Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to rise as stimulus talks and earnings season continue


Dow futures indicated a gain of about 180 points at the open, building on Tuesday's gains as investors continue to track coronavirus stimulus negotiations on Capitol Hill. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were also higher. The Nasdaq on Tuesday rose 0.35% to close at a record high for the 30th time this year. After Tuesday's gain of 0.36%, the S&P 500 is now within 2.5% of its most recent record high set on February 19. The Dow has a three-day win streak going after advancing 164 points, or 0.6%. (CNBC)

Treasury yields move higher as markets monitor stimulus talks (CNBC)  

ADP's July jobs report showed private payrolls increased by just 167,000 in the month, well below the 1 million that had been expected by economists polled by Dow Jones. The figure represents a slowdown from the 4.314 million jobs added in June as the coronavirus continues to disrupt the U.S. economy, according to ADP's report. The June total was revised higher by almost two million, offering a bright spot in the report. (CNBC)

The Institute For Supply Management will release at 10 a.m. ET its nonmanufacturing index, a measure of the U.S. services economy. That index is expected to fall to 55 for July following a 57.1 reading in June. Later at 10:30 a.m., the Energy Department will be out with its usual look at oil and gasoline inventories. 

Mortgage rates set another record low, but borrowers take a step back (CNBC) 

CVS Health (CVS), Wendy's (WEN), Humana (HUM) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) will release earnings before today's opening bell. Etsy (ETSY), MetLife (MET) and Western Digital (WDC) will report after the bell. 

CVS shares jump as retailer raises 2020 forecast after strong quarterly results (CNBC) 
Moderna second-quarter revenue jumps fivefold on coronavirus vaccine development (CNBC) 


Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., indicated that progress has continued on stimulus negotiations between Trump administration officials and Democratic leaders. "They made some concessions, which we appreciated. We made some concessions, which they appreciated," Schumer told reporters Tuesday night. The Washington Post reported Democrats and White House officials have agreed to have a deal in place by the end of the week and bring it to vote next week. Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are expected to meet again today with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff. (CNBC and The Washington Post). 

Disney said it has 100 million paid subscribers across its digital streaming platforms, which include Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. That segment of the media giant's business — direct-to-consumer and international — was the only one to report a year-over-year revenue increase, up 2%, as the coronavirus caused significant disruption to theme parks and its studio business. The company also announced Tuesday it will offer its live-action film "Mulan" on Disney+, beginning Sept. 4, after its much-awaited theatrical debut was repeatedly delayed by the pandemic. Shares of the Dow component were more than 6% in premarket trading. (CNBC) 

The Federal Reserve will in the coming months firm up a policy outline that would commit the central bank to low rates for years, while it adopts an agenda that pursues higher inflation and a return to the full employment landscape that was disrupted by the coronavirus. Markets are anticipating the Fed to employ an approach even more accommodative than the one it did during the Great Recession. (CNBC) 

The Chicago Fed president says it's up to Congress to save the economy (NY Times) 

At least 100 people are dead and at least 4,000 are injured in Beirut after a massive explosion took place in the Lebanese capital. The figures are expected to rise. The blast Tuesday night came from port warehouses that stored explosive material, officials said. Prime Minister Hassan Diab said 2,750 metric tons of a chemical compound commonly used in fertilizers and explosives had been stored at the facilities without "preventive measures" to keep it safe for six years, which he described as "unacceptable." A source told Reuters the deadly incident was the result of negligence. (NBC News) 

Trump says Beirut explosion seems to be 'bomb of some kind,' cites generals (Reuters) 

Cori Bush, a racial justice activist who had once been homeless, defeated longtime Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay in the Democratic primary, according to The Associated Press. Clay or his father have represented Missouri's 1st Congressional District for a half-century. The solidly Democratic district includes St. Louis and the area north of the city. Bush, a former nurse and pastor who had also challenged Clay in 2018, is the latest progressive challenger to unseat establishment politicians in recent years. Bush, 44, helped lead some protests in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 after a white police officer killed Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed Black man. (Associated Press)

Kris Kobach loses Kansas Senate Republican primary, easing GOP fears of an upset in November (NBC News) 

As the national debate about reopening schools this fall continues, Ohio has joined New Jersey in becoming one of a few states to require K-12 students to wear masks when attending in-person instruction. In announcing the decision Tuesday, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said the mask mandate "gives us the best shot to keep Ohio's kids and educators safe and physically in school." Teachers unions across the U.S. have expressed concerns about returning to in-person class during the pandemic and called for increased safety measures. Others say the social and emotional risks of children not returning to in-person class outweigh the risks. (Reuters) 

Many parents may have to stop working entirely if schools don't reopen, Goldman Sachs says (CNN) 
Kids less likely to die from coronavirus, but schools could become hot spots for spread (USA Today) 

At least six people in the U.S. have died after Tropical Storm Isaias brought tornadoes, strong winds and heavy rains along the East Coast on Tuesday. The deaths have been recorded in Maryland, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. More than 3.7 million people lost electricity as a result of the storm, which had touched down in North Carolina late Monday night as a hurricane. Isaias has now been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, according to the National Hurricane Center. (Associated Press) 

Xpeng Motors, a Chinese rival to Tesla (TSLA), has raised $400 million ahead of an initial public offering in the U.S., sources told CNBCs Arjun Kharpal. The company has filed for its IPO confidentially but CNBC previously reported it has not decided which exchange to list on. Xpeng Motors would join other Chinese electric vehicle companies Nio Inc. (NIO) and Li Auto (LI) on U.S. exchanges. Investor interest in electric vehicle start-ups has increased this year. (CNBC) 


Square (SQ) posted a quarterly loss, but saw a 64% jump in second-quarter revenue and nearly tripled its transaction volume. Square's businesses got a boost from the surge in people shopping online due to the pandemic. The payments processor was supposed to release earnings today, but released them Tuesday night after Bloomberg News reported the numbers. 

Beyond Meat (BYND) lost an adjusted 2 cents per share for its latest quarter, matching estimates, with revenue for the plant-based burger maker above Street forecasts. However, the company spent more than expected dealing with Covid-19 related operation costs.

WW (WW) reported lower than expected profit and revenue for the second quarter, hit by the pandemic-related halt of its in-person meetings.  The company formerly known as Weight Watchers did offset part of that drop through its digital offerings.

Novavax (NVAX) reported positive results in an early study of its coronavirus vaccine candidate, saying it produced promising immune responses and was well tolerated by patients.

Activision Blizzard (ATVI) is raising its full-year forecast, after the videogame maker reported stronger than expected bookings for the second quarter.  As with other videogame-related companies, Activision benefited from a jump in gaming activity from users forced to stay at home due to the pandemic.

Wynn Resorts (WYNN) lost $6.14 per share for its latest quarter, wider than the loss of $4.98 that analysts were expecting. The casino operator's revenue also fell short of forecasts, as the Covid-19 pandemic kept customers away.


The Miami Marlins returned to the field Tuesday night, after their season had been paused for more than a week due to positive coronavirus tests on the team. The Marlins, which defeated Baltimore, 4-0, were using a lineup that contained players called up from minor league camp and some who were claimed from the waiver wire. Major League Baseball is attempting to play a shortened, 60-game regular season without using a so-called bubble strategy being used by the NBA. (AP)