Morning Brief

Earnings, ECB, oil key drivers on Wall Street

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were searching for direction this morning, after the Dow and S&P 500 closed at 2016 highs again. They're both on pace for a third positive week in a row. Stocks in Europe and Asia were mixed today. (CNBC)

Oil was relatively steady this morning, as the IEA said 2016 would see the biggest fall in non-OPEC production in a generation, helping rebalance a market that has been dogged by oversupply. U.S. crude surged nearly 3.8 percent Wednesday. (Reuters)

Apple is delaying its earnings release a day to Tuesday in order to accommodate a memorial for Silicon Valley's beloved Bill Campbell who played a pivotal role in shaping the direction of both Apple and Google. (CNBC)

Earnings season continues on Wall Street today, with Dow stocks Travelers (TRV) and Verizon (VZ) out this morning, along with General Motors (GM), Southwest Air (LUV) and Under Armour (UA). (CNBC)

Dow stocks Microsoft (MSFT) and Visa (V) lead the after-the-bell list of companies out with quarterly results. Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL) and Starbucks (SBUX) also issue profits this afternoon. (CNBC)

American Express (AXP) late Wednesday reported earnings and revenue that beat estimates, pushing the Dow stock sharply higher in premarket trading. The credit card giant also reaffirmed full-year guidance. (CNBC)

Yum Brands (YUM) also surged in the premarket, after beating expectations on earnings and basically matching forecasts on revenue. The parent of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell also raised its full-year outlook. (CNBC)

Wal-Mart (WMT) by three members to 12 as of its annual shareholders' meeting in June. Jim Walton, the son of founder Sam Walton, is among those departing. He's retiring after 11 years as a director. (AP)

PulteGroup (PHM) founder Bill Pulte escalated his drive to oust CEO Richard Dugas, saying he would vote against the entire board at the home builder's annual meeting unless Dugas resigns immediately. PulteGroup beat estimates on earnings and revenue. (CNBC)

Volkswagen has reached a deal with U.S. authorities to settle the case over its cheating of diesel emissions tests that would involve it paying each affected customer $5,000, according to a German media report. (Reuters)

The decision to bring antitrust proceedings against Google was not politically motivated, Europe's competition chief told CNBC, a day after the tech giant was accused of abusing its dominance in the mobile market with its Android operating system. (CNBC)

Bernie Sanders is grappling with a narrowing path to the nomination after being crushed by Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton in New York. Sanders faces a tough road in this coming Tuesday's primaries in five states. (NY Times)

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, after a big win in New York, is planning to roll out significant changes, including using teleprompters and a speechwriter. He also plans to deliver a foreign policy address. (WSJ-subscription)

President Barack Obama met in Saudi Arabia today with top officials from six Arab nations