Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, Sept. 10:
1. -- Stock Futures Point to a Weak Start for Wall Street
U.S. stock futures declined Tuesday as investors assessed weaker-than-expected industrial data from China and continued to factor in near-term support from the world's biggest central banks.
China posted the steepest decline in factory gate inflation in at least three years in August, suggesting manufacturers are having to slash prices in order to win new orders and offset the impact of tariffs on goods imported into the United States. New car sales in China, the world's biggest automobile market, also declined, falling 9.9% from last year and notching the 14th drop in the past 15 months.
The data from China suggested a weakening economy that has yet to find support from various government stimuli, including bank liquidity support and tax cuts. The figures also put added pressure on Beijing to move more quickly to solve its trade dispute with Washington, a view shared by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin during an interview with Fox Business.
"We have a document, we've made a lot of progress, they're coming here, I take that as a sign of good faith that they want to continue to negotiate," Mnuchin said when asked of the state of trade talks between the U.S and China. "And we're prepared to negotiate. If we can get a good deal, a deal that's good for us, we'll sign it."
Meanwhile, economists expect the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates when it meets next week, while the European Central Bank is expected to reveal a major stimulus effort on Thursday.
"Markets look to be adrift ahead of the slew of events this week including the likes of the European Central Bank where further support for the markets is expected," said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 46 points, futures for the S&P 500 were down 5.70 points, and Nasdaq futures declined 21.25 points.
Stocks ended mixed Monday with the Dow gaining 38 points, or 0.14%, to 26,835, the S&P 500 slipping 0.01%, and the Nasdaq falling 0.19%.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Tuesday includes the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for July at 10 a.m. ET.
2. -- New iPhones and Watches Expected at Apple's Big Event
The event begins at 1 p.m. ET at Apple's campus in Cupertino, California. It will be live streamed on YouTube for the first time.
As was the case last year, Apple is expected to launch 6.5-inch and 5.8-inch flagship iPhones sporting OLED displays, along with a 6.1-inch iPhone sporting an LCD display, according to TheStreet's Eric Jhonsa.
Details are limited, meanwhile, about what new features and hardware improvements the Apple Watch Series 5 will deliver relative to the well-received Series 4, which launched a year ago. However, 9to5 Mac did report that Apple's next-gen Watches will be the first to support sleep-tracking.
Apple also is expected to disclose how much it will charge for its TV+ streaming service and its Arcade game-subscription service, both of which were unveiled during the company's services event in March and have been promised to launch this fall.
A couple of rumors also have popped up indicating that a new Apple TV set-top will soon launch, according to Jhonsa.
- Apple's Big iPhone Event on Tuesday: Here's What's to Expect
- Apple's Services Push Gives It a Fresh Incentive to Launch a New Apple TV
3. -- Antitrust Probe of Google to Focus on Search Giant's Ad Practices
The attorneys general from 48 U.S. states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico announced they're probing Google for potential antitrust violations. Texas will be leading the investigation. California (Google's home state) and Alabama are the only states not taking part.
Texas attorney general Ken Paxton indicated that the probe initially will focus on Google's massive ad operations.
"They dominate the buyer side, the seller side, the auction side and the video side with YouTube," he said.
Google's advertising business represents more than 80% of its overall revenue.
At the same time, Paxton suggested the probe could also cover other fields, and both he and other state attorneys general criticized Google's actions in areas apart from advertising.
"There is nothing wrong with a business becoming the biggest game in town if it does so through free market competition, but we have seen evidence that Google's business practices may have undermined consumer choice, stifled innovation, violated users' privacy and put Google in control of the flow and dissemination of online information," Paxton asserted.
The announcement came just a few days after Google disclosed that it has been asked by the Department of Justice to hand over information related to prior antitrust investigations.
4. -- SoftBank Urges WeWork to Shelve Its IPO
WeWork's parent company, We Co., has been preparing to pitch investors later this week for an initial public offering that would raise between $3 and $4 billion while valuing the New York-based start up in the region of $20 billion. But the company has faced criticism from investors and analysts on Wall Street over its governance, payments made to co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann and its use of a complicated corporate structure, according to the Financial Times.
SoftBank, WeWork's top shareholder, wants to shelve the listing lest its Vision Fund, whose last investment valued WeWork at $47 billion, is forced to write-down more than half of its stake. Bloomberg also reported that Japan-based SoftBank is concerned with WeWork's complicated corporate setup, as well as its three-class voting structure.
SoftBank is estimated to have invested just under $11 billion into WeWork, and would lose money from the investment if the IPO is priced anywhere under $25 billion.
5. -- Ford's Credit Rating Downgraded to 'Junk' Status by Moody's
Ford said its underlying business was strong and its balance sheet was solid.
"We are making significant progress on a comprehensive global redesign - reinvigorating our product lineup and aggressively restructuring our businesses around the world," Ford said in a statement.
Moody's dropped its rating for Ford's senior unsecured notes to Ba1, the top rating for debt that's not investment grade. It had been Baa3, Moody's lowest investment grade rating.
Moody's also it expects Ford's restructuring to last for several years and include $11 billion in charges and cash costs of $7 billion.
Ford shares fell 3.35% to $9.22 in premarket trading on Tuesday.