Morning Brief

Weak oil slams US stock futures

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were sharply lower this morning, following Monday's modest decline on Wall Street as West Texas Intermediate crude dropped nearly 3 percent on concerns producers would not agree to freeze production. Oil was fairly stable this morning. (CNBC)

European stocks were plunging this morning, after euro zone economic data indicated little signs of improvement. Asian markets were mostly lower, with Japan's Nikkei off 2.4 percent on the stronger yen but China's Shanghai composite up nearly 1.5 percent. (CNBC)

The U.S. central bank has to be proactive and aggressive to get inflation up to the Fed's target rate, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said in Hong Kong today. He's pushing for only two rate hikes this year. (Reuters)

The world economy continues to recover but it's still at a delicate stage, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned. "Let me be clear: We are on alert, not alarm." The IMF releases its latest set of forecasts next week. (CNBC)

Shares of Dublin-based Allergan (AGN), which has agreed to be bought by American drugmaker Pfizer (PFE) in the biggest inversion deal ever, slumped 20 percent in premarket trading, after the Treasury Department late Monday issued new moves to limit such deals. (Reuters)

Walt Disney's (DIS) Chief Operating Officer Thomas Staggs will step down, effective May 6. Sources told CNBC that Staggs is leaving the company because he didn't receive assurances from the board that he would succeed CEO Bob Iger.

Intel (INTC) said two of its most prominent executives have decided to leave the company, the latest sign of turmoil at the chip giant following a recent management change and continued failure to penetrate the mobile-device market. (WSJ)

Tesla Motors (TSLA) said it didn't meet its first quarter sales goals, pointing to a parts shortage that impacted production of its Model X sport utility vehicle. Tesla promised not to make the same mistake with its upcoming Model 3. (CNBC)

Credit Suisse (CS) and HSBC (HSBC), two of the world's largest wealth managers, dismissed suggestions they were actively using offshore structures to help clients cheat on their taxes. Their comments follow the leak of the so-called 'Panama Papers.' (Reuters)

The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the nation's largest public pension fund with $290 billion in assets, could put money back into tobacco stocks after exiting the sector more than five years ago. (CNBC)

Pimco has stepped up a legal war of words with its co-founder and former CIO officer Bill Gross, saying he could have been fired for abusing his colleagues in the months leading up to his abrupt resignation in 2014. (FT)

Republican Ted Cruz was angling for victory in today's Wisconsin presidential primary. If the Texas senator were to win all of the state's 42 delegates, front-runner Donald Trump would need to win 57 percent of those remaining to clinch the nomination before the convention. (AP)

In last-minute campaigning in Milwaukee Monday, Melania Trump joined her husband, Donald Trump, on the campaign trail, pushing back against claims he's sexist or speaks too harshly about women. (NBC News)

As Paul Ryan's home state of Wisconsin goes to the polls, the House speaker, whose name is repeatedly floated as a last-minute GOP presidential nominee, was in Israel on a congressional trip. But he was still asked about the race. (NBC News)


Investors get March services sector data, with the ISM nonmanufacturing survey at 10 a.m. ET and the Markit Services PMI at 9:45 a.m. ET. International trade numbers for February are out at 8:30 a.m. ET, while February JOLTS, the job openings and labor turnover survey, is released at 10 a.m ET.

Darden Restaurants (DRI) reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.21 per share, 2 cents above estimates, with revenue also above forecasts. The Olive Garden parent's same-restaurant sales rose 6.2 percent during the quarter.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) beat forecasts by 3 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.31 per share. Revenue missed estimates. The drugstore chain operator said it is making progress in cutting costs and implementing other efficiencies.


A federal judge has granted final approval to BP's (BP) civil settlement over its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill after the company reached a deal in July 2015 to pay up to $18.7 billion in penalties to the U.S. government and five states.

United Continental (UAL) has reached a tentative five-year labor deal with 30,000 members of its machinists union. Workers will get a roughly 30 percent pay raise over the length of the contract, plus other benefits.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) is cutting the sales force for the female sexual dysfunction drug, Addyi, as well as some dermatology products, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

Sprint (S) has struck a deal with Amazon (AMZN), allowing Sprint customers to add Amazon Prime month-to-month for an extra $10.99 per month. On a yearly basis, the annual $99 fee for Prime is a better deal.


For the first time in 31 years, the Villanova Wildcats are national champions after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels, thanks to a buzzer-beating three-pointer. Villanova canceled classes Tuesday to celebrate. (NBC Sports)