What to watch today: Wall Street set for mixed open after strong late-day bounce

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a mixed open Tuesday. An incredible late-session turnaround in tech stocks Monday, led by Apple (AAPL) helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average cut a nearly 1,000 point decline almost in half and nearly lifted the Nasdaq into positive territory. The S&P 500 also clawed back a large portion of Monday's steep losses by the close. (CNBC)

Apple, a Dow component and a major influence on the broader market, fell as much as 3.5% during Monday's session. It flipped the script as the day wore on and closed up 3%. However, Apple's 16% decline since its record close on Sept. 2 to Monday's close has been indicative of the rough month for Wall Street. However, the Nasdaq, Dow and S&P 500 were higher in the third quarter to date. (CNBC)

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in prepared testimony for Tuesday's House Financial Services Committee hearing, pledged continued support for an economy that he said has shown substantial improvement since the depths of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown but still needs more work. Powell also appears at hearings on Wednesday and Thursday. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

As the coronavirus surge in Europe intensifies, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Tuesday a tightening of mitigation efforts but stopped short of reimposing a full lockdown. Just weeks after urging people to start returning to their offices, Johnson is now advising them to work from home if they can. (CNBC)

Total coronavirus deaths in the U.S. were nearing 200,000 on Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. New cases on Monday exceeded 52,000, the highest daily total since Aug. 14. President Donald Trump's coronavirus vaccine czar told CNBC on Monday the U.S. could immunize Americans "most susceptible" to Covid-19 by December. (CNBC)

* Lowe's rolls out contactless pickup lockers to fulfill online orders (CNBC)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk actually tempered expectations ahead of Tuesday's "Battery Day," tweeting that improvements unveiled at the event would not reach "serious high-volume production" until 2022. Analyst were expected Musk, often criticized for over-promising and under-delivering, to unveil plans for Tesla to produce its own battery cell. (CNBC)

Embattled electric truck company Nikola shares were falling another 2% in the premarket after closing 19% lower Monday after the abrupt departure of founder Trevor Milton following a highly critical short-seller report. While forfeiting as much as $166 million of equity as well as a two-year, $20 million consulting contract, Milton is still walking away with over $3.1 billion in stock. (CNBC)

* Nikola taps outside supplier to provide batteries in contrast with earlier company statements (WSJ)

A contractor who worked as a moderator for Google's YouTube through 2019 alleges the company and its third-party vendors failed to support employees tasked with viewing violent content. The plaintiff, referred to as Jane Doe, said she had to view mass murders, abortions, and bestiality among other violent videos. (CNBC)

Coca-Cola (KO) aims to release its first hard seltzer in the U.S. in the first half of 2021, according to CEO James Quincey. The excursion into the fast-growing category is a noteworthy pivot for the beverage giant, which hasn't had a presence in the market since the early 1980s, when it sold off its wine business. (CNBC)

Most voters in six 2020 election swing states said Trump should not be able to pick a Supreme Court nominee if he loses in November, according to a CNBC/Change Research poll. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death has left a seat on the top U.S. court vacant a month and a half before the 2020 presidential election, and Republicans are moving quickly to fill her seat. (CNBC)

The annual meeting of world leaders at the United Nations begins Tuesday and features a prerecorded address from Trump.  In a statement submitted Monday to the U.N., Chinese President Xi Jinping took a swipe at the U.S., saying "no country has the right to dominate global affairs" or try to "bully or boss of the world." (Reuters)

* Beijing unlikely to approve Oracle, Walmart's TikTok deal (Global Times)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Bernstein upgraded Amazon (AMZN) to "outperform" from "market perform," saying a 16% drop in the stock over the past few weeks has created an attractive entry point. Bernstein highlights Amazon's growth prospects, noting a 50% increase this year in fulfillment capacity.

Goldman Sachs upgraded online auto retailers Vroom (VRM) and Carvana (CVNA) to "buy" from "neutral," noting a "long runway for growth" in the auto sales category as well as a belief that both stocks have over-corrected. Those stock surged in the premarket.

AutoZone (AZO) reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $30.93 per share, beating estimates. Revenue was also above forecasts, with comparable sales more than doubling estimates with an increase of 21.8%. AutoZone said market conditions remain uncertain heading into the new fiscal year.

Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management has taken a 0.4% stake in Comcast (CMCSA), parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. The hedge fund said it had recently begun conversations with Comcast management, but it's unclear what Trian is focused on other than the idea that Comcast shares are undervalued.

Walmart (WMT)  is partnering with Goldman Sachs (GS) to provide lines of credit to third-party merchants who sell their products on Walmart.com.

Hertz (HTZ) is considering proposals from two creditor groups for bankruptcy loans of $1-$1.5 billion, according to a Bloomberg report.

GameStop (GME) shareholder RC Ventures disclosed that it had held recent discussions with the videogame retailer's management and that it had raised its stake in the company to 9.98% from the prior 9.6%. The company said it was willing under certain circumstances to become more involved in company operations.

Intel (INTC) received a U.S. license to continue supplying certain products to China's Huawei Technologies. A Sept. 15 ban prevents U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei unless granted permission from the U.S. government.

WATERCOOLER

NBA legend Michael Jordan is trying his hand at another sport, starting up a NASCAR team with Bubba Wallace as the driver. Jordan announced Monday that he's joinin with three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin to form a team that will compete in the NASCAR Cup Series starting next season. (USA Today)

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