Equifax, Whirlpool, 'The Lion King,' China's STAR Market: 5 Things You Must Know

U.S. stock futures rise as earnings season ramps up in a week heavy with reports from U.S. tech giants; Earnings reports are expected Monday from Whirlpool and Halliburton; Equifax agrees to pay up to $700 million to settle privacy claims stemming from a 2017 data breach; Walt Disney's 'The Lion King' grosses $185 million over its opening weekend in North America.
By Joseph Woelfel ,

Here are five things you must know for Monday, July 22: 

1. -- Stock Futures Rise Ahead of Week Heavy With Tech Earnings

U.S. stock futures rose on Monday as earnings season ramps up in a week heavy with reports from U.S. tech giants.

Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 56 points, futures for the S&P 500 rose 8.10 points, and Nasdaq futures gained 31.75 points.

Last week, the Dow declined 0.7% and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both fell 1.2%. It was the worst week for stocks since the end of May.

Asian shares finished to the downside Monday but China's new Star Market, styled after the tech-heavy Nasdaq, had an impressive debut as the 25 companies in the index closed with gains between 84% and 400%, according to The Wall Street Journal. The STAR Market is a pet project of President Xi Jinping, and is part of Beijing's effort to revitalize a slowing economy and become a tech powerhouse. 

The economic calendar in the U.S. on Monday includes the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for June at 8:30 a.m. ET.

A report on second-quarter GDP will be released Friday. Economists surveyed by FactSet expect growth to slow to 1.8% from 3.1% during the first quarter. The figure could play heavily into the Federal Reserve's thinking on whether to slash interest rates by 25 basis points or 50 basis points when it meets July 30-31. There's little doubt on Wall Street that the Fed will cut rates - by how much remains the question. Fed fund futures predict a 77% chance of a rate cut of 25 basis points and a 22% chance of a cut of 50 basis points.

2. -- Whirlpool and Halliburton Report Earnings

Halliburton (HAL) - Get Report  reported second-quarter adjusted earnings of 35 cents a share, 5 cents ahead of estimates. Revenue of $5.93 billion during the quarter missed forecasts of $5.97 billion. The stock rose 0.37% in premarket trading to $21.83.

 Whirlpool (WHR) - Get Report  is expected to report earnings Monday after the closing bell.

Later in the week - the busiest week of the season - reports will be issued by Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report , Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report , Facebook (FB) - Get Report , Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report , Boeing (BA) - Get Report , Snap (SNAP) - Get Report , Coca-Cola (KO) - Get Report , Visa V, PayPal (PYPL) - Get Report , AT&T (T) - Get Report , Intel (INTC) - Get Report , Ford (F) - Get Report , Caterpillar (CAT) - Get Report , Procter & Gamble (PG) - Get Report , Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Report , Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report and McDonald's (MCD) - Get Report .

Amazon.com, Alphabet, Facebook and Caterpillar are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.

3. -- Equifax to Pay Up to $700 Million in Settlement for Data Breach

Equifax (EFX) - Get Report agreed to pay at least $575 million and potentially up to $700 million to settle privacy claims stemming from a 2017 breach that left Social Security numbers and other data for almost 150 million people open on the internet.

The settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 50 U.S. states was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The hack forced big changes at the credit bureau company, leading to the resignation of its long-serving CEO, and prompting intense scrutiny from lawmakers.

The stock was down 0.22% to $137 in premarket trading on Monday. Equifax has risen more than 47% so far in 2019.

4. -- Disney's 'The Lion King' Earns $185 Million in Opening Weekend

"The Lion King," produced by Walt Disney (DIS) - Get Report , grossed $185 million over its opening weekend in North America, blowing past estimates of about $150 million.

Jon Favreau's remake of the 1994 animated film stars a cast that includes Beyonce and Donald Glover.

"The Lion King" has raked in $531 million in 10 days after opening in China a week earlier, according to the Associated Press.

Disney also had another score over the weekend as "Avengers: Endgame" passed  "Avatar" to become the highest-grossing film of all time. The total take for "Endgame" is currently at $2.79 billion.

Walt Disney is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells DIS? Learn more now.

5. -- Shane Lowry Wins the British Open

Shane Lowry won the British Open for his first major title.

The 32-year-old Irishman beat Tommy Fleetwood by six strokes at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

Lowry shot 1-over 72 on Sunday and finished with a 15-under 269.

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