Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to open higher as Wall Street hopes for virus relief bill talks


Stock futures indicated opening gains as the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average look to get back on track after a Tuesday afternoon sell-off brought about their first declines in eight sessions. Dow futures implied a roughly 250-point jump at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were also higher. Republicans and Democrats have expressed a willingness to restart virus aid bill talks, which may be helping sentiment this morning. (CNBC) 

Gold prices dive amid vaccine hopes and rising Treasury yields (CNBC) 

The Dow gave up 104.5 points, or .4%, Tuesday while the S&P 500 dropped 0.8% but is still within 2% of a fresh all-time high. The Nasdaq is now on a three-session losing streak, its longest in five months, after sinking 1.7%. 

The government is out with the July Consumer Price Index at 8:30 a.m. ET. Consensus forecasts are calling for a 0.3% rise in headline inflation and a 0.2% increase in the ex-food and energy inflation rate. In June, those numbers increased 0.6% and 0.2%, respectively. Additionally, the Energy Department will release its weekly look at oil and gasoline inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Another record low mortgage rate juiced weekly demand, but rates are suddenly rising now (CNBC) 

Restaurant operator Brinker International (EAT) is one of the few companies reporting earnings this morning. After the bell, Dow component Cisco Systems (CSCO), Lyft (LYFT) and SmileDirectClub (SDC) issue quarterly numbers. 

Games help Tencent smash second-quarter earnings expectations as potential WeChat ban looms (CNBC) 
Apple supplier Foxconn's profit beats view, sees smartphone demand off lows (Reuters) 


Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden selected Sen. Kamala Harris of California to be his vice-presidential running mate, making Harris the first Black woman ever to appear on a major party ticket. Harris, a first-term senator who served as California's attorney general, is within the more moderate wing of the Democratic Party compared to other vice presidential candidates, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Biden's decision comes ahead of next week's Democratic National Convention. (CNBC) 

* Here's what Kamala Harris brings to Joe Biden's campaign for president (CNBC) 
Wall Street executives are glad Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris to be his VP running mate (CNBC) 
Black activists praise Biden's pick of Harris, but warn challenges remain (Reuters) 

President Donald Trump announced the U.S. government has in place a deal to buy 100 million doses of Moderna's (MRNA) experimental coronavirus vaccine. The $1.53-billion agreement, which also gives the government the option to acquire up to 400 million additional doses, brings the government's total investment in Moderna's vaccine efforts to up to $2.48 billion. Late-stage trials of the vaccine began last month. Moderna shares were higher by more than 10% in premarket trading. (CNBC) 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called on Democrats and the White House to return to the table to again try striking a deal on a broader coronavirus relief package. Democratic leaders and Trump administration officials have not met for negotiations since Friday, even though key aid programs expired last month and now leave millions of Americans in a more precarious economic position. "The American people are sick of the stalemate," McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, told Fox News on Tuesday. (CNBC) 

GOP, Dems share blame for unemployment benefits lapse, voters say in CNBC/Change poll (CNBC) 

Tesla announced a five-for-one stock split that will go into effect Aug. 31. The move does not change the underlying fundamentals of the stock, but because it will make each individual share cheaper, it could make Tesla more appealing to retail investors. Tesla's stock is up 6% in premarket trading. The stock, which has soared 228.5% this year, closed Tuesday at $1,374.4 each. 

Scientists and public health officials are expressing skepticism over Vladimir Putin's claims about Russia's coronavirus vaccine and the regulatory decision to approve it for public distribution. Russia had yet to begin large-scale human trials before the critical approval was given, which scientists say makes it difficult to say whether the vaccine is actually safe and effective in preventing the coronavirus. Dr. Paul Offit of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia told CNBC that Russia's move was a "political stunt" that could cause "a lot of harm." (CNBC) 

Science and politics tied up in global race for a vaccine (Associated Press)

The British economy has now entered a technical recession after preliminary second-quarter GDP figures released today showed a 20.4% contraction compared to the prior three months. GDP dropped 2.2% in the first quarter. However, as the government's coronavirus lockdowns eased, the U.K. economy showed signs of recovery by expanding 8.7% in June. (CNBC) 

The Big Ten and Pac-12 have postponed their fall college football seasons due to the coronavirus, just weeks before games were scheduled to begin. Both powerhouse conferences said they may play in the spring depending on the state of the pandemic. The postponement decisions carry significant economic implications for member schools and local businesses that leaned heavily on the seasons. Another major conference, the Big 12, is so far continuing its plans to play this fall, a source told the AP. (CNBC/Associated Press)

Coping with campus coronavirus: U.S. fraternities, sororities give it the old college try (Reuters) 


Eastman Kodak (KODK) CEO Jim Continenza said the company supported the government's decision to halt a potential loan to the company, saying the deal required more work. The loan — designed to boost Kodak's pharmaceutical business — is under scrutiny due to the granting of stock options to executives just prior to the announcement of the loan deal.

Roku (ROKU) was rated "buy" in new coverage at Deutsche Bank, which notes that the streaming video device maker is the leader in its category with a nearly 50% market share and said Roku has done an impressive job building out a large installed customer base.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB) reported an adjusted quarterly loss of $3.31 per share, 4 cents wider than anticipated, with the restaurant chain's revenue also falling below estimates. Its sales were hit by pandemic-related closings, and subsequent reopenings with limited capacity. (OSTK) announced that a new stock offering of 2.1 million shares was priced at $84.50 per share compared to Tuesday's closing price of $92 per share. The online retailer said the money raised through the stock offering will be used for general corporate purposes.

Fluor Corp. (FLR) said it would not be able to file its quarterly report in a timely manner without incurring unreasonable expense or effort, according to an SEC filing. The engineering and construction firm is in the process of investigating reporting in prior periods, but does expect to file its report before September 30.


The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2, in an overtime thriller — five overtimes, to be exact  — in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series. It was the fourth-longest contest in National Hockey League history and took so long to complete that the game scheduled to be played after it between Boston and Carolina was postponed until this morning. (Boston Globe)