Morning Brief

US stocks seek to break two-day losing streak

Key Points


Futures are pointing to a higher open on Wall Street, following two straight days of losses for the major averages.

A strong rebound in the price of crude oil and upbeat China services sector data are helping to boost global sentiment in most markets this morning, though Japan's Nikkei Average is now riding a seven-day losing streak.

Sen. Bernie Sanders edged out Hillary Clinton in the Wisconsin Democratic primary, taking 46 delegates to Clinton's 36. The candidates will debate on April 14 in New York ahead of that state's contest. (NBC News)

Sen. Ted Cruz bested Donald Trump in Wisconsin's Republican contest. Trump's margin of error in his bid to lock down 1,237 delegates ahead of the GOP convention narrowed after Cruz took at least 33 of Wisconsin's 42 delegates. (NBC News)

Ford (F) came under fresh scrutiny from Donald Trump after the automaker made official the long-anticipated expansion of an assembly plant in Mexico. Trump called the transaction "an absolute disgrace." (CNBC)

Mexico will replace two of its top officials responsible for U.S. relations, citing increased anti-Mexican rhetoric north of its border. The move came one day after Trump said he would block money transfers to Mexico in order to force the country to pay for a border wall. (Reuters/CNBC)

Pfizer (PFE) and Allergan (AGN) agreed to mutually terminate their merger after changes in U.S. tax regulations dealt a death blow to the $160 billion deal. (CNBC)

The merger of Baker Hughes (BHI) and Halliburton (HAL) is also in question. The U.S. Justice Department may sue to halt the marriage of the No. 2 and No. 3 oilfield services firms, a source familiar with the agency's thinking said Tuesday. (Reuters)

Glencore will sell a 40-percent stake in its agricultural business to Canada's largest pension fund in a deal worth $2.5 billion. The transaction comes as the commodities giant aims to reduce its $26 billion debt load. (WSJ)

Panama-based law firm detailing how the rich manage their money in offshore accounts were not leaked. Director Ramon Fonseca told Reuters the so-called "Panama Papers" were obtained from his firm by a hacker. (Reuters)

Iceland's prime minister became the first casualty of the "Panama Papers." Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson offered to step down after leaked documents detailed his wife's offshore account and revealed a potential conflict of interest that may have enriched the couple. (Reuters)

Facebook's (FB) instant messaging service Whatsapp announced Tuesday it will deploy end-to-end encryption for all private and group chats on its popular platform. The move comes in the wake of Apple's (AAPL) encryption battle with the FBI. (CNBC)

The FBI's legal counsel said Tuesday the agency was putting information found on the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers to use, but would not say whether it was "useful." A third party cracked the phone's security after Apple fought a court order to assist the FBI. (NYT)


The government has no economic reports on the calendar today, but investors are firmly focused on the 2 p.m. ET release of the FOMC minutes. They'll be looking for more clues about future interest rate hikes from the minutes of the most recent meeting of policy makers on March 16.

The Mortgage Bankers Association will release its weekly report on mortgage applications at 7 a.m. ET, while the Energy Department is out with its Wednesday look at oil and gasoline inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET. The inventory report will get extra attention with crude supplies hovering near record levels.

Chemical maker Monsanto (MON) and spirits producer Constellation Brands (STZ) are out with quarterly earnings this morning, while retailer Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) will be out with its numbers after today's closing bell.


Wynn Resorts (WYNN) released preliminary quarterly results showing a further slowdown in its already slumping Macau operations, while results in the Las Vegas market were relatively flat for the casino operator.

Cree (CREE) preannounced quarterly results which are well below its prior guidance as well as the Street's consensus estimates. Cree, which specializes in LED offerings, points to lower commercial orders in its Lighting Products business. (AMZN) will release a new Kindle e-reader with a rechargeable protective case, according to multiple sources.

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) will spend $500 million to revamp its Argentina plant, where it is planning to produce a new model starting next year. Most of the cars produced at the plant will be exported out of the country.

The FDA approved a "biosimilar" to Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) rheumatoid arthritis treatment Remicade. The new drug comes from South Korean drugmaker Celltrion, in partnership with Pfizer (PFE).


The University of Connecticut women's basketball team routed Syracuse to clinch an unprecedented four straight national championship titles. (USA Today)

A company called RoboGolfPro aims to help golfers swing like the game's best, though customers will have to shell out $150,000 for the robotic training tool — and find a space for the 750-pound behemoth. (CNBC)