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Morning Brief: US-China trade talks to resume

Thursday, August 16, 2018

What to watch today

On Thursday, investors will get the weekly report on initial jobless claims as well as data on manufacturing activity from the Philly Fed and a report on housing starts and building permits for the month of July.

The earnings calendar will be more notable, with the week’s biggest report coming before the market open as Walmart (WMT) is scheduled to report results for the second quarter. Wall Street expects the retailer to earn adjusted earnings per share of $1.22 on revenue of $126 billion with U.S. same-store sales at Walmart stores expected to rise 2.2%, excluding gas.

Other companies reporting results Thursday should include Nordstrom (JWN), Nvidia (NVDA), Applied Materials (AMAT), and J.C. Penney (JCP).

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Top news

REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo

China, US to hold next round of trade talksChina said on Thursday it will hold a fresh round of trade talks with the United States in Washington later this month, offering a glimmer of hope for progress in resolving a conflict that has set world markets on edge. [Reuters]

Tesla drops on report of SEC subpoena over Musk go-private planTesla Inc. (TSLA) fell by as much as 4.5% Wednesday after a report said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sent a subpoena to the electric-car maker regarding Elon Musk’s plans to take it private and his claim to have had “funding secured” for the deal. [Bloomberg]

Starboard takes a stake in Symantec: Activist investor Starboard Value LP has taken a position in the cybersecurity company and privately nominated five directors to its 11-person board in July, according to people familiar with the matter. Starboard thinks Symantec (SYMC), shares of which have plunged 34% this year, needs operational changes to improve margins, especially in its business-facing segment, the people said. [The Wall Street Journal]

MoviePass owner sued by shareholders: The owner of MoviePass Inc. is facing two class-action lawsuits alleging investors took a bath because the company didn’t come clean about being unable to pay its bills. MoviePass parent Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc. (HMNY) omitted and misstated its financial prospects in press releases when it touted a “sustainable” business model, the shareholders claim in lawsuits filed in Manhattan federal court. [Bloomberg]

Amazon considering UK insurance comparison siteAmazon.com Inc. (AMZN) is sounding out some of Europe’s top insurance firms to see if they would contribute products to a UK price comparison website in what would be a major foray by the U.S. online retail giant into the region’s financial services. [Reuters]

For more of the latest news, go to Yahoo Finance

Padbot intelligent robots are on display during 2018 World Robot Conference at Beijing Etrong International Exhibition and Convention Center on August 15, 2018 in Beijing, China. The 2018 World Robot Conference will be held in Beijing from August 15-19. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images

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The Morning Brief provides a quick rundown on what to watch in the markets, top news stories, and the best of Yahoo Finance Originals.