-Good news for the U.K.: Amid all the Brexit gloom, there were a couple of pieces of good news for the U.K. this morning. In the three months through May, the unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent, its lowest level since 2005. While this data predates the Brexit referendum, there was survey data from the Bank of England’s Agents’ summary of business conditions (similar to the Fed’s Beige Book) which showed that while uncertainty rose «markedly» there was no evidence of a sharp slowing in the economy. The pound rose following the unemployment data, and was trading at $1.3192 at 6:00 a.m. ET.
-Pimco gets a new CEO: Pacific Investment Management Co. has named Emmanuel «Manny» Roman as its next chief executive officer. Roman has been CEO of Man Group Plc, since February 2013 and previously worked at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. He is set to take over the CEO role at Pimco on November 1, replacing Douglas Hodge, who has overseen the asset management company during recent turbulence following the acrimonious departure of Bill Gross to Janus Capital Group Inc. Man Group has named Luke Ellis, currently a president at the firm, as Roman’s replacement.
-Markets gaining: The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1 percent overnight, with the MSCI Hong Kong Index closing 1.1 percent higher, pushing gains since the January low to more than 20 percent, the normal definition of a bull market. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was up 0.9 percent at 6:05 a.m. ET, with Volkswagen AG surging more than 6 percent after saying first-half earnings exceeded estimates. S&P 500 futures were 0.5 percent higher.
-Turkey purge widens: The purge led by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following Friday’s failed coup continues to widen, with, at last count, nearly 60,000 people detained, fired or dismissed. Investors are also divided on what to do next, with BlackRock Inc. saying there is a short-term buying opportunity while Wells Fargo and Credit Suisse Group AG say the risks are too great. Aberdeen Asset Management Plc and Deutsche Bank AG are in wait-and-see mode. The Turkish lira is rebounding somewhat this morning after trading within 1 percent of an all-time low overnight.
-Trump gets the nod: At yesterday’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Donald Trump was formally nominated as the party’s 2016 presidential candidate. Trump, who is trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in most polls, now needs to widen his appeal to independent voters if he is to succeed in his run for the White House.
-Record run: The Dow Jones industrial average has been climbing for the last eight consecutive trading days. The index is now sitting at its highest level ever following its longest winning streak in years. And investors are still buying. U.S. stock futures are edging up right now and European markets are rising a bit. Trading in Asia was muted and mixed.
-Earnings: Halliburton (HAL), Morgan Stanley (MS) and Tupperware (TUP) are reporting earnings ahead of the open. American Express (AXP), eBay (EBAY), IMAX (IMAX), Mattel (MAT), Intel (INTC, Tech30) and Del Taco (TACO) will report after the close.
– Market movers — Microsoft, miners and Nintendo: Shares in Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) are set to surge at the open after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results showing its big bet on cloud computing is paying off. Sales from Microsoft’s cloud division hit $6.7 billion in the most recent quarter, 7% up from a year earlier. Shares in global miners are sinking in London, with Anglo American (AAUKF) leading the way down with a 6% drop. This comes as Anglo and other miners release quarterly production updates. Nintendo (NTDOY) stock took a sharp drop Wednesday — down nearly 13%. Shares had risen by more than 120% since July 6 after the success of the company’s Pokemon Go game.
-Close shave: The maker of Axe Body Spray and Dove soap is adding a new brand to its arsenal. Unilever (UL) has agreed to buy Dollar Shave Club. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, Fortune reported Unilever is paying $1 billion in cash for the company, citing sources.
-Crude reality: The U.S. Energy Information Administration will issue its weekly crude inventory update at 10:30 a.m. ET. This report can move oil markets if inventories are higher or lower than expected.
-GOP watch: Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Newt Gingrich and vice presidential nominee Mike Pence are slated to speak Wednesday at the Republican convention, after Donald Trump was formally adopted as presidential candidate on Tuesday. But markets are still waiting for the man himself. «His big speech is not until Thursday so markets are unlikely to pay too much attention to the convention before then,» noted Paul Donovan, a global economist at UBS.