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Dow futures rally as bank earnings kick off

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, swept up in a global market rally on upbeat China export data. The Dow on Tuesday had its best gain in a month and oil surged nearly 4.5 percent. (CNBC)

But U.S. oil prices were sharply lower this morning on concerns Sunday's meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC producers on a possible output freeze could fail to result in an agreement. (Reuters)

Ahead of the gathering in Qatar, Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi ruled out a production cut. Meanwhile, the U.S. government releases its weekly oil and gasoline inventories report at 10:30 a.m. ET. (Reuters)

The oil market should get a boost this summer from the "driving season," the OPEC said today, but world oil demand would nonetheless be weaker than expected in 2016. (CNBC)

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) leads this week's bank earnings, reporting today profit and revenue that were better than expectations. Costs to cover possible bad loans to troubled shale oil companies increased. (CNBC)

U.S. regulators are expected to reject the so-called "living wills" of at least half of the nation's systemically important banks. An announcement from the Fed and FDIC could come as early as this week. (WSJ)

Nearly 40,000 Verizon (VZ) landline workers went on strike this morning, after saying there has not been much progress in negotiations for a new contract. The old contract expired almost eight months ago. (CNBC)

Valeant (VRX) repeated it's on track to file its annual report by April 29, after major bondholder Centerbridge Partners sent a notice of default, because of the drugmaker's failure to file by the original deadline. (CNBC)

Peabody Energy (BTU) filed for bankruptcy protection today, in the wake of a sharp fall in coal prices that's left the company unable to service a recent debt-fueled expansion into Australia. (Reuters)

CSX (CSX) late Tuesday matched on earnings but fell short of forecasts on revenue, as coal shipments fell 31 percent compared to a year earlier. The railroad operator warned last month. (AP)

BuzzFeed missed its revenue target for 2015 and cut its internal projections for 2016 by about half, raising questions about whether the online news and entertainment network can meet sky-high expectations. (FT)

Amazon (AMZN) is getting ready to introduce a new Kindle reader. What appear to be leaked images depict a squarish device meant to be read with one hand. A rechargeable battery supposedly has 20 months of standby time. (The Verge)

Google Calendar is celebrating its 10th birthday with a new feature called Goals. The scheduling service has users set personal goals, and then automatically finds time every week to accomplish them. (The Verge)

Facebook (FB) chief Mark Zuckerberg gave an impassioned opening speech at the F8 developer conference, lambasting GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump without mentioning him by name. (The Verge)

House Speaker Paul Ryan will not be the Republican Party's presidential candidate, as he made clear again Tuesday when he ruled out the possibility of accepting the nomination at the GOP convention in July. (NBC News)

Deutsche Bank (DB) has frozen plans to expand in North Carolina after the state passed a law that overturned protections for gay people, in the latest fight between business and conservative legislatures over social issues. (FT)

U.S. lawmakers have approved a bill to provide financial incentives to companies developing treatments for the Zika virus, and the White House said President Barack Obama was expected to sign the legislation. (Reuters)

Sean Parker, creator of Napster, is donating $250 million to fight cancer. The 36-year-old Silicon Valley billionaire announced the creation of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. (CNBC)

BY THE NUMBERS

After a sleepy beginning to the week, today's economic calendar is packed, starting with March retail sales and March producer prices at 8:30 a.m. ET. Business inventories for February are released at 10 a.m. ET. The Fed's Beige Book, a region by region assessment of the economy, is out at 2 p.m. ET.

Near record low mortgage rates may be pushing more homebuyers into this spring's housing market. Total home loan application volume jumped 10 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.


STOCKS TO WATCH

Wal-Mart (WMT) expanded its free curbside grocery pickup service to eight new cities this month, bringing the total to 30 cities and about 200 stores. Wal-Mart also plans future expansion.

JetBlue (JBLU) reported a 12.1 percent March increase in revenue passenger miles versus a year earlier, though its load factor declined 0.4 percentage points to 86.8 percent.

PulteGroup (PHM) board member James Grosfeld has resigned effective immediately, after joining the home builder's founder Bill Pulte in calling for Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Dugas to step down.

McCormick & Co. (MKC) dropped its takeover bid for British food company Premier Foods. The spice maker had bid $2.1 billion for Premier, but said it was not willing to raise that offer.

Following an SEC filing by a group of investors offering to buy Integrated Device Technology (IDTI), the chipmaker said it's unaware of any information that would support the idea that the bid is bona fide.

WATERCOOLER

The original "Star Wars" trilogy returns to the big screen this summer for one night only. Alamo Drafthouse Theaters in select cities plan to show the movies back to back. Tickets go on sale May 4. (EW.com)

The NBA season is coming to a close and so is the 20-year career of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. The five-time NBA champ plays his final game tonight against the Utah Jazz. (USA Today)