Morning Brief

What to watch today: Stock futures slightly higher, Disney shares pop after earnings

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Stock futures were slightly higher Friday, one day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closed at all-time highs yet again. Dow futures were higher by about 50 points, while S&P 500 futures also were in the green. Nasdaq futures were flat. The Dow and S&P 500 enter Friday's session up 0.8% and 0.6%, respectively, for the week. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is down only 0.1% this week. (CNBC)

* Treasury yields fall following mixed economic data (CNBC)
* Oil dips as Delta variant weighs on demand forecasts (Reuters)

The government released import prices for July at 8:30 a.m. ET, showing a 0.3% increase when consensus forecasts calling for a rise of 0.6%. At 10 a.m. ET, the University of Michigan issues its mid-August Consumer Sentiment Index, which is expected to edge higher to 81.3 from July's final reading of 81.2.

23andMe (ME) is among the handful of companies issuing earnings reports this morning, its first since going public via SPAC merger in June.  No companies of note are releasing earnings after Friday's closing bell.

Shares of Dow component Disney jumped more than 4% in premarket trading Friday as Wall Street cheered the media and entertainment giant's better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter results. Disney's parks, experiences and products division also turned in a profit in Q3, its first since the coronavirus pandemic began early last year. (CNBC)

Shares of Airbnb fell more than 3% in premarket trading Friday, as investors digested the travel rental company's second-quarter results and its warning about a potential impact from the Covid delta variant. (CNBC)


The Food and Drug Administration late Thursday authorized coronavirus vaccine booster shots for people who have weakened immune systems. The final go-ahead to allow those third shots would come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency's vaccine advisory committee is set to meet Friday and may issue a recommendation. Should that be approved by the CDC, booster shots for immunocompromised individuals could be given immediately, offering the vulnerable people another layer of protection against Covid. (CNBC)

* Fauci says everybody will likely need a Covid vaccine booster shot eventually (CNBC)
* Supreme Court rejects challenge to Indiana University's vaccination requirement (NBC News)

Facebook (FB) is delaying its return-to-office plans in the U.S. until January, citing concerns over increased spread of the highly contagious delta variant. The social media giant had aimed to bring workers back in October, with mandatory vaccinations. (CNBC)

* CDC says over 90% of U.S. counties now meet its Covid guidelines for masks indoors (CNBC)

The Pentagon will send 3,000 troops to Afghanistan to help evacuate staff at the U.S. Embassy in the Afghan capital of Kabul, as Taliban insurgents advance toward the city. "This is a very narrowly focused mission of safeguarding the orderly reduction of civilian personnel out of Afghanistan," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Thursday. The U.S. still expects to fully withdraw all troops by Aug. 31, Kirby said, part of the process to end America's longest war, which began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. (CNBC)

* Al-Qaeda 'will probably come back' as Afghanistan heads toward civil war, UK defense minister warns (CNBC)

The U.S. population became more diverse in the past decade, 2020 census data released Thursday showed, with white people falling in numbers for the first time on record and Asian and Hispanic populations continuing to grow. For those under age 18, there was no racial or ethnic majority as non-Hispanic whites in that cohort dropped from 53.5% to 47.3%. (Associated Press)

* Five takeaways from the U.S. census data drop (Los Angeles Times)

Microsoft (MSFT) is challenging the National Security Agency's reported decision to award a $10 billion cloud computing contract to Amazon (AMZN). Microsoft filed its protest with the Government Accountability Office. It comes in the wake of the Pentagon's decision to scrap its hotly contested $10 billion JEDI cloud contract, which had caused a legal tussle between Amazon and Microsoft. (CNBC)


DoorDash (DASH) posted a quarterly loss of 30 cents per share, wider than the 20 cents that Wall Street had projected. However, the food delivery service's revenue did beat estimates, with gross order volume up 70% from a year earlier. DoorDash also raised full year guidance for gross order volume.

SoFi (SOFI) lost 48 cents per share for its second quarter, compared with analyst forecasts of a 6 cents per share loss. The digital financial services company did see revenue exceed estimates, however, as membership more than doubled from a year earlier.

Pfizer (PFE), Moderna (MRNA) and BioNTech (BNTX) are all up in premarket trading, after the FDA authorized Covid vaccine booster shots for immunocompromised people.

Kansas City Southern (KSU) rejected an improved takeover offer from Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), saying it did not constitute a "superior proposal" to its agreement with Canadian National (CNI). The Canadian Pacific offer is worth $27 billion versus $29 billion for Canadian National, but Canadian Pacific feels its bid has a better chance of regulatory approval.

ZipRecruiter (ZIP) posted a quarterly loss of 55 cents per share, compared with a consensus estimate of a 22 cents per share loss. However, the online employment marketplace operator saw revenue come in well above Street forecasts and made upbeat comments about the remainder of 2021.

Rocket Companies (RKT) shares are jumping in premarket action despite a miss on the top and bottom lines for the online mortgage platform operator. Rocket did see a surge in closed loan origination volume over a year ago, and gave upbeat current quarter guidance for a variety of metrics.