Morning Brief

What to watch today: Wall Street to start the week higher

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were pointing to additional gains at Monday's open after the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at record highs Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also saw a modest advance Friday but still remained 5.5% away from its Feb. 12 record close. All three major stock measures finished higher for the week. (CNBC)

Apple shares were higher in Monday's premarket after jumping Friday to an intraday high and a record close. The stock gained more than 8% last week. Apple's 4-for-1 stock split will be distributed to shareholders of record at Monday's close, with trading to begin on a split-adjusted basis next Monday. Morgan Stanley raised its price target on Apple to $520 per share. (CNBC)

There's a 1-in-4 chance the economy could fall into a double-dip recession, according to a majority of economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics. Two-thirds of NABE members believe the economy has not yet come out of the recession that started in February. (CNBC)

An update on the state of the economy and insight into the Federal Reserve's extraordinary measures to support growth during the coronavirus crisis will be on display at central bank's annual symposium. Held virtually this year, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell headlines the event Thursday. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

The Trump administration granted emergency authorization of convalescent plasma to treat hospitalized Covid-19 patients. The announcement came on the eve of the Republican National Convention, and some top health officials have said the clinical data is too weak for approval. President Donald Trump said last week the FDA's decision to hold off on the plasma treatment may be politically motivated. (CNBC)

The White House is considering fast tracking an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed in the U.K. for use in the United States before November's presidential election, according to a Financial Times report. The vaccine candidate in question is being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

American Airlines (AAL) will receive Environmental Protection Agency approval today to use a new surface coating that kills the coronavirus, according to a Reuters report. EPA officials told Reuters the coating inactivates viruses and bacteria within two hours and is effective for up to seven days. (Reuters)

* Delta to reinstate 50 coronavirus-suspended international flights this winter (Reuters)

Moderna (MRNA) said enrollment levels for its late-stage 30,000 patient Covid-19 vaccine trial passed the 40% mark. The drugmaker began the study last month and expects to complete enrollment in September. Moderna said that 18% of the participants enrolled are Black, Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, groups among the hardest hit by the pandemic. (Reuters)

Republicans will make their case this week that the U.S. economic and political future depends on the reelection of Trump at a partly virtual convention designed to highlight the president's pre-pandemic record and sow doubt about Democratic opponent Joe Biden. (CNBC)

Kellyanne Conway, senior advisor to the president, said Sunday night she will be leaving the White House by the end of the month. Her husband, George Conway, is also leaving his role at the Lincoln Project, a group run by Republican operatives who oppose Trump. Both Conways said they wanted to spend more time with their family. (CNBC)

Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned President Donald Trump at a White House dinner last October that Chinese tech firms posed a direct threat to the U.S. business, according to The Wall Street Journal. White House advisor Peter Navarro told CNBC this morning  that Zuckerberg had "zero influence" on the administration's crackdown on Chinese-owned TikTok.

The Gulf Coast, home to nearly half of the nation's refineries, prepared this week for a potentially devastating hit as two dangerous storms, Marco and Laura, swirled off shore. Officials fear a history-making onslaught of life-threatening wind and flooding along the coast, stretching from Texas to Alabama. (AP)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Microsoft (MSFT) said in a court filing that Apple's (AAPL) actions against Fortnite creator Epic Games will hurt the entire videogame industry. Apple removed Epic's games from its app store for violating its payment rules.

Pearson (PSO) appointed former Walt Disney (DIS) executive Andy Bird as its next chief executive officer. Bird, who will take the top job at the education publisher Oct. 19, was chairman at Walt Disney International until 2018 and helped build the company's consumer digital business.

Facebook (FB) Chief Marketing Officer Antonio Lucio will leave the social media giant on Sept. 18, according to a Facebook spokesman quoted by The Wall Street Journal. Lucio had joined Facebook from HP (HPQ) in 2018.

Michaels Cos. (MIK), the arts and crafts retailer, hired Michael Diamond as its new chief financial officer, effective Sept. 1. Diamond had most recently been an executive at restaurant operator Yum Brands (YUM), where he had been CFO for Pizza Hut's U.S. business.

Blackstone (BX) struck a deal to buy the consumer health-care business of Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical for about $2.3 billion. It had been reported last week that the two companies were close to a deal.

WATERCOOLER

A one-of-a-kind 2009 Mike Trout rookie card sold at auction Sunday for $3.84 million, topping the legendary T206 Honus Wagner as the most expensive sports trading card in history. The Trout card purchased by collector Dave Oancea for $400,000 two years ago. That's a gain of 860% on his investment. (USA Today)

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