Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow set to pop after breaking multiday losing streaks

BY THE NUMBERS

Dow futures were pointing to a strong gain at Wednesday's open, one day after the 30-stock benchmark broke a three-session losing streak. Nasdaq futures turned lower. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq on Tuesday ended their runs of four straight down sessions. The Nasdaq's 1.7% surge was enough to lift the index out of a correction. September has been a rough month. (CNBC)

About 100 of those Dow futures points were being driven by a 12% premarket surge in Nike (NKE) shares after the company reported late Tuesday an 82% jump in fiscal first-quarter online sales and a rebound in China. Nike also issued a rosier outlook, calling for demand to grow through the holidays. (CNBC)

Shares of Amazon (AMZN), down slightly in the premarket, rose 5.7%, their biggest one-day rally since July 20, on an analyst upgrade and signals that Prime Day will start Oct. 13. Despite Tuesday's advance, Amazon was still down nearly 12% since its Sept. 2 all-time high. (CNBC)

* Walmart looks to hire 20,000 workers to help pack and ship holiday orders this year (CNBC)

Tesla shares were falling another 5.4% in the premarket after closing 5.6% lower Tuesday. CEO Elon Musk underwhelmed on Battery Day, saying Tesla's battery and manufacturing advances will lead a "very compelling $25,000 electric vehicle that's also fully autonomous" in about three years. Musk expects vehicle deliveries to increase by 30% to 40% this year after about 50% growth last year. (CNBC)

IHS Markit releases its September flash PMI data for both manufacturing and services at 9:45 a.m. ET.  The Energy Department is set to release its weekly report on oil and gasoline inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET. After the bell today, specialty chemicals maker H.B. Fuller (FUL) reports quarterly results. (CNBC)

* Mortgage demand from homebuyers now up 25% from a year ago (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Shares of Dow component Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) rose 2% in the premarket after the U.S. drugmaker announced Wednesday that it started its phase three trial of its potential coronavirus vaccine. J&J becomes the fourth company backed by the Trump administration's Covid-19 vaccine program, Operation Warp Speed, to enter late-stage testing. The other companies are Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca. (CNBC)

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to soon announce more stringent standards for emergency authorization of a Covid-19 vaccine, lowering the chances that one might be cleared for use before the Nov. 3 election, according to The Washington Post. The agency is issuing the guidance to boost transparency and public trust.

* Poll: Most voters worry Trump is trying to release coronavirus vaccine too quickly, to help his reelection (CNBC)

Total U.S. coronavirus deaths topped 200,000 on Tuesday as global Covid-19 fatalities approached 1 million. Daily cases grew in more than half the U.S. states and Washington, D.C., according to weekly Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by CNBC. Infections have also been spiking in Europe, with the U.K. going back on partial lockdown. President Donald Trump said Tuesday the U.S. won't shut down again.

* J.P. Morgan traders complain that bank doesn't inform all staff of coronavirus cases at headquarters (CNBC)

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday flies solo on Capitol Hill, appearing at a hearing of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. At Tuesday's House Financial Services Committee on Covid-19, the Fed chief and Treasury Steven Mnuchin were grilled over providing more money to help small businesses. Mnuchin joins Powell again Thursday for a Senate Banking Committee hearing. (CNBC)

The House passed a bill late Tuesday that would fund the government into December and avoid a shutdown before a Sept. 30 deadline. The legislation heads to the Republican-held Senate. Earlier Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she reached a spending deal with Mnuchin and Republicans. (CNBC)

* Democrats push to renew efforts for second round of $1,200 stimulus checks (CNBC)
* Kudlow: Economy doesn't need more stimulus for a V-shaped recovery (CNBC)

Late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's casket will be on public view in Washington this week. Ginsburg's body will lie in repose Wednesday and Thursday at the Supreme Court. It will then lie in state Friday at the Capitol. Thousands of people are expected to pay their respects to Ginsburg; the women's rights champion, leader of the court's liberal bloc and feminist icon who died last week. (AP)

Trump says he will announce Ginsburg replacement on Saturday (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Stitch Fix (SFIX) lost 44 cents per share for its latest quarter, wider than the 16 cents a share loss anticipated by analysts. The online clothing styling company's revenue beat estimates, with a 9% increase in active clients compared to a year earlier. The stock tanked 14% in the premarket.

General Mills (GIS) earned $1.00 per share for its latest quarter, beating estimates by 13 cents a share. Revenue also beat forecasts as demand for at-home packaged foods remained elevated due to the Covid-19 pandemic. General Mills also announced a 4% hike in its quarterly dividend to 51 cents per share.

KB Home (KBH) beat estimates by 30 cents a share, with quarterly profit of 83 cents per share. The home builder's revenue also came in above Wall Street forecasts. Net new orders were up 27% from a year earlier, as the pandemic and an increase in stay-at-home workers boost demand for homes.

Lululemon (LULU) resumed a stock buyback program that had been halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The athletic apparel maker's buyback program has $263.6 million left in a program that is due to expire on January 31.

Private-equity firm KKR (KKR) struck a deal to buy contact lens seller 1-800 Contacts from current owner AEA Investors. Terms were not disclosed, but Bloomberg had reported that the two sides were discussing a price higher than $3 billion.

Gores Holding (GHIV), a special purpose acquisition company, will merge with wholesale mortgage originator United Wholesale Mortgage and take it public. The deal values United Wholesale at $16.1 billion, a record high for a SPAC-related transaction.

Oracle (ORCL) did not engage in intentional compensation discrimination, according to a ruling from a Labor Department Administration Law judge. The case against the business software giant took four years to resolve, with the business software giant saying it should not have been brought in the first place.

Shopify (SHOP) disclosed a data breach which it said affected fewer than 200 merchants who use its e-commerce platform. Shopify said the breach was an attempt by two now-fired workers to gain transaction records, and that so far, it has not found any evidence of the data being utilized for any purpose.

3M (MMM) is exploring the sale of its food safety business, according to a Bloomberg report. The unit could draw up to $3.5 billion in a sale, according to people with knowledge of the matter.