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Power Lunch Morning Brief

Hrvoje Polan | AFP | Getty Images

A daily morning look at the financial stories you need to know to start the day

STOCKS/ECONOMY

-Stock futures are solidly higher right now after yesterday's see-saw trade that ended with a flat close. Stronger oil prices are fueling much of what looks like a rally to close the week.

-The 10-year treasury yield is back up over 1.9%.

-Working Americans paid a record average of $8,263 apiece in taxes in February. But the federal government still ran a big deficit.

OIL/ENERGY

-Crude oil prices are up more than 2%. Some of that is due to the weaker dollar.

-But the IEA is warning that the worst may not be over for oil.

-Gasoline prices jumped four cents overnight to $1.88/gallon, national average.

-North Dakota is dealing with a sharp economic downturn because of the overall oil decline. Power Lunch will be live in Williston, ND much of the day with reports from Brian Sullivan.

ELECTION

-Last night's GOP debate took a decidedly more civil tone. Perhaps Donald Trump is embracing his front runner status and trying to appear more presidential?

-Ben Carson will endorse Donald Trump today.

FBI vs. APPLE

-The Department of Justice and Apple traded insults yesterday after the DOJ published its response to Apple's formal refusal to unlock the San Bernardino terrorist's iPhone. Apple calls the DOJ "desperate."

TERROR/DEFENSE

-US military experts continue to warn about China's use of artificial islands in the South China Sea to create a military stranglehold on the area.

-The Pentagon wants Lockheed Martin to rush production and delivery of its $2.6 billion, long range, ship-destroying missile program.

-The plan to sell $700 million worth of F-16's to Pakistan has cleared an attempt to kill it in the Senate. But the financing is not yet set.

-Donald Trump and the other GOP candidates at last night's debate all seemed to favor the idea of sending about 30,000 US troops to wipe out ISIS.

CYBER HEIST

-It may be the biggest bank robbery of all time. Hackers got the New York Federal Reserve Bank to transfer $101 million into accounts in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. But a typo in the Sri Lankan request form tripped internal alarms and the money may all be recovered.

RATINGS AGENCIES

-Despite all the hits they took for overvaluing mortgage securities, the three major ratings agencies still control 95% of the market... just like they did before the crisis in 2008.

NOT SO HONEST?

-The Wall Street Journal says Jessica Alba's Honest company is indeed using ingredients in its products that it had promised to ban. Honest has responded, saying the Journal used "junk science" to compile the report.

YAHOO WARS

-Yahoo has added new members to its board in a sign that it's ready to dig in against activist investors. That's because to take control of Yahoo, activists at Starboard will now have to get at least five of their choices onto the board to get a voting majority.