Morning Brief

What to watch today: Stock futures set to rise as election remains unsettled


U.S. stock futures were volatile overnight and early Wednesday morning with the presidential election still unsettled and vote-counting in crucial swing states Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that could take days. Wall Street logged a strong two-day rally heading into election night, with stocks closing up around 2% on Tuesday, putting a dent in last week's worst declines since March. (CNBC)

The ADP's October look at employment trends at U.S. companies is out at 8:15 a.m. ET on Wednesday. Economists expect 600,000 jobs were added last month after additions of 749,000 in September. The Federal Reserve's policymaking committee begins its two-day November meeting Wednesday, with a statement on interest rates and a Fed Chairman Jerome Powell news conference on Thursday afternoon. (CNBC)

* Jumbo and FHA mortgage rates set record lows, juicing refinance demand (CNBC)


President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden both spoke in the early hours of Wednesday, striking very different tones. Biden first urged patience, saying, "it's not over until every vote is counted." Trump then claimed victory even though millions of legitimate votes had yet to be counted and races in more than a half dozen swing states still too close to call. Trump called the election a "fraud on the American public." (CNBC)

* Don't expect a call in the presidential race anytime soon (CNBC)
* Twitter, Facebook flag Trump message claiming opponents are trying to steal the election (CNBC)

NBC News projects that the House of Representatives will remain in Democratic control. However, the chances of Democrats flipping the GOP majority in the Senate was narrowing Wednesday morning. Democrats got an early pickup, with John Hickenlooper projected to defeat Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado. But offsetting that gain, Republican Tommy Tuberville is projected to defeat Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama. (CNBC)

Shares of Uber and Lyft were surging Wednesday morning after NBC News projected the two companies would prevail on California's Proposition 22, a ballot measure to exempt drivers for app-based transportation and delivery companies from being classified as employees under the state's new labor law. Uber and Lyft had warned that they likely would have had to pass on increased costs of worker reclassification to consumers. (CNBC)

* Florida votes to raise state's minimum wage to $15 an hour (CNBC)
* Push to relax drug laws gains big victories on state ballots, including in New Jersey (AP)
* Mississippi votes to change state flag that incorporated a version of Confederate battle flag (NBC News)

DraftKings (DKNG), Penn National (PENN) and other sports betting stocks were up in Wednesday's premarket after voters in Louisiana, South Dakota and Maryland approved legalized sports betting measures.

In a presidential race that Biden made about what he described as Trump's inability to control the pandemic, 21 states, including the battleground states of Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, hit records Monday in the number of average daily new coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Some states, such as Ohio, have also hit new peaks in hospitalizations.

The U.S. on Tuesday saw over 91,500 new Covid-19 infections, near Friday's worst-ever daily case tally of 99,321 after somewhat better numbers over the weekend and Monday. Trump, at election eve rallies on Monday, repeated a claim disputed by experts that the rise in coronavirus cases was the result of increased testing. (JHU)

* Nearly 20% of New York City residents were infected with Covid, study finds (Nature)


Hilton Worldwide (HLT) reported an adjusted quarterly profit of 6 cents per share, compared to expectations of a 2 cents per share loss. Revenue, however, did come in below Wall Street forecasts as comparable revenue per available room fell nearly 60% from a year earlier.

Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG) fell 4 cents short of forecasts with adjusted quarterly profit of 6 cents per share, although revenue was above analyst estimates. However, the company did give an upbeat fiscal 2021 full-year forecast.

Wendy's (WEN) beat estimates by 2 cents with adjusted quarterly earnings of 19 cents per share, with revenue falling short of forecasts. Global comparable restaurant sales were up 6.7%, beating the FactSet consensus estimate of a 5.4% rise.

Theme park operator Cedar Fair (FUN) reported a third quarter loss and lower than expected revenue, as the pandemic continued to weigh on attendance. Admissions revenue fell to less than 10% of the prior year's level.

Canopy Growth (ACB) is moving its U.S. stock listing to the Nasdaq from the New York Stock Exchange, saying greater cost effectiveness. Rival cannabis producer Aphria (APHA) had made a similar move back in June.