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What to Watch Today: S&P 500 Takes Win Streak Into Historically Tough September

Carlo Allegri | Reuters

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures started off the new month higher Wednesday after the S&P 500 logged seven straight monthly gains, its longest winning streak since a 10-month run that ended in December 2017. The broader market index, while falling slightly Tuesday, rose 2.9% in August. The Dow and Nasdaq also fell a bit Tuesday but rose 1.2% and 4% in August, respectively.

Ahead of Wednesday's open, the Dow was just over 0.7% away from last month's record close. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were just shy of Monday's record closes. September can be a perilous for stocks, with the month historically lower more often than higher. (CNBC)

ADP said on Wednesday that U.S. companies added just 374,000 jobs in August, far short of estimates for 600,000. ADP's look at July private sector jobs gains was also a big miss. These numbers have not been a great barometer during Covid of what the government's monthly jobs data might show. (CNBC)

Economists expect the Labor Department's report Friday to show 720,000 nonfarm payrolls additions in August and a dip in the nation's unemployment rate to 5.2%. The economy created a better-than-expected 943,000 new jobs in July as the unemployment rate dropped to 5.4%. The latest weekly tally of initial jobless claims is out Thursday. (CNBC)

* Weekly mortgage-refinance demand drops as interest rates stall (CNBC)

BY THE NUMBERS

Oil prices rose modestly ahead of Wednesday's OPEC+ meeting. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies led by Russia are expected to stick to a plan to add 400,000 barrels per day each month through December. U.S. oil prices broke four months of gains in August, falling nearly 7.4% in their worst month since October. (Reuters)

That's despite last week's gain of 10.6% in advance of Hurricane Ida, which slammed the Gulf Coast on Sunday, temporarily halting oil production and refinery operations. About 985,000 customers in Louisiana remained in the dark early Wednesday as the region suffers from sweltering heat. (AP)

* Firms estimate Ida could cause over $15 Billion in insured losses (WSJ)

CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky is advising unvaccinated Americans against traveling over the Labor Day weekend, as the U.S. battles a surge in Covid hospitalizations driven by the spread of the highly contagious delta variant. Walensky on Tuesday also recommended spending time outside with other vaccinated family members during the holiday, urging people to wear masks indoors. (CNBC)

* Nearly 1 million Covid booster shots given in the U.S., CDC data shows (CNBC)

As of Monday, the seven-day average of new daily Covid cases in the U.S. rose 6% to nearly 160,000. Over the same period, new U.S. Covid deaths on average increased 29% from a week ago to 1,329. (CNBC)

Alphabet's Google (GOOGL) is postponing its workers' return to the office, for the third time due to the spread of the delta Covid variant. CEO Sundar Pichai announced in a blog post Tuesday the new date as Jan. 10. Several other tech companies, including Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB) and Apple (AAPL), are also reassessing their return-to-office plans. (CNBC)

* Google reportedly plans to put its own chips in Chromebook laptops from 2023 (CNBC)

Apple has delayed production of new Apple Watch models due to manufacturing challenges, Nikkei Asia reported Tuesday. After starting small scale production, the company encountered disappointing quality with finished assembly. The Nikkei attributed the delay to a new, complicated design, including a new blood-pressure sensor and water-resistance features.

Southwest (LUV) pilots' union sued the carrier this week, alleging the airline violated federal labor laws by altering work rules during the pandemic travel slump without negotiating the changes. Southwest denied the allegations that its changes required negotiation with the union. The lawsuit comes as tensions between Southwest's workers and management are on the rise. (CNBC)

Walmart (WMT) said Wednesday it plans to hire 20,000 employees to help keep merchandise moving ahead of the anticipated holiday shopping rush. The big-box retailer, which is already the nation's largest private employer, said the roles will be in supply chain, with wages averaging $20.37 per hour. (CNBC)

President Joe Biden will unveil a wide-ranging humanitarian and military aid package for Ukraine on Wednesday, during a visit by Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to the White House. A now infamous call between Zelenskyy and Donald Trump in 2019 was a cornerstone of the former U.S. president's first impeachment case. (CNBC)

