×

Stocks poised for 1st weekly loss in 6 weeks

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were lower this morning, with the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq on track for their first weekly losses in the past six weeks. The U.S. stock market will be closed tomorrow for the Good Friday holiday, but the government still plans to release its final revision of fourth quarter GDP. (CNBC)

Oil prices were under pressure this morning, heading for their biggest weekly slide in two months, dented by record-high crude stockpiles in the U.S., and a stronger dollar. (Reuters)

The slump in oil that makes gasoline cheaper is unlikely to boost the world economy until rates start to rise, by which time crude may have recovered somewhat anyway, according to the IMF. (CNBC)

Chinese stocks were lower overnight, with the Shanghai composite down 1.6 percent. Meanwhile, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Beijing has enough policy tools to ensure a stable economic performance. (CNBC & Reuters)

Authorities believe the two Belgian-born suicide bomber brothers — one who died in Tuesday's Brussels airport blast, the other who died in the city metro station explosion — were accomplices to the November Paris attacks. Meanwhile, the suspected Paris bombmaker is believed to be one of the suicide bombers killed in Tuesday's Brussels airport attack. (AP)

Salah Abdeslam, arrested last week in Belgium's capital as a primary suspect in last year's Paris attacks, is set to appear in court today. The extradition hearing was rescheduled after Tuesday's Brussels attacks. (USA Today)

The effectiveness of Belgium's intelligence was thrown further into doubt, on news Turkey had arrested and deported one of the Brussels bombers, and Belgium may have ignored a warning about the risk he posed. (CNBC)

GOP front-runner Donald Trump told British TV he thinks the U.K. will vote to leave the European Union in June because of concerns about "the craziness that is going on with the migration, with people pouring in all over the place." (CNBC)

Republicans desperate to stop Trump are increasing pressure John Kasich to quit the race, with former candidate Jeb Bush joining the growing number of party figures throwing their weight behind Cruz. (NY Times)

Trump escalated his Twitter war with Ted Cruz, retweeting last night an unflattering photo of rival Ted Cruz's wife, Heidi Cruz, next to a more flattering picture of his wife, Melania Trump. (Twitter)

Starboard Value wants to remove the entire board of Yahoo (YHOO). The activist hedge fund is expected to nominate nine directors to the board. The troubled web portal currently has nine board members, including CEO Marissa Mayer. (WSJ)

The Apple Pay mobile payment service will be integrated with Apple's (AAPL) Safari web browser later this year. Separately, preorders opened today for the newly unveiled 4-inch iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro. (Re/code & The Verge)

The troubles at Valeant (VRX) claimed another casualty, as investing legend Robert Goldfarb stepped down Sequoia, a mutual fund with a big stake in the drugmaker. (WSJ)

Sen. Chuck Grassley said the takeover of seed giant Syngenta (SYT) by ChemChina could pose risks for the security of America's food supply. The USDA has previously voiced concern over the deal for Syngenta.

Terex stock was higher in the premarket, after the industrial equipment maker announced it would move forward in merger negotiations with Chinese competitor Zoomlion. (AP)

Yum Brands (YUM), owner of KFC and Pizza Hut, is in talks with PE firms including KKR (KKR) and Hopu to sell a minority stake in its China operations as it prepares to spin off the once booming unit. (Reuters)

BY THE NUMBERS

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard speaks ahead of the market open, at 8:15 a.m., ET, in New York City. In an interview Wednesday, he was the latest Fed official to suggest policymakers could raise interest rates as early as April.

Two key reports are be out at 8:30 a.m. ET ahead of the shortened week's final trading day: weekly jobless claims and February durable goods orders. The Energy Department releases its weekly look at natural gas inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Accenture (ACN), Finish Line (FINL), and Winnebago (WGO) are among the companies issuing earnings this morning, while GameStop (GME) leads the short list of firms releasing quarterly results after this afternoon's closing bell.

PVH Corporation (PVH) beat forecasts on earnings and slightly exceed estimates on revenue. The retailer behind brands including Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen warned on full-year results.

KB Home (KBH) beat expectations on quarterly earnings and revenue. The homebuilder issued an upbeat full-year forecast, thanks to what it calls a healthy order backlog.

H.B. Fuller (FUL) beat estimates on earnings but missed on revenue. The specialty chemicals maker was helped by strong results in its engineering adhesives unit.

STOCKS TO WATCH

The FTC's tactics to try to prevent the Staples (SPLS)-Office Depot (ODP) merger have come under criticism. A federal judge said the FTC pressured an Amazon (AMZN) executive for testimony. FTC denies any improprieties.

A federal judge granted class action status to a lawsuit against Barrick Gold (ABX), which accuses the mining giant of misstating facts about a discontinued project on the border Argentina and Chile.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) must include a climate change resolution on its annual shareholder proxy, following a ruling from the SEC. The oil giant had claimed it already provided sufficient disclosure on carbon emissions.

WATERCOOLER

The South Region kicks off 2016 Sweet 16 March Madness action, with No. 2 seed Villanova facing No. 3 Miami tonight. The nightcap in the West features No. 1 Oregon versus No. 4 Duke. (NBC Sports)