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Morning Brief: Apple to report earnings, iPhone sales

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

What to watch today

The Federal Reserve kicks off its two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting. If there’s any news, we’ll get it on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. ET when the Fed publishes its statement. Until then, all eyes will be on Apple (AAPL), which announces quarterly earnings after the closing bell. Savvy investors will be monitoring the performance of the iPhone maker’s services business. Will the numbers be strong enough to send the $930 billion company’s market cap north of $1 trillion?

Top news

REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

GE hires bankers to mull sale of digital assets: General Electric Co. (GE) has hired an investment bank to organize an auction for its digital assets, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday citing people familiar with the matter. GE’s multibillion-dollar digital business, which includes its Predix software system and applications, has been struggling with technical issues and weakening sales. [Reuters]

Treasury raises borrowing outlook to $769 billionThe Treasury Department predicted the U.S. government’s borrowing needs in the second half of this year will jump to the most since the financial crisis a decade ago as the nation’s fiscal health deteriorates despite a strong economy. The department expects to issue $329 billion in net marketable debt from July through September, the fourth-largest total for that quarter on record. [Bloomberg]

CBS CEO Moonves survives board meeting: CBS Corp.’s (CBS) board left Chief Executive Leslie Moonves in his post on Monday as it discussed sexual harassment claims against him and took steps to select an outside counsel to lead an independent investigation into the matter, the company said in a statement. It was not immediately clear if Moonves would stay on for the duration of the investigation. [Reuters]

China factory gauge falls on tighter credit, trade war risks: China’s official factory gauge weakened this month as credit conditions tighten, the trade war threatens exports and currency volatility erodes confidence. The manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 51.2 in July from 51.5 in June and lower than the forecast of 51.3 in a Bloomberg survey of economists. [Bloomberg]

Spotify’s music industry liaison to depart: Troy Carter, who acted as a bridge between Sweden-based Spotify Technology SA (SPOT) and the recorded music industry, will leave the company in early September but remain in an advisory role, Spotify said. Carter was a music industry veteran who had previously helped manage artists such as Lady Gaga and John Legend. In 2016, he became Spotify’s global head of creator services. [Reuters]

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