnings for its latest quarter, with the Swiss drugmaker also raising its guidance amid growing sales across its pharmaceutical portfolio.

Chevron (CVX) received an extension of its Venezuela-related waiver, allowing it and a number of U.S. oil services companies to operate in that country for another three months.

Levi Strauss (LEVI) was rated "outperform" in new coverage at Macquarie Research, calling the jeans and apparel maker innovative and praising the diversification of its revenue base.


The Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals face off today at 8:08 p.m. ET in the best-of-seven World Series. The Astros won the series just two years ago, while the Nationals are in the World Series for the first time in franchise history. (USA Today)