Morning Brief

What to watch today: Wall Street set for a recovery after a rough week


U.S. stock futures jumped Monday after the Nasdaq finished a volatile week lower. Heading into Monday, the Nasdaq was off just under 10% from its closing record on Sept. 2. The S&P 500, which eked out a slight gain Friday, was 6.7% below its closing record on Sept. 2. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which soared nearly 300 points and fell 86 points during Friday's session, finished 131 points, or 0.5%, higher. The 30-stock benchmark remained 6.4% away from its Feb. 12 closing record high. (CNBC)

Shares of Apple (AAPL) were higher in the premarket after closing lower Friday. The stock lost 7% last week. Apple is expected to release the Apple Watch Series 6 and a refreshed iPad Air at its online event Tuesday. Apple typically unveils its new iPhones during an event at its Cupertino, California headquarters in September, but this year, that may happen later since Apple advised during its earnings that the iPhone was delayed a few weeks. (CNBC)

The Federal Reserve begins its two-day September meeting on Tuesday. The Fed releases its policy statement on Wednesday afternoon followed by a news conference from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. Minor tweaks are seen. Central bankers also update their outlook on the economy and interest rates, including forecasts for 2023 for the first time. (CNBC)


Facing a White House-imposed deadline to sell its TikTok assets in the U.S. by next Sunday or face a ban, Beijing-based ByteDance is poised to choose Oracle (ORCL) as its American technology partner. Shares of Oracle were up about 9% in Monday's premarket, one day after Microsoft (MSFT) said ByteDance didn't pick its offer. (CNBC)

Shares of Nvidia (NVDA) already a double in 2020, rose over 6% in premarket trading after Japan's SoftBank agreed to sell U.K.-based Arm to the Silicon Valley graphics and artificial intelligence powerhouse. However, the co-founder of Arm — which makes chips for leading smartphones, including the iPhone — called the $40 billion deal "an absolute disaster for Cambridge, the U.K., and Europe." (CNBC)

Shares of New Jersey-based Immunomedics (IMMU) up 100% in 2020, were set to double again at Monday's open after California-based Gilead (GILD) agreed to buy the cancer drug maker. The $21 billion deal gives Gilead access to Trodelvy, a FDA-approved treatment for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer. Gilead is working on an inhaled version of remdesivir, its antiviral drug approved for emergency use on Covid-19. (CNBC)

Pfizer's (PFE) coronavirus vaccine could be distributed to Americans before the end of the year if it's found to be safe and effective, according to CEO Albert Bourla. The U.S. pharmaceutical giant has been working alongside German drugmaker BioNTech (BNTX). Pfizer on Saturday submitted a proposal to the FDA to expand its late-stage trial to include up to 44,000 participants, a third more than its previous target. (CNBC)

Shares of AstraZeneca (AZN) were up in the premarket after phase three trials for the company's coronavirus vaccine resumed in the U.K. Last week, the trials were halted over safety concerns. AstraZeneca declined to disclose medical information about the pause, but indicated a potentially unexplained illness was under investigation. (CNBC)

* Trump's executive order takes new aim at drug prices (WSJ)
* Public health specialists criticize Trump administration over reports it interfered with CDC studies (CNBC)

Shares of Delta Air Lines (DAL) rose in the premarket after the carrier said Monday it would borrow $6.5 billion backed by its frequent-flyer program to shore up liquidity during the coronavirus crisis. United (UAL) and American (AAL) have made similar plans. (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) is recruiting 100,000 more workers, the fourth hiring spree announced for the U.S. this year, to keep pace with e-commerce demand that jumped during the pandemic. The Seattle-based company employed 876,800 people as of June 30, excluding contractors and temporary personnel. (Reuters)

* Alphabet's Google aims to run on carbon-free energy by 2030 (Reuters)

President Donald Trump, who is expected to visit the wildfire-ravaged Democratic-stronghold of California on Monday, defied Nevada officials and held an indoor rally Sunday night outside Las Vegas. The Associated Press reported that relatively few people in the crowd wore masks, excepts those behind Trump.The pandemic in the U.S. has infected more than 6.5 million people, killing nearly 200,000 of them.

* 33 dead as wildfires scorch millions of acres across Western U.S. (CNBC)
* Gulf Coast residents brace for Sally, possible new hurricane (AP)

Former New York Mayor and ex-2020 presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg is slated to spend $100 million in Florida to help Democratic nominee Joe Biden win the state. The latest financial push gives the Biden camp more flexibility to spend money in other key states, like Pennsylvania, Nevada and Minnesota. (CNBC)


Nikola (NKLA) shares dropped another 6.7% as the electric truck maker faces allegations of fraud from a short seller, Hindenburg Research. In a press release Monday, Nikola said the allegations are "false and misleading, and designed to manipulate the market to profit from a manufactured decline in Nikola's stock price."

An analyst at Goldman Sachs upgraded Micron Technology (MU) to "buy" from "neutral," sending the stock up 3.8%. The analyst said Micron is "well-positioned competitively as it continues to execute on its tech transitions … and risk/reward on the stock skews positive." (OSTK) was initiated by a Needham analyst with a "buy" rating and a price target of $96 per share, implying an upside of 47.4% from Friday's close of $65.15 per share. The analyst said Overstock is "benefiting from external and internal factors that are driving an acceleration in revenue growth and market share gains." Overstock shares traded 6.5% higher.

Morgan Stanley initiated Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) with an "overweight" rating and a price target of $485 per share, sending the stock up 1.9% before the bell. That price target implies an upside of 12.6% from Friday's close.

MGM Resorts (MGM) shares fell more than 1% after a Goldman Sachs analyst downgraded the casino operator to "sell" from "hold." The analyst said he expects "a slower recovery in Las Vegas which will drive downside to consensus estimates and fundamental underperformance relative to peers."

Kroger (KR) was downgraded to "neutral" from "buy" by a Bank of America analyst, citing a potential deceleration of same-store sales moving forward as restaurants start reopening. Shares of the grocery store chain slipped 0.9%.


While "Tenet" has managed to haul in more than $200 million globally, domestic moviegovers are not ready to return en masse to theaters. During its second weekend in the U.S. and Canada, "Tenet" garnered $6.7 million in ticket sales, a 29% drop from the week prior. (CNBC)

* 'Mulan' brings in $23.2 million during lackluster opening weekend in China (CNBC)