×

Dovish Yellen sparks global stock rally

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were strongly higher this morning, after the Dow and S&P 500 closed Tuesday at new highs for the year on Fed Chair Janet Yellen's move dovish tone. Her speech yesterday came just days after several Fed officials advocated hiking interest rates. (CNBC)

Stocks in Europe and China were also sharply higher today. The lone exception to the world rally was in Japan, where a stronger yen in the wake of the Yellen comments helped push stocks lower. (CNBC)

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans appears on CNBC's "Squawk Box" at 8:30 a.m. ET. Evans also addresses the Forecasters Club of New York at at 1 p.m. ET. He's viewed as one of the more dovish members of the central bank.

Oil prices, off 2.8 percent Tuesday, were rebounding this morning, supported by a smaller-than-expected increase in crude stockpiles last week, according to industry data. The government releases its weekly oil inventory report at 10:30 a.m. ET. (Reuters)


GOP front-runner Donald Trump has abandoned a pledge to support a Republican party presidential nominee other than himself, a sign of increasing friction with chief rival Ted Cruz. Trump also said he could do without Cruz's support if he were to get the nomination. (Reuters)

Florida police have charged Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski with simple assault in connection with an incident earlier in the month involving a reporter. Trump called Lewandowski a "decent man" on Twitter, saying the surveillance video shows "nothing there." (CNBC)

Despite suspending his campaign, Marco Rubio is attempting to keep every delegate he won while running for the GOP's presidential nomination. The unusual move reflects preparations for a contested convention this summer. (NBC News)

Conservatives bent on crippling the power of public employee unions lost their best opportunity in years Tuesday, when the Supreme Court deadlocked over a challenge to the fees those unions collect from non-members. (USA Today)

Boeing (BA) plans to cut more than 4,500 jobs as part of an ongoing effort to reduce the cost of producing jetliners. Boeing expects 2,400 of those worker cuts to occur through attrition, with the rest through voluntary layoffs. (Reuters)

United Continental (UAL) pilots are planning to picket the headquarters of shareholders PAR Capital Management and Altimeter Capital. The two hedge funds are trying to overhaul the airline's board of directors. (CNBC)

Lockheed Martin (LMT) has landed its first contract for the hybrid airship it created inside its top secret Skunk Works division. The helium-filled airships will be able to carry 20 tons of cargo to remote places without roads. (CNBC)

General Electric (GE) is selling its hotel real estate financing business to Western Alliance Bank, continuing the sale of GE Capital businesses, announced last year, to focus on industrial assets. Separately, State Street (STT) has agreed to buy GE Asset Management. (CNBC)

Taiwan's Foxconn, a major Apple (AAPL) supplier, has agreed to buy Sharp at a big discount to its original offer after a month of wrangling that sowed further doubts over whether the two companies can work well together. (Reuters)

Israel-based Cellebrite was the firm that provided the tool which enabled the FBI to unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists. Meanwhile, the FBI has declined to discuss the "technical aspects" used to crack the device. (CNBC)

Apple signed an agreement with Major League Baseball to provide all teams with iPad Pro tablets for their coaching staffs, as teams move to make better use of data. (WSJ)

Spotify has raised $1 billion in convertible debt from private equity firm TPG Capital and hedge fund Dragoneer Investment Group. Meanwhile, Soundcloud is entering the crowded paid music streaming space, competing with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music. (Reuters & AP)

Instagram users can now post videos of up to a minute in length, up from the previous 15 seconds, as the Facebook-owned social photo service looks to lure advertisers away from platforms such as Snapchat and YouTube. (CNBC)

Microsoft (MSFT) hopes to make a splash today, when shipping begins for its $3,000 HoloLens augmented reality glasses. Microsoft launches the product as Build 2016 kicks off in San Francisco. (USA Today)

Amazon (AMZN) said customer orders for home services like plumbing and mounting TVs increased 20 percent per month on average since the online retailer launched the platform last year. (Reuters)

Spring was expected to move across the central U.S. like a lion today, with more than 18 million people potentially facing severe weather, such as blizzard conditions, high winds, flash flooding, large hail, and tornadoes. (NBC News)

BY THE NUMBERS

The ADP's monthly report on private sector payrolls could be key in determining whether the current bullish attitude holds up after the Wall Street open. The 8:15 a.m. ET report is expected to show U.S. companies added 200,000 in March, compared to 214,000 in February. The government's monthly employment report is out on Friday.

Spring home-buying season has kicked into full gear, but it wasn't enough to boost mortgage applications, which fell by 1 percent last week. That was largely due to a drop in refis, which slipped 3 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.


STOCKS TO WATCH

Lululemon (LULU) today reported earnings and revenue that beat expectations. Same-store sales were up 5 percent. The apparel apparel maker sees full year profit of $2.05 to $2.15 per share, compared to estimates of $2.15 per share.

Restoration Hardware (RH) said earnings slightly missed the preliminary numbers reported in late February, while revenue matched. The high end furniture retailer warned on 2016 guidance, blaming shipping problems and extra costs debuting a new furniture line.

Fast-food chain Sonic (SONC) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue.

Verint Systems (VRNT) reported earnings and revenues that were well below estimates. The software maker is also forecasting flat results for the current year, due in part to weakness in its security intelligence business.

Dave & Buster's (PLAY) beat estimates with earnings and revenue. The arcade and restaurant chain also gave an upbeat 2016 outlook, but said same-restaurant sales would grow at a slower pace than last year.

WATERCOOLER

A Florida woman has filed for bankruptcy after losing a large chunk of a $1 million lottery jackpot to her boyfriend who sued her for failing to share. A jury decided the couple had a valid but unwritten contract to split any winnings. (AP)