Morning Brief: Trump blasts Fed rate hikes

Friday, July 20, 2018

What to watch today

On Friday, General Electric (GE), Honeywell (HON), VF Corp. (VFC), Kansas City Southern (KSU), and Schlumberger (SLB) among the notable S&P 500 members set to report earnings before the market open. The economic calendar will bring U.S. investors no notable data.

GE’s earnings will be most closely watched as it marks the company’s first report since being kicked out of the Dow in late June. Shares of the conglomerate are roughly unchanged since leaving the blue chip index.

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Top news

. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Trump blasts Powell’s rate hikes, trespassing on Fed’s independence: President Donald Trump criticized the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate increases, breaking with more than two decades of White House tradition of avoiding comments on monetary policy out of respect for the independence of the U.S. central bank. [Bloomberg]

Microsoft’s earnings beat expectationsMicrosoft (MSFT) announced its Q4 2018 earnings on Thursday and it beat analysts’ projections. This came as all major business segments saw year-over-year growth. The Windows maker posted earnings of $1.14 per share on $30.1 billion of revenue. Analysts predicted earnings of $1.08 per share on $29.22 billion in revenue. [Yahoo Finance]

Lawmakers reach foreign-investment oversight deal: U.S. lawmakers have reached an agreement that puts a measure to strengthen oversight of foreign investment from countries such as China into a must-pass defense policy bill, Representative Robert Pittenger’s office said. The goal of the measure is to strengthen the inter-agency U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS), which reviews mergers and stock purchases to ensure they do not harm national security. [Reuters]

Merck lowers prices of some drugs: Merck & Co. on Thursday announced price cuts to some of its medicines, including a 60% reduction to a hepatitis C treatment, after U.S. President Donald Trump criticized drugmakers for failing to help reduce healthcare costs for consumers. [Reuters]

Trump-Putin plan fall event in aftermath of HelsinkiUnbowed by swirling criticism of his summit encounter with Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump swiftly invited the Russian leader to the White House this fall for a second get-together. Cleanup from the first has continued with no letup and Trump belatedly decided Putin’s “incredible offer” of shared U.S.-Russia investigations was no good after all. [AP]

Paramount fires TV chief over alleged insensitive remarks: Paramount Television President Amy Powell, the executive behind such shows as “The Alienist” and “13 Reasons Why,” was ousted from the company over allegations that she made racially insensitive remarks. [Bloomberg]

For more of the latest news, go to Yahoo Finance

Cosplayers pose on the street outside San Diego Comic-Con on July 19, 2018 in San Diego, California. Thousands of revelers are arriving for the festivities at the annual comic and entertainment convention. (Photo by Mario Tama/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.