Tesla and Musk, Cigna and Icahn, Home Depot, McDonald's - 5 Things You Must Know

Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, Aug. 14:

1. -- Stocks Rise as Turkey's Currency Crisis Stabilizes

U.S. stock futures rose on Tuesday, Aug. 14, as investors cautiously returned to risk markets amid a stabilization in Turkey's currency crisis.

Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 97 points, futures for the S&P 500 were up 11 points, and Nasdaq futures rose 38.25 points.

Turkey's lira, which has been at the center of a one-week currency crisis that has rippled through financial markets all over the world, gained around 3% against the U.S. dollar in overnight trading. Indications were that moves by Turkey's central bank to stem the lira's decline likely will hold the currency in place while President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan negotiates the potential release of the American evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, whom Ankara has accused of being involved in a failed 2016 coup.

The economic calendar in the U.S. on Tuesday includes Import and Export Prices for July at 8:30 a.m. ET.

2. -- Home Depot's Earnings Top Forecasts

Home Depot Inc. (HD)  reported second-quarter earnings of $3.05 a share, beating forecasts of $2.85, and the home-improvement giant raised its full-year forecast for revenue and same-store sales. The stock rose 0.7% in premarket trading on Tuesday.

Advance Auto Parts Inc. (AAP)  rose 4.9% in premarket trading after second-quarter sales and earnings beat analysts' forecasts. 

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3. -- Elon Musk Says He's Working With Goldman, Silver Lake

Tesla Inc. (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said he's working with Silver Lake Partners Capital LLC and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) as advisers on his plans to take the electric car company private.

Musk tweeted on Monday night:

I'm excited to work with Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs as financial advisors, plus Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Munger, Tolles & Olson as legal advisors, on the proposal to take Tesla private

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 14, 2018
A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that said Silver Lake was offering its assistance to Musk in his exploration of a deal without compensation, and hadn't been hired as a financial adviser in an official capacity.

Serious questions over Musk's ability to arrange financing for the transaction, which he first characterized as "secured" but then later described as "just a matter of getting the process moving" with his key shareholder, Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, have raised questions from investors and could trigger a probe from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tesla shares fell slightly in premarket trading to $356.34.

4. -- Carl Icahn Backs Down on Opposition to Cigna-Express Scripts Deal

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said he no longer plans to solicit votes from Cigna Corp. (CI) shareholders against the health insurer's $54 billion deal to buy Express Scripts Holding Co. (ESRX)  after two proxy-advisory firms recommended shareholders support the deal.

Significant shareholder overlap between the two companies, which he initially hoped had decreased since the deal was announced, also was a factor in his decision, Icahn said, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Icahn last week went public with his campaign to sink Cigna's plan to buy Express Scripts. He sent an open letter urging fellow Cigna shareholders to vote against the deal, which he called a "$60 billion folly" carrying a "ridiculous" price tag.  

5. -- McDonald's to Invest $6 Billion in Restaurant Makeover

McDonald's Corp. (MCD) and its franchisees plan to invest $6 billion to modernize most U.S. restaurants by 2020.

The fast-food giant will modernize its dining rooms, install new digital menu boards and provide self-order kiosks inside its restaurants, among other improvements.

The effort is expected to be announced Tuesday. The changes won't result in job losses, McDonald's said.

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