Morning Brief

What to watch today: Stocks to rise as S&P 500 approaches new record high


Stock futures pointed to opening gains today as the benchmark S&P 500 approaches a fresh record high for the first time since February. Dow futures implied a gain of more than 250 points at the opening bell, while S&P and Nasdaq futures also were in the green. (CNBC) 

Treasury yields rise as stimulus hopes, U.S.-China tensions persist (CNBC) 

The S&P is riding a seven-day win streak, its longest since April 2019, and is less than 1% away from the record high it set on Feb. 19. The 30-stock Dow, which rose 357 points Monday, also has mounted a seven-session win streak and now sits at its highest level since Feb. 24. The tech-heavy Nasdaq has closed lower for two consecutive trading days. 

The government is out with the July Producer Price Index at 8:30 a.m. ET. Consensus forecasts call for a 0.3% increase compared to a 0.2% June decline.  The ex-food and energy inflation rate is expected to rise 0.1% after falling 0.3% in June.

Casper Sleep (CSPR), Canada Goose (GOOS), Sysco (SYY), and BioNTech (BNTX) issue quarterly earnings reports this morning. There are no reports of note out after today's closing bell.

SoftBank swings to profit after record loss as Vision Fund recovers (CNBC) 

Global coronavirus cases have eclipsed 20 million, half of which have been registered in the last 45 days. India, Brazil and the United States account for more than half of the total case count. (Associated Press) 


Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed today the country has developed and registered the world's first coronavirus vaccine, local news agencies reported. Putin added that his daughter has already taken the vaccine. However, there has been international skepticism and concern that Russia may sacrifice safety for the sake of speed in its development of the vaccine. No data has been published by researchers. Russia previously indicated it hoped to start mass inoculation of the vaccine in October. (CNBC) 

Coronavirus breaks out again in New Zealand after 102 days (Associated Press) 

President Donald Trump was evacuated from a press briefing Monday after the Secret Service shot a man outside the White House complex who claimed he had a weapon. Trump later returned to the podium, explaining the person was transported to the hospital in an unknown condition. Secret Service said the 51-year-old man, who has not been identified, pulled an object from his clothes and got into a crouched stance right before the officer shot him. (CNBC) 

Trump says he will deliver nomination speech from either the White House or Gettysburg (Politico) 

A California judge ordered Uber (UBER) and Lyft (LYFT) to stop classifying their drivers in the state as independent contractors, issuing a preliminary injunction Monday that will take effect after 10 days. Both companies said they will appeal the ruling, potentially putting the decision on pause while that process plays out. The case was brought by California's attorney general, alongside three city attorneys, claiming Uber and Lyft violated the state's Assembly Bill 5, which requires some gig workers to be considered employees instead of independent contractors. (CNBC) 

Executives from banks and tech giants have formed an organization and pledged to hire 100,000 people from low-income, minority neighborhoods in New York by 2030. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon is a co-chair of the group called New York Jobs CEO Council. Others included in the initial group of 27 include Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos and David Solomon of Goldman Sachs (GS). The announcement follows intensified pressure on corporate America to help address racial inequality in the U.S. after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. (CNBC) 

The Federal Reserve has started making loans through its Main Street lending program, with 13 companies receiving approval in the first month with a total value just over $92 million. Mount Airy Casino Resort, located in the Pocono Mountains, received the largest one at $50 million. In its latest report to Congress on its coronavirus response programs, the Fed said it also bought more bonds from blue-chip companies such as Microsoft (MSFT) in the month of July. (CNBC) 

Fed's Evans says vulnerable workers affected by crisis face highly uncertain future (Reuters) 

Groups and pages on Facebook (FB) associated with the conspiracy theory QAnon have millions of members and followers, company documents reviewed by NBC News show. Facebook's internal investigation of QAnon is likely to inform any potential restrictive actions against that right wing conspiracy-theory community on its platforms. Just last week, the BBC reported Facebook removed a large QAnon group for repeated content policy violations. (NBC News)

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is expected to announce his vice-presidential selection in the middle of this week after finishing interviews with every finalist, according to the New York Times. Although the decision could come as soon as today, the paper reported that more Democrats expect it to happen Wednesday. Top candidates include Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as well as former national security advisor Susan Rice and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. (NY Times) 


Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) lifted its suspension of planned debt reductions, which had been implemented due to financial conditions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The housewares retailer also said its comparable sales for July were positive.

Novavax (NVAX) said its manufacturing capacity will be sufficient to meet demand for its Covid-19 vaccine, which it thinks could be as high as 600 million doses. The drug maker expects to begin a phase 3 trial as soon as late September.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) said it expects its Covid-19 vaccine candidate to enter a mid-to-late stage study in September and receive emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration sometime next year. Previously, Inovio had said it expected to begin mid-stage studies this summer.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY) lost $8.35 billion during the second quarter as energy prices fell, and as the company wrote down the value of its oil and gas properties by $6.6 billion.

American Express (AMEX) is in talks to buy online small business lender Kabbage for as much as $850 million in cash, according to a Bloomberg report.

Tencent Music (TME) saw revenue jump by a better than expected 18% during the second quarter, with its paid subscriber base numbers jumping by 52%. The music streaming service put more music behind its paywall after signing new partnerships with music labels.

Tilray (TLRY) lost more than expected for its latest quarter, and the cannabis producer's revenue was also below analyst estimates. Tilray said it had cut costs and increased revenue and is now focused on becoming profitable.

Simon Property Group (SPG) reported quarterly earnings of 83 cents per share, below the consensus estimate of 98 cents, with the mall operator seeing revenue below forecasts as well. Simon's results were hurt by unpaid rent from retailers forced to shut down due to the pandemic.

IAC/InterActive (IAC) reported an unexpected quarterly loss, with revenue also missing Street forecasts. One of the key issues was slower sales growth in its ANGI Homeservices (ANGI) unit, with IAC saying volatility in results was likely to continue due to the pandemic.


The agency that runs New York City's subway has asked Apple (AAPL) to develop a better way for iPhone users to unlock their devices without having to take their face masks off. In a letter to CEO Tim Cook, the agency's chairman said iPhone users are still seen taking off masks to unlock them, despite Apple's recent software update designed to make that process easier. The transit agency wants to reduce possible spread of the coronavirus on trains and buses. (Associated Press)