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North American Morning Briefing : Stock Futures -2-

09/17/2021 | 06:04am EDT

Justice Department Fights Settlement That Would Shield Sacklers From Opioid Lawsuits

The Justice Department, continuing its fight against a roughly $4.5 billion settlement that will shield the family who owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP from opioid lawsuits, is seeking to pause the deal until after federal appeals courts have weighed in on the agreement.

U.S. Trustee William Harrington, who is part of the Justice Department unit monitoring the nation's bankruptcy courts, said in a Wednesday court filing that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain was wrong to approve the settlement earlier this month and said his ruling authorizing the deal between Purdue and its Sackler family owners will likely be overturned by a higher court.

Read More ->

Biden Steps Up Efforts to Advance $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill

WASHINGTON-President Biden is taking a more public role in the negotiations around Democrats' roughly $3.5 trillion social welfare and climate bill, as lawmakers work through thorny policy debates.

At the White House Thursday, he touted proposals to increase taxes on high-income households and U.S. companies to finance the plan, saying, "Big corporations and the super wealthy have to start paying their fair share of taxes."

Read More ->

U.S., China Jockey for Position in Pacific With Moves on Security, Trade

China on Thursday moved quickly to counter an effort by the U.S., U.K. and Australia to contain its ambitions in the Pacific, saying it would apply to join a regional economic pact the U.S. had eschewed, as Washington and Beijing maneuvered for economic and military position in the theater that will define their great power competition.

The U.S. has been amassing a network of alliances, including India and Japan. The latest among the three English-speaking allies will be an effort to provide Australia with nuclear submarines to strengthen deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region, White House officials said. Australia scrapped a multibillion-dollar submarine deal with France as a result, prompting Paris to accuse the three of betrayal.

Read More ->

Fed to Review Financial Trading Rules for Officials

The Federal Reserve is launching a review of its internal rules governing the financial activities of its officials in the wake of news last week that the leaders of the Dallas and Boston regional Fed banks actively traded in financial markets.

"Because the trust of the American people is essential for the Federal Reserve to effectively carry out our important mission, Chair [Jerome] Powell late last week directed Board staff to take a fresh and comprehensive look at the ethics rules around permissible financial holdings and activities by senior Fed officials," a Fed spokesperson said Thursday.

Read More ->

MassMutual Fined for Failing to Oversee GameStop Trader Keith Gill, Others

A Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. subsidiary agreed to pay a $4 million fine to settle an inquiry from Massachusetts securities regulators into the social-media and trading activity of its employees, including well-known GameStop Corp. investor Keith Gill.

Mr. Gill, known as "Roaring Kitty" on YouTube and "DeepF-ingValue" on Reddit, became an Internet folk hero in January, thanks to his prescient bets on GameStop stock. For months leading up to the GameStop trading frenzy in January-during which nonprofessional traders sent the company's shares soaring to a record high-Mr. Gill posted videos and messages discussing why he was putting large sums of money into the stock.

Read More ->

Chinese Astronauts Complete Country's Longest Stay in Space, Landing in Gobi Desert

HONG KONG-A trio of Chinese astronauts landed back on Earth on Friday after three months in space, setting a record for the country's longest stay in orbit as China pursues an ambitious space program.

China has marked a number of milestones in space this year, including sending the first component of its space station into orbit in April and the landing of a rover on Mars in May. The three taikonauts, as astronauts are known in China, have been celebrated as the country's space achievements dovetail with an era of heightened nationalism.

Read More ->

U.S., China Jockey for Position in Pacific With Moves on Security, Trade

China on Thursday moved quickly to counter an effort by the U.S., U.K. and Australia to contain its ambitions in the Pacific, saying it would apply to join a regional economic pact the U.S. had eschewed, as Washington and Beijing maneuvered for economic and military position in the theater that will define their great power competition.

The U.S. has been amassing a network of alliances, including India and Japan. The latest among the three English-speaking allies will be an effort to provide Australia with nuclear submarines to strengthen deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region, White House officials said. Australia scrapped a multibillion-dollar submarine deal with France as a result, prompting Paris to accuse the three of betrayal.

Read More ->

World Bank Cancels Flagship 'Doing Business' Report After Investigation

The World Bank canceled a prominent report rating the business environment of the world's countries after an investigation concluded that senior bank management pressured staff to alter data affecting the ranking of China and other nations.

The leaders implicated include then World Bank Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva, now managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and then World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

Read More ->

GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez Won't Seek Re-Election

WASHINGTON-GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio said Thursday night that he won't run for re-election next year, the first of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump to do so.

Mr. Gonzalez, who will turn 37 this weekend, cited family reasons and the struggle over the direction of the Republican Party in his decision to depart Washington at the end of next year.

Read More ->

Write to sarka.halas@wsj.com

TODAY IN CANADA

Earnings:

Nothing major scheduled

Economic Indicators (ET):

Nothing major scheduled

Stocks to Watch:

TeraGo CFO David Charron Will Step Down

TeraGo Inc. said Thursday Chief Financial Officer David Charron will step down, effective Oct. 29, to "pursue other professional opportunities."

Mr. Charron will continue to serve as a special adviser to the board after he leaves, the company said. He has served as CFO since he joined TeraGo in September 2017.

"During Dave's tenure, he spearheaded the improvement of our balance sheet through a successful equity raise and focused debt reduction efforts, as well as built a strong financial planning and accounting team," Chief Executive Matthew Gerber said in prepared remarks.

The Canadian enterprise wireless network provider said it will soon begin a search for a new finance chief and will name an interim CFO until a replacement for the role has been found.

Other News:

No items published

Market Talk:

No items published

Expected Major Events for Friday

06:00/UK: Aug UK monthly retail sales figures

08:30/UK: Aug Bank of England/Kantar Inflation Attitudes Survey

08:30/UK: 2Q Bank of England statistics on UK banks' external claims

09:00/ITA: Jul Balance of Payments

14:00/US: Sep University of Michigan Survey of Consumers - preliminary

14:00/US: Aug State Employment and Unemployment

All times in GMT. Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.

Expected Earnings for Friday

ASA Gold & Precious Metals Ltd (ASA) is expected to report for 2Q.

Amerityre Corp (AMTY) is expected to report for 4Q.

Coffee Holding Co (JVA) is expected to report $0.06 for 3Q.

Great Elm Group Inc (GEG) is expected to report for 4Q.

PFSweb (PFSW) is expected to report $0.01 for 2Q.

Progressive Corp (PGR) is expected to report.

U.S. Gold Corp (USAU) is expected to report for 1Q.

Value Line (VALU) is expected to report for 1Q.

Wall Financial (WFC.T) is expected to report for 2Q.

Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.

ANALYST RATINGS ACTIONS

American Express Raised to Neutral From Underperform by B of A Securities

Avis Budget Group Raised to Buy From Neutral by B of A Securities

Beyond Meat Cut to Underweight From Neutral by Piper Sandler

Cisco Systems Raised to Outperform From Neutral by Credit Suisse

Dana Raised to Buy From Neutral by B of A Securities

DoorDash Raised to Buy From Neutral by B of A Securities

Fisker Cut to Neutral From Buy by B of A Securities

Las Vegas Sands Cut to Neutral From Overweight by JP Morgan

Lordstown Motors Cut to Underperform From Neutral by B of A Securities

Visteon Cut to Underperform From Neutral by B of A Securities

Wynn Resorts Cut to Neutral From Overweight by JP Morgan

This article is a text version of a Wall Street Journal newsletter published earlier today.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

09-17-21 0603ET

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