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Hopes of tax reform from the White House supports stocks

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin gave Thursday's rally an afternoon boost after saying the White House is close to bringing forward "major tax reform." (CNBC)

The Nasdaq was coming off a record closing high and on track for its biggest weekly advance since the first week of 2017. The S&P 500 was poised for its best weekly gain in more than two months. (CNBC)

Dow stock General Electric (GE) reported earnings and revenue that beat expectations. Honeywell (HON), Schlumberger (SLB), and SunTrust Banks (STI) also issues quarterly results this morning. (CNBC)

Visa (V), another Dow stock, reported earnings and revenue late Thursday that exceeded estimates. The credit card giant also announced a new $5 billion share repurchase program. (CNBC)

The National Association of Realtors is out with its April report on existing home sales. Forecasts call for a 2.0 percent increase to an annual rate of 5.59 million units following a 3.7 percent February decline.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari speaks at 9:30 a.m. ET. Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer speaks to CNBC at around 11 a.m. ET from the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank meetings in Washington.

IN THE NEWS TODAY

An attack in central Paris that killed a police officer and wounded two others could bolster far-right candidate Marine Le Pen's odds in Sunday's first round of France's presidential election. ISIS claimed responsibility for Thursday's shooting. (CNBC)

German police have arrested a market 'speculator' suspected of being responsible for an attack on the Borussia Dortmund soccer team. The suspect is accused of trying to gain financially from the bombing. (CNBC)

American prosecutors are reportedly preparing or closely considering charges against the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, including its founder Julian Assange, for revealing sensitive government secrets. (AP)

President Donald Trump is expected to sign multiple financial-related executive actions this afternoon. One of them directs the Treasury to inspect a provision allowing regulators to wind down a failing bank. (CNBC)

The president and his Republican allies in Congress are rushing to avoid a federal government shutdown next week while reviving a failed effort to replace and replace Obamacare. (WSJ)

Sarah Palin, Kid Rock and Ted Nugent spent four hours at the White House on Wednesday, where they dined, took the grand tour and discussed foreign affairs with Trump. (NY Times)

Bill O'Reilly is receiving an exit package of as much as $25 million, equivalent to a year salary, bringing the payouts related to sexual harassment allegations at Fox News to more than $85 million. (NY Times)

Samsung's newest smartphone, the Galaxy S8, hit shelves today, and analysts told CNBC they're impressed by the tech, which initial market reaction appeared to confirm.

Several inventors of Google's machine learning processor are working with venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya on a stealthy chip start-up called Groq. Palihapitiya hinted at the venture last month on CNBC.

Billionaire Elon Musk said his latest company, Neuralink, is working to link the human brain with a computer interface in about four years by creating micron-sized devices. (Reuters)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Mattel (MAT) posted a quarterly loss nearly double the red ink that analysts had expected. The toymaker's revenue were also short of estimates on weak demand for its Fisher-Price line and Barbie dolls.

Clothing retailer Bebe (BEBE) is closing all of its 175 brick-and-mortar stores, according to a Friday SEC filing. Bebe said it's in the process of exploring strategic alternatives.

Sony (SNE) raised its full-year profit forecasts on lower costs at most of its business units. The Japanese electronics giant is scheduled to release results next Friday.

E-Trade Financial (ETFC) beat forecasts on earnings and revenue. The online brokerage also saw its strongest account growth in three years, well on pace to exceed 2018 goals.

Skechers (SKX) reported first quarter profit of 60 cents per share, beating estimates by 6 cents. The footwear maker's first-ever billion dollar sales quarter was also slightly above forecasts.

Chevron (CVX) lost its appeal of a $226 million Australian tax bill. The country claimed the energy giant owed taxes on a loan from an affiliated company.

Wal-Mart (WMT) is escalating an ongoing food price war, according to the Wall Street Journal, with the goal of having its food prices 15 percent lower than its competitors at least 80 percent of the time.

WATERCOOLER

With the value of vineyard land on the rise, dealmaking should be a big trend in the wine industry this year, experts told CNBC. Case in point, a Napa Valley "cult darling" fetched an estimated $50 million.