In an address to the nation Tuesday afternoon, Biden defended his decision to end the U.S. war in Afghanistan after nearly 20 years, saying the era of large U.S. military deployments to rebuild other nations has ended. The Taliban, ousted from power after the 9/11 attacks, now control nearly all of Afghanistan. (CNBC)

* With Kabul's airport closed, fearful Afghans scramble for the border (Reuters)
* Ex-Obama defense secretary says it's a mistake for U.S. to count on Taliban in Afghanistan (CNBC)

Major Wall Street brokerages are urging clients to look past Democratic infighting and prepare for a torrent of trillions of dollars of new government spending as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brings two historic measures up for a vote. (CNBC)

* Here are the states that will get the most money from bipartisan infrastructure bill (CNBC)

A Texas law banning most abortions went into effect Wednesday after the Supreme Court did not respond to an emergency appeal to block its enforcement. It prohibits doctors from performing or inducing abortions if they have "detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child," except in medical emergencies. (CNBC)

* Texas lawmakers sweeping GOP voting bill to governor after monthslong fight (AP)

Five service members were missing last night after a Navy helicopter crashed into the sea off Southern California on Tuesday, the military said. The MH-60S helicopter, which was carrying six people, crashed around 60 nautical miles off San Diego at 4:30 p.m., the Navy said. (NBC News)

STOCKS TO WATCH

PVH (PVH) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $2.72 per share, well above the $1.20 consensus estimate, while the apparel maker’s revenue topped forecasts as well. The company behind the Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein brands also raised its full-year revenue forecast. PVH shares surged 7.8% in the premarket.

Campbell Soup (CPB) beat top and bottom-line estimates for its latest quarter. It issued a fiscal 2022 adjusted earnings outlook of $2.75-$2.85 per share, compared with a consensus estimate of $2.87, as it deals with higher input costs and a constrained labor market. Shares were initially up more than 1% in premarket trading but subsequently trimmed those gains.

Nio (NIO) shares slid 4.6% in premarket trading after the China-based electric vehicle maker cut its third-quarter delivery outlook, citing supply chain constraints.

Ambarella (AMBA) rallied 9% in premarket trading after it came in 10 cents above estimates with an adjusted quarterly profit of 35 cents per share. Revenue also beat analyst projections. The maker of chips for cars and cameras said demand is high and that revenue could reach a 5-year high for the current quarter.

CrowdStrike (CRWD) beat Street forecasts by 2 cents with adjusted quarterly earnings of 11 cents per share, while revenue came in above estimates as well. The cybersecurity company also raised its full-year outlook, but shares fell 2.2% in premarket action.

Philips (PHG) received permission from the FDA to begin repairing and replacing its DreamStation respiratory devices after the agency approved its proposal for replacing sound abatement material. The Dutch technology company issued a recall in June for up to 4 million of the devices to fix a potential toxicity problem with sound abatement foam. Philips gained 2.3% in the premarket.

Sunrun (RUN) shares jumped 3.6% in the premarket following two positive analyst mentions. It was added to the U.S. Analyst Focus List at JPMorgan Chase, and it was also among clean energy stocks rated “market overweight” in new coverage at Wolfe Research. Wolfe said the clean energy transition is a secular trend that will last well past the current economic cycle.

Intuit (INTU) is in talks to buy e-mail marketing firm Mailchimp for more than $10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to Bloomberg. Such a deal would add to the personal finance software company’s tools for small businesses, which include QuickBooks and Credit Karma.

Canadian National Railway (CNI) will not be allowed to use a temporary voting trust as part of its $30 billion deal to buy Kansas City Southern (KSU), following a ruling from the Surface Transportation Board. That could present a significant obstacle to completing the deal, and another opportunity for Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), which has also offered to buy Kansas City Southern.

Sprouts Farmers Markets (SFM) said its Chief Financial Officer Denise Paulonis is leaving the natural foods supermarket chain, with board member Lawrence Molloy succeeding Paulonis on Sept. 25.

WATERCOOLER

The website of street artist Banksy briefly directed users to an auction for a work of digital art that sold for more than $300,000. The problem? It wasn't authentic. The buyer of what they thought was a Banksy non-fungible token got their money back. (CNBC)

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