Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to rise, Alphabet to report earnings, and Brexit extension approved



U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher Wall Street open, giving the S&P 500 another chance to break its July record high. The index did trade above during Friday trading, but fell just 3 points short at the close. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both rose for a third straight session Friday. The Dow joined the S&P 500 and Nasdaq in positive territory for October with Friday's gains. (CNBC)

No economic data is on the calendar for today. However, in a week stacked with major events, the Fed's two-day meeting is likely to be the high point. The Federal Open Market Committee is expected to make its third quarter-point interest rate cut Wednesday afternoon, followed by comments form Fed Chairman Powell. (CNBC)

Dow component Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) as well as AT&T (T) headline this morning's earnings calendar, with Restaurant Brands International (QSR), Check Point Software (CHKP) and Spotify (SPOT) also reporting. Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL) reports after the closing bell, along with Akamai (AKAM), Beyond Meat (BYND), Texas Roadhouse (TXRH), Transocean (RIG) and T-Mobile US (TMUS).

Shares of Tiffany (TIF) were surging about 27% in the premarket after French luxury giant LVMH said today it had approached the New York-based jeweler about a possible takeover. The owner of Louis Vuitton and Bulgari brands among others proposed a bid valuing Tiffany at about $120 per share or $14.5 billion. Tiffany stock closed Friday at $98.55. (Reuters)


President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that the leader of the so-called Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died in an overnight U.S. military operation in Syria, delivering a major blow to the terrorist group even as American forces withdraw from the area. "He died like a dog. He died like a coward," Trump said while addressing the nation. (CNBC)

Trump said he's interested in making a deal with ExxonMobil (XOM) or another energy company to tap Syrian oil reserves. The president has identified Syria's oil as a national security priority and has committed to deploying troops to protect the country's reserves even as he pulls troops from Syria's northern regions. (CNBC)

* Trump withheld details of ISIS raid from Nancy Pelosi, other congressional Democrats (USA Today)

Trump's former deputy national security adviser was called to testify today in the House impeachment inquiry about withholding military aid for Ukraine while the president urged that country to investigate his political rival. Charles Kupperman filed a lawsuit Friday asking a federal judge to decide whether he should testify because he's worried any decision he makes "will inflict grave Constitutional injury on either the House or the President." (USA Today)

The president's visit to Chicago is stirring up a tempest even before he arrives later today in the city that he's repeatedly derided as the poster child of urban violence and dysfunctional Democratic politics. Trump has frequently slammed Chicago for its gun problems, calling the city a "total disaster" and comparing it to Afghanistan. (AP)

Microsoft (MSFT) emerged victorious in a dramatic competition for public cloud resources for the Defense Department, beating out market leader Amazon Web Services, the Pentagon said late Friday. The contract could be worth as much as $10 billion over a decade. Dow stock Microsoft was rising about 3% in the premarket. Amazon (AMZN) was dipping about 1%. (CNBC)

* Trump told Mattis to 'screw Amazon' out of Pentagon cloud contract, insider account claims (CNBC)

The EU has agreed to give the U.K. three more months to exit the bloc. The U.K. will be able to leave the EU at any point before Jan. 31, provided that its Parliament approves the exit agreement that Prime Minister Boris Johnson concluded with the other 27 EU leaders earlier this month. The original departure date was this Thursday. (CNBC)

* UK lawmakers to decide on December election as Brexit extension gets the green light (CNBC)

Rep. Katie Hill is resigning amid an ethics investigation over an allegedly inappropriate relationship with a staffer. In a letter posted on Twitter, the freshman Southern California Democrat attributed the resignation to an "abusive" estranged husband and "hateful political operatives" who she said were "driving a smear campaign built around cyber exploitation." (NBC News)

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PCG) is shutting off power for 940,000 homes and businesses in Northern California to prevent more wildfires, which have ravaged parts of the state in the past few days. The planned power shutoffs would leave as many as 2.7 million people without electricity, in what could be the state's largest planned blackout in history. (CNBC)

* California's governor wants Berkshire to bid for Bankrupt PG&E (Bloomberg)

Virgin Galactic will become the first human spaceflight company to trade on public markets today under the ticker symbol "SPCE." A ticket for a Virgin Galactic flight goes for about $250,000 per person, and the company has a list of 603 customers waiting to fly. (CNBC)

Hong Kong has fallen into recession, hit by five months of anti-government protests that erupted in flames at the weekend, and is unlikely to achieve any growth this year, the city's Financial Secretary said. Protests continued this weekend, with police responding with tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets. (Reuters)


General Motors (GM) workers have ratified a new four-year labor contract, ending a 40-day strike. The United Auto Workers union will use that contract as the basis for negotiations with Ford (F) and Fiat Chrysler (FCAU).

HSBC (HSBC) cut its 2020 profit outlook after reporting earnings that were well below analyst forecasts. It also said it would be undergoing a restructuring to revamp its banking business in the U.S., U.K. and Europe.

Liberty Property Trust (LPT) agreed to be bought by rival industrial real estate owner Prologis (PLD) for an all-stock deal worth $12.6 billion.

Wells Fargo (WFC) has laid off more than 200 business bankers in recent months, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke to Reuters.

Adobe (ADBE) said it became aware of a "vulnerability" in one of its prototype software environments late last week. The software company promptly shut down the affected areas, which it said contained email addresses but no passwords or financial information.

Estee Lauder (EL) was downgraded to "neutral" from "overweight" at Piper Jaffray, which cited a survey that said female teens are wearing less makeup.


Todd Phillip's R-rated comic-book hit "Joker" regained the top spot at the weekend box office in its fourth week of release, narrowly besting "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil." The Warner Bros.′ sensation, starring Joaquin Phoenix, took in $18.9 million in ticket sales over the weekend. "Mistress of Evil" debuted at No. 1 last week. (AP)