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The Power Brief

Ibrahem Alomari | Reuters

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

STOCKS/ECONOMY

-Futures are now only mildly down after taking a big initial step lower after the oil news came out of Qatar, (see below). Morgan Stanley reported better than expected earnings this morning and we get the NAHB housing index numbers a bit later.

-The earnings news so far is showing very weak sales across the country. The economy keeps showing signs of significant slowing.

OIL/ENERGY

-Crude prices are down about 3% and straddling the $38-$39/barrel level after no production cut agreement was reached in Qatar this weekend. But crude prices were much worse when the news first hit yesterday, and the rebound so far this morning has been interesting.

It's possible oil is not bleeding so badly because a major strike in Kuwait is taking quite a bit of supply off the market.

-Gasoline prices rose overnight to $2.11/gallon, national average. That's 14 cents/gallon higher than a month ago today but still 33 cents/gallon lower than a year ago today.

QUAKES

-The death toll from Ecuador's big quake this weekend is now at 246.

-Toyota shares are sharply lower after two big earthquakes in Japan have disrupted the supply chain.

HEALTHCARE

-UnitedHealth reports earnings today. Investors and political types alike will be looking for any more evidence that the company will or won't make good on its threat to leave the Obamacare exchanges. UnitedHealth lost $700 million on those exchanges last year.

YAHOO BIDDING

-Time Inc has reportedly dropped out of the bidding for Yahoo's core businesses, leaving Verizon with the inside track.

WINDOWS WORRY

-The Dept. of Homeland Security is telling Windows 10 users to uninstall QuickTime now that two new cyber hacking bugs have been found.

ELECTION

-Ted Cruz won all 14 GOP delegates in Wyoming over the weekend.

-A massive crowd of 28,000 came out for Bernie Sanders in Brooklyn yesterday. But he still trails Hillary Clinton pretty solidly in all the NY primary polls.

-The very high unfavorable ratings in the polls for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton continue to rise.

DEFENSE

-There's been another Russian jet buzzing incident. This time on a US reconnaissance aircraft over the Baltic Sea.

DRONE FEARS

-A British Airways passenger jet with 132 on board hit a drone while landing in London yesterday.