Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Wall Street stock futures are opening lower with continued jitters in media and energy stocks after dispiriting news from earnings season and from the crude oil market this week. The dollar is flat against the euro, while crude futures are still below $45 a barrel
Today’s must-read story is from Fortune‘s Peter Elkind and it looks at a 2005 letter (exclusively obtained by Fortune) to Steve Jobs from Chrisann Brennan, Jobs’ ex-girlfriend and the mother of his oldest daughter. In the letter, Brennan asked the late Apple CEO for $25 million to “acknowledge” and compensate her for raising their daughter.
Here’s what else you need to know today.
1. Trump defends his lead
Donald Trump was the clear winner in last night’s televised debate between the 10 leading presidential hopefuls for the Republican Party, according to snap polls. Trump stuck to his abrasive, tell-it-like-it-is message, forcing his opponents to engage on his terms rather than trying to shift to a more ‘residential’ tone.
2. July employment report
Investors have been waiting in rapt anticipation of today’s U.S. Labor Department report on the July employment situation, as the Federal Reserve has said it will be watching the report (along with other data) for evidence of sustained economic recovery before the central bank implements its long-awaited interest rate hike sometime this year. Economists expect the government to report that the U.S. added 223,000 jobs last month, which would match the gain from June while leaving the unemployment rate untouched at 5.3%.
3. Buffett’s Q2 results
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) reports second-quarter financial results today and the billionaire investor’s holding company isn’t likely to see profits harmed at its insurance business businesses, thanks to a lack of major catastrophes in the most recent quarter. Investors will also be watching to see if Berkshire’s lackluster railroad business, BNSF, can continue to improve its revenue growth after seeing a 3% revenue gain in the first quarter.
4. Cable struggles continue?
The consumer shift toward online video content and away from the traditional cable television package has continued to hurt cable providers this earnings season. Investors will be interested to find out how Cablevision Systems (CVC) has fared and whether the company has any plans to mitigate future damage. The cable provider’s second-quarter revenue is expected to fall short of Wall Street’s forecasts as the company’s subscriber base continues to shrink.
5. Hershey hopes for sweet news
Ending on a sweet note, the chocolate manufacturer behind Hershey’s Kisses and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups also reports second-quarter results today. Hershey (HSY) cut its full-year revenue forecast again earlier this summer, and also announced a round of layoffs, as sales continue to shrink in the increasingly health-conscious U.S. and the company’s efforts to boost sales in China have faltered amid that country’s sluggish economic growth.
— Reuters contributed to this report.