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Morning Brief: Will Trump scandals affect the financial markets?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

What to watch today

On Thursday, the economic data schedule will bring investors the weekly report on initial jobless claims, the FHFA’s June reading on home prices, July data on new home sales, and Markit Economics’ initial look at manufacturing and service-sector activity in August.

And on the earnings side, notable retail names set to report results include Ross Stores (ROST) and The Gap (GPS), while other companies scheduled to release earnings include HP (HPQ), Intuit (INTU), Hormel (HRL), and Autodesk (ADSK).

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Top news

(Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Mary Altaffer/AP, Alexandria Detention Center via AP)

How the Trump scandals will affect financial marketsThe tumultuous Trump presidency has been good for markets, so far. But investors now have some heady new possibilities to consider. The recent convictions of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, and Paul Manafort, his 2016 campaign manager, have exposed Trump to more political peril than he has faced in his 18 months in office. Both men know details of Trump’s business and political dealings that could fuel the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller. [Yahoo Finance]

Fed signals readiness to hike again: U.S. central bankers are ready to raise interest rates again so long as the economy stays on track, according to a record of the Federal Reserve’s most recent policy meeting. [Bloomberg]

U.S.-China trade war escalates as new tariffs kick in: The U.S. and China escalated their acrimonious trade war on Thursday, implementing punitive 25% tariffs on $16 billion worth of each other’s goods, even as mid-level officials from both sides resumed talks in Washington. The world’s two largest economies have now slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on a combined $100 billion of products since early July, with more in the pipeline. [Reuters]

Aramco IPO halted, oil giant disbands advisers: Saudi Arabia has called off plans for the domestic and international listing of state oil giant Aramco, billed as the biggest stock flotation in history, four senior industry sources said. Financial advisers working on the planned listing have been disbanded as Saudi Arabia shifts its attention to a proposed acquisition of a “strategic stake” in local petrochemicals maker Saudi Basic Industries Corp. [Reuters]

SEC quashes more bitcoin ETF pitches in another blow to cryptoThe U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected another round of attempts to list exchange-traded funds backed by Bitcoin, blocking ETFs from ProShares, GraniteShares and Direxion on concern prices could be vulnerable to manipulation. [Bloomberg]

For more of the latest news, go to Yahoo Finance

Participants dressed as cuddly animals arrive for the annual Eurofurence ‘furries’ gathering at the Estrel hotel on August 22, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Eurofurence attracts furry fandom enthusiasts from across the globe for four days of anthropomorphic fun. (Photo by Michele Tantussi/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.