STOCK MARKET NEWS: Futures steady, oil declines, Teamsters union backs Amazon workers

Stock futures point to rebound

U.S. equity futures turned positive Wednesday morning despite concerns about higher interest rates ahead.

The major futures indexes suggest a gain of 0.2% when the opening bell rings.

Oil traded turned higher on Wednesday despite COVID-19 curbs in China and further interest rate hikes raising concerns about demand.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures traded around $87.00 a barrel.

Brent crude futures traded around $93.00 a barrel after slipping 3% in the previous session.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which influences interest rates on mortgages and other loans was at 3.31% on Wednesday. 

On the economic docket, the Fed releases the economic summaries from its district banks known as the Beige Book. Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District.

The Commerce Department is out with the U.S. trade balance for July. The monthly deficit in goods and services is expected to narrow sharply to $70.3 billion, the smallest since October. 

Earnings reports today will include Casey’s General Stores, Dave & Buster’s Entertainment and GameStop after the bell.

In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 shed 0.7%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 0.8% and China’s Shanghai Composite was little changed, inching up less than 0.1%.

Shares fell on Wall Street coming into a holiday-shortened week. The S&P 500 fell 0.4%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6% and the Nasdaq lost 0.7%.

Teamsters union launches new division to help Amazon workers

One of the largest labor unions in the United States has launched a new division focused on assisting Amazon employees, amid an evolving effort by workers to unionize.

In a statement, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters called Amazon “one of the world’s most dangerous employers” and said its new arm would work to unite Amazon employees, secure workplace protections in the warehouse and defend workers from “unchecked exploitation.”

“For 120 years, the Teamsters have proudly and ferociously protected transportation, logistics, and delivery workers, and we refuse to allow Amazon to continue to abuse and disrespect the more than one million Americans it employs,” Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien said.

He added: “The Teamsters are best positioned to coordinate and secure guaranteed protections for these workers, and Amazon knows it. Our new division affords a nationwide network of resources to all Amazon workers, behind the wheel of any truck or hard at work in any facility, to strategize with the union, mobilize in their communities, and succeed together.”

Apple expected to announce launch of iPhone 14

EXCLUSIVE: Assurant, an insurance firm that partners with Apple on its trade-in program, is expecting an uptick in volume following the tech giant’s “Far Out” event on Wednesday, where the company is widely expected to announce the iPhone 14. 

Last year, the risk management provider took in approximately 20 million trade-in devices across its three facilities in York, Pennsylvania; Lewisville, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee, including a record 17 million repaired for resale.

“This year, we anticipate, will be roughly in that same ballpark, maybe slightly north of there,” Biju Nair, president of Assurant’s global connected living unit, told FOX Business in an interview. “As soon as the new iPhone launch happens, we will start to get a better sense for what the fourth quarter volumes are going to look like.”

Here’s more on the story: Apple’s iPhone 14 launch may spur uptick in trade-in volumes

Gasoline price slide continues

The average price of a gallon of gasoline slipped on Wednesday to $3.764, according to AAA. Tuesday’s price was $3.779. 

Gas has been on the decline since hitting a high of $5.016 on June 14.

Diesel’s price slipped to $5.050 per gallon.

Oil turns higher despite demand concerns

Oil traded turned higher on Wednesday as COVID-19 curbs in China and further interest rate hikes continued to raise concerns about demand.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures traded around $87.00 a barrel.

Brent crude futures traded around $93.00 a barrel after slipping 3% in the previous session.

Oil pared strong gains made on Monday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and their allies, a group known as OPEC+, decided to cut output by 100,000 barrels per day in October.

Investors are also watching for further interest rate hikes to curb inflation. The European Central Bank is widely expected to lift rates sharply on Thursday. The U.S. Federal Reserve meeting will follow on Sept. 21.

Weekly U.S. inventory reports from the American Petroleum Institute and Energy Information Administration will be released a day later than usual, because of Monday’s holiday.

Cryptocurrency prices for Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin were lower Wednesday morning.

Bitcoin was trading around $18,000, after declining in five of the last six days.

The cryptocurrency is down more than 4% over the last two days. For the week, Bitcoin was trading lower by more than 4%. Bitcoin is down more than 59% year-to-date.

Ethereum was trading around $1,500, trading up more than 2% in the past week.

Dogecoin was trading around 5 cents and is down more than 4% in the past week.

United Airlines may end JFK service without more flights

United Airlines has drawn a line in the sand with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) concerning its flights at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK).

United says if the FAA doesn’t grant the airline additional flights, it will end service at the busiest New York-area airport in October.

United Chief Executive Scott Kirby made the request to the FAA last week, urging an increase in capacity, according to an email to employees seen by Reuters.

“If we are not able to get additional allocations for multiple seasons, we will need to suspend service at JFK, effective at the end of October,” United’s email said.

Read more on the story here: United Airlines may end JFK service without more flights

Elizabeth Holmes asks for new trial following fraud conviction citing new evidence

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is asking for a new trial after being convicted on fraud charges earlier this year, now claiming that a witness for the prosecution came forward expressing regret over how his testimony against her was presented to the jury.

Attorneys for Holmes filed a motion in federal court Tuesday, citing “newly discovered evidence” pertaining to Dr. Adam Rosendorff, a former Theranos lab director and key government witness.

According to the filing, Rosendorff called Holmes and one of her attorneys last month seeking a meeting before driving to the disgraced founder’s home and having a conversation with her partner, William Evans.

Holmes’ attorneys wrote that Rosendorff was “seemed to be in distress and his voice was trembling” when he first approached Evans on Aug. 8, and that the witness “explained that he wanted to speak to Ms. Holmes because it would be ‘healing for both himself and Elizabeth to talk.’”

For more on the story, click here: Elizabeth Holmes asks for new trial, claiming ‘newly discovered evidence’ from witness