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Pre-Market Primer: Apple Inc. Downgraded After Product Show; Fed to Rule on Commodity Trading Curbs


Many prominent economists are putting their confidence in Yellen for Fed Chair.

Stock futures were little changed today after six straight days of gains as the US pauses its push for attacks on Syria.

Last night, President Obama made his case for taking action in Syria in a televised address. He asked Congress to delay a vote on military strikes while the US, Russia, and Syria try to find a diplomatic solution, such as Syria handing over its chemical weapons to the international community.

Asian and European indices were mostly higher today, and US index futures are slightly lower. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were flat at 15,173 while futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) fell 0.10% to 1,680.80. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures sank 0.40% to 3,170.00.

On today's economic calendar, we have US wholesale trade, which measures the value of sales and inventories held by wholesalers, coming out at 10 a.m. Economists expect the indicator to register a 0.3% rise in July after falling 0.2% in June.

Verizon (NYSE:VZ) reported that it received orders for $90 billion in corporate debt. The company initially planned to raise only $20 billion to fund its purchase of Vodafone's (NYSE:VOD) stake in Verizon Wireless. Even at $20 billion, this is the largest-ever offering of corporate debt.

After officially debuting two new iPhone handsets, including a cheaper one aimed at emerging markets customers, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) finally snagged a license to sell its phones to China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) customers. Apple shares declined yesterday after the company announced that the long-awaited "cheap" iPhone will still be priced out of reach of most Chinese customers. Both Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) lowered Apple to neutral after yesterday's product unveiling.

The Federal Reserve is expected to rule soon on new limits on banks' involvement in physical commodities. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) has come under particular scrutiny for its use of metals warehouses, which some companies blame for shipping delays.

A number of prominent economists, including Jeffrey Sachs, Joseph Stiglitz, Christina Romer, and Robert Shiller have signed a letter to President Obama urging him to nominate Janet Yellen as the next chairperson of the Federal Reserve. The other hopeful for the seat is Larry Summers.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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