Movers & Shakers: Aug. 15, 2019

Walmart propels stocks higher, as China headlines roll in. The world's largest retailer reported strong second-quarter results Thursday, bolstered by strength in its U.S. business, online sales and groceries. The report propelled U.S. stock futures into positive territory, which overnight saw a steep decline after China said it was preparing to retaliate for the U.S. planning to hit $300 billion worth of Chinese goods with a 10 percent tariff. The renewed trade tensions come one day after the U.S. yield curve inverted for the first time since 2007, sparking fears of a looming recession. The events caused investors to seek safety in long-dated U.S. debt, pushing the 30-year yield below 2 percent Thursday for the first time.

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It's a bloodbath at Macy's. Macy's on Wednesday announced disappointing results and cut its outlook for the rest of the year. With a plethora of earnings coming from the retail space over the next week, former Toys R Us CEO Gerald Storch told "Varney & Co." he thinks there is "more of the same" coming for other department stores.

Warren Buffett has a hearty appetite for Amazon. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway last quarter increased its Amazon stake by 11 percent to 537,300 shares, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Berkshire's investment was worth about $947 million through Wednesday.

Jeffrey Epstein's possible cause of death leaked. An autopsy conducted following Epstein's death revealed several broken bones in his neck, including the hyoid bone, which can occur as a result of hanging, but is more commonly caused by strangulation, the Washington Post reports. Epstein's official cause of death has not yet been announced.

The U.S. women's national team is going to court over its fight for equal pay. The women filed a gender discrimination suit against the U.S. Soccer Federation in 2017, saying their collective bargaining agreement is unfair compared to the men's team, and a recent audit revealed they bring in more revenue than their male counterparts. “It is clear that U.S.S.F., including its board of directors and President Carlos Cordeiro, fully intend to continue to compensate women players less than men. They will not succeed,” Molly Levinson, the spokesperson for the team said Wednesday. The team won its second straight FIFA Women's World Cup trophy in July.