Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to fall as Wall Street awaits economic data, Big Tech earnings

BY THE NUMBERS

Dow futures are indicating a roughly 200-point drop at the open, following a Federal Reserve news conference that highlighted a difficult economic path ahead. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were also negative as Wall Street prepares for fresh U.S. GDP figures and economic claims, as well as another deluge of corporate earnings. (CNBC) 

The anticipated market drop will trim at least some of July's gains. But entering today's session, the three major U.S. indexes are all solidly higher for the month, with the S&P now recording its best July since 2010 following Wednesday's gains of 1.24%. The Dow added 160.3 points, or .0.69%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq advanced 1.35%. 

Treasury yields move lower after Fed keeps interest rates near zero (CNBC) 

The U.S. government will release its first look at second-quarter GDP, with consensus forecasts calling for a historic 34.7% annual rate decline. The latest weekly initial jobless claims will also be released, which are expected to be over 1 million for the 19th straight week at 1.45 million.

Today's earnings calendar has Dow-component Procter & Gamble (PG), Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) and Comcast (CMCSA), the parent of NBCUniversal, releasing this morning. The after-the-bell lineup is a busy one; Alphabet (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), and Facebook (FB) are all set to report, as will Ford Motor Co. (F).

Comcast reports strong internet customer growth, 10 million signups for Peacock (CNBC)
Procter & Gamble sales rise 4% as consumers buy more cleaning products (CNBC)  

Deaths linked to the coronavirus in the U.S. have topped 150,000, the latest grim milestone in the months-long public health crisis that has upended American life. The U.S. has more than 4.4 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University

Trump says U.S. is sending Texas 500 cases of remdesivir as coronavirus deaths hit record (CNBC) 

IN THE NEWS

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the central bank's commitment to use its "full range of tools" as the U.S. economy tries to recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Powell's comments Wednesday came after the Federal Open Market Committee kept interest rates in a targeted range near zero, continuing its accommodative monetary policy stance. Powell also stressed that the trajectory of the U.S. economic recovery depends, in large part, on the trajectory of the Covid-19 outbreak. (CNBC) 

An email released by the House Antitrust Subcommittee offers a window into the negotiations between Apple and Amazon as they tried to bring Amazon's Prime Video service to the Apple TV set-top box. In the 2016 email, an Apple executive offered Amazon a 15% fee on subscriptions that signed up through the app — less than the iPhone maker's typical 30% fee for most in-app purchases. It is not clear if Amazon and Apple struck a deal on those terms. But the email suggests big players can seek better business terms on Apple's App Store, contradicting Apple's public stance that all apps are treated the same on its platform. (CNBC) 

Big Tech testifies: Bezos promises action if investigation reveals misuse of seller data, Zuckerberg defends Instagram acquisition (CNBC) 
10 questions Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai, Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook should have been asked (USA Today) 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., instituted a mandatory mask policy for the floor of the House of Representatives after one of its members, Rep. Louie Gohmert, tested positive for Covid-19. The Texas Republican received his positive diagnosis Wednesday in screening prior to a scheduled trip to the Lone Star state with President Donald Trump. Gohmert, who did not go on the trip, appears to be the 11th member of Congress to test positive for the coronavirus. Gohmert has been seen at the Capitol without a mask on. (CNBC) 

Republicans and Democrats are far from a coronavirus relief deal as financial lifelines expire (CNBC)  

Quest Diagnostics (DGX) received Food and Drug Administration approval for a coronavirus testing technique that it says will speed up turnaround time for Covid-19 results, which had slowed in recent weeks as the U.S. Covid-19 outbreak accelerated in parts of the country. Quest said the new technique will allow it to process results in two to three days for most patients. It will also boost overall testing capacity, the company said. Public health experts stress that significant delays in testing results limit the effectiveness of the test because people may pass the virus to others before they know they're infected. (CNBC) 

Johnson & Johnson starts human safety trial for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate (Reuters) 

An NBA-sponsored youth development academy in China's Xinjiang region was rife with player abuse and often failed to provide education to players, according to an investigation from ESPN. The league has since shut down the academy in Xinjiang, a region in Western China where more than a million Muslims have been detained in camps, the United Nations estimates. American coaches who worked at the NBA's three development academies informed league officials about the alleged abuse, ESPN reports citing unnamed sources. The story's allegations add another layer of complexity to the NBA's business involvement in China, which has for months been criticized by U.S. lawmakers. (ESPN) 

FBI director Wray warns of China election interference (Axios) 

Oregon officials and the Trump administration have reached a deal to draw down the presence of federal agents in Portland, following weeks of clashes between protesters and the agents. Oregon State Police will maintain a "robust presence" in the state's largest city under the agreement, according to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf. The U.S. government has called the agents' presence necessary to protect the federal courthouse in Portland, which protesters have targeted with rocks and fireworks. Critics have decried the federal agents' use of tear gas and arrests, arguing they contributed to the escalation of nightly protests that initially began after the death of George Floyd. (AP) 

Unlikely allies: How Gov. Kate Brown and Mike Pence ended stalemate in Portland (Oregon Public Broadcasting) 

STOCKS TO WATCH

Eastman Kodak (KODK) remains on watch after soaring the past three sessions, now at $33.20 per share compared to last Friday's close of $2.10. The rise followed news that the government was providing a $765 million loan for the company's production of pharmaceutical ingredients.

Qualcomm (QCOM) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 86 cents per share, 15 cents above estimates, with the chip maker's revenue also exceeding Wall Street forecasts. It also gave an upbeat forecast on prospects for sales of its chips for 5G devices. Separately, it resolved a licensing dispute with China's Huawei and will receive a $1.8 billion payment during the fiscal fourth quarter.

PayPal (PYPL) earned an adjusted $1.07 per share for its latest quarter, beating consensus by 19 cents, with the payment services company's revenue also above forecasts. Results were driven by a jump in e-commerce transactions as well as new accounts.

Yum China (YUMC) did beat estimates by 9 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 35 cents per share, but the restaurant operator's revenue was below forecasts as a resurgence of the coronavirus in China hurt sales.

ServiceNow (NOW) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.23 per share, 22 cents above estimates, with the cloud software company's revenue slightly above consensus. ServiceNow's bottom line got a boost from a 30% jump in subscription revenue.

O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY) earned $7.10 per share for its latest quarter, well above the consensus estimate of $4.41, while the auto parts retailer saw revenue come in above estimates as well. The company said it benefited from consumers spending stimulus checks and unemployment benefits on fixing their cars ahead of the lifting of Covid-19 lockdown measures.

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) saw profit fall by 34% in the second quarter as beer volumes tumbled 17%, but the beer brewer said it saw a rebound In global beer sales in June.

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 85 cents per share, well above the 51 cent consensus estimate, while the grain processor's revenue also beat Wall Street forecasts. Archer Daniels benefited from record crop exports as countries sought to secure stable food supplies during the pandemic.

WATERCOOLER

Tech workers are leaving San Francisco and heading to Lake Tahoe, which is now seeing unprecedented bidding wars, buying activity and price increases. It's another indicator of how the coronavirus pandemic is transforming the U.S. real estate market. "The inventory is getting to the point where we are running out of homes for sale," according to one Lake Tahoe broker. (CNBC)