Morning Brief

What to watch today: Stock futures down sharply on Covid, economic growth worries

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BY THE NUMBERS

Stock futures are pointing to a sharply lower open, after Friday's skid that saw the Dow and Nasdaq post their largest one-day losses in a month and send the Nasdaq lower for July. Dow futures implied an opening decline of more than 500 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also were solidly lower, as Wall Street grew concerned about economic growth due to an increase in coronavirus cases. (CNBC)

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury was lower Monday, falling below 1.25% and hitting its lowest level in five months. Yields move inversely to prices. (CNBC)

The National Association of Home Builders is out with its July sentiment index, expected to remain at June's 81 level, which had been the lowest level in 10 months. While anything above 50 is seen as positive, the index it hit a record of 90 in November.

AutoNation (AN), Cal-Maine Foods (CALM) and Tractor Supply (TSCO) are among the companies releasing quarterly earnings this morning, while IBM (IBM), JB Hunt Transport (JBHT), Zions Bancorp (ZION) and PPG Industries (PPG) will be out with quarterly numbers after today's closing bell.

In the U.S., the seven-day average of new daily coronavirus cases is nearly 32,300, up 66% compared with one week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. "The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated," President Joe Biden said recently.

IN THE NEWS

OPEC and its allies have settled on a new supply deal, agreeing to steadily end 5.8 million barrels per day of oil production cuts by September 2022. The supply increases are set to begin in August, according to a statement Sunday from OPEC. The deal comes as oil prices have risen considerably this year, following a rebound in demand from the coronavirus pandemic-driven economic slump.

* OPEC+ oil deal sends prices lower — and this could be a buying opportunity (CNBC)

Zoom Video Communications (ZM) plans to buy software firm Five9 (FIVN) in an all-stock deal valued at $14.7 billion, the company's first billion-dollar acquisition. The transaction, announced Sunday, comes as more companies shift away from fully remote work during the Covid-era and bring employees back to the office. California-based Five9, which ended Friday with a market cap of nearly $12 billion, is a provider of cloud contact center software. (CNBC)

Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company backed by Bill Ackerman, announced Monday it no longer plans to buy 10% of Vivendi's Universal Music Group. The SPAC's board unanimously decided against the roughly $4 billion deal, according to a shareholder letter, after discussions with the Securities and Exchange Commission. When it was announced early last month, the proposed SPAC transaction was noteworthy not only for its size, but for the complexity of its multipart structure. (CNBC)

Robinhood is eyeing a market valuation of up to $35 billion in its planned initial public offering, according to an amended SEC filing released Monday. In the updated prospectus, the brokerage app will look to sell shares at $38 to $42 apiece. (CNBC)

* Home insurance company Kin to go public via SPAC merger (CNBC)

The joint first action of a newly created cybersecurity alliance — made up of NATO member states, the European Union, Japan, Australia and New Zealand — will be to blame a major cyberattack on Microsoft Exchange email servers on China's Ministry of State Security. (CNBC)

Nearly all of the remaining Covid restrictions in England were lifted Monday, even as coronavirus cases across the U.K. are rising. "Please, please, please be cautious," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement. Johnson had already delayed England's lifting of most Covid restrictions once due to the highly transmissible delta variant, which public-health experts across the globe have warned could derail progress in combating the pandemic. (CNBC)

* 'It's a gamble': England's 'big bang' easing of Covid rules could go either way, experts note (CNBC)

The upcoming Olympics in Tokyo also continue to be impacted by Covid, with American tennis star Coco Gauff withdrawing from the Summer Games due to a positive coronavirus test. The Olympics, which were delayed a year due to Covid, are highly controversial in Japan. In a reflection of public opinion, Japanese automaker Toyota will not air any Olympic-related advertising on the country's television during the Games. Toyota's CEO, Akio Toyoda, and other company executives also will not attend the opening ceremony, which is set for Friday. (Associated Press) (Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the U.S. broadcast rights holder to all Summer and Winter Games through 2032.)

STOCKS TO WATCH

National Grid (NGG) will reportedly be stripped of its responsibility to run Britain's electricity grid. The Times newspaper reports that British officials are preparing plans to award that responsibility to an independent body, with an announcement coming as early as this week.

Ingersoll-Rand (IR) has been rebuffed in its bid to initiate takeover talks with manufacturing equipment maker SPX Flow (SPXC), according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to Reuters. The sources said the most recent per-share offer was in the low $80s, which SPX Flow is said to have dismissed as inadequate.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is reportedly exploring a plan to offload talc-related liabilities into a new business that would then file for bankruptcy. People familiar with the matter who spoke to Reuters said such a move could result in lower payouts to those who do not settle their cases before a trial. J&J faces numerous allegations that its baby powder and other talc-related products have caused cancer.

Tesla (TSLA) is offering customers of its FSD premium driver assistance service on a subscription basis for $199 per month, rather than for a $10,000 up front payment.

Autodesk (ADSK) has ended takeover talks with Australia-based software maker Altium. The move comes several weeks after Altium rejected a more than $3.7 billion takeover offer from Autodesk.

Xpeng (XPEV) priced the base model of its new P5 electric sedan at about $24,700, undercutting the price of Tesla's newly introduced cheaper version of its Model 3 sedan.

AMC Networks (AMCX) will pay $200 million to end a legal dispute over profits from the hit TV show "The Walking Dead." It will pay $143 million to settle the suit, and will pay the restr to buy the remaining rights to the show from executive producer Frank Darabont and Creative Artists Agency.

WATERCOOLER

Collin Morikawa won the British Open on Sunday, the 24-year-old American golfer's second major championship victory in just eight starts. After capturing the PGA Championship last year, Morikawa is already halfway to a career Grand Slam. (Associated Press)