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Power Lunch Morning Brief

Salman bin Abdulaziz, deputy prime minister and crown prince of Saudi Arabia, right, speaks with Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, seated left, during a plenary session at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Brisbane, Australia.
Rob Griffith/Pool via Bloomberg
Salman bin Abdulaziz, deputy prime minister and crown prince of Saudi Arabia, right, speaks with Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, seated left, during a plenary session at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Brisbane, Australia.

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

STOCKS/ECONOMY

-Stock futures are a bit higher thanks to a reversal in the direction of oil prices to flat from more solidly down.

OIL/ENERGY

-Crude prices are flat, with WTI at the $36/barrel level.

-Gasoline prices are starting to level off, holding at $2.05/gallon national average.

-RBC Capital thinks oil will rally to $50/barrel.

MASSIVE TAX SCANDAL

-A German newspaper says it's obtained documents from a Panamanian law firm that show many current and former world political leaders and/or their extended families set up shell companies to allegedly evade taxes. Names include Vladimir Putin, King Salman, and even the family of David Cameron.

-Here's a good quick summary of this "Panama Papers" story.

DEALS/NO DEALS

-Alaska Air is going to buy Virgin America airlines for $57/share, or about $2 billion.

-Time Inc. is considering partnering with a private equity firm on a bid for Yahoo's core Internet assets.

-Staples is offering to freeze prices in order to get approval for its deal to buy Office Depot.

ELECTION

-A new CNBC survey shows Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are dead even among voters on the issue of the economy.

-Economists are trying to throw cold water on Donald Trump's big prediction this weekend of a massive recession on the way.

-Trump is still trailing in the polls in Wisconsin despite the fact that the state has been hit harder than most by foreign trade deals.

-Sen. Bernie Sanders is seeing no slowdown in his fundraising totals and reach. He raised $44 million in March.

-Gov. John Kasich is predicting an open GOP convention.

MOVING AMERICA

-Tesla says Model 3 reservations now top 276,000. The big question now is can the company raise the money it will need to meet those orders.

-An Amtrak train derailed outside Philadelphia early yesterday, killing two people.

GREECE FEARS

-IMF Chief Christine Lagarde is having to calm the Greeks down after a leaked phone conversation transcript showed IMF officials trying to pressure German PM Angela Merkel to cut back on loans to Athens.

TERROR/DEFENSE

-A blue ribbon panel set up by the VA is recommending putting all of the VA's current and future patients into private healthcare and simply turning the VA into a payer, like Medicare. Opponents of this plan accuse the panel of a conflict of interest.

-Despite a recall, US Special Ops soldiers are still using faulty rifle sites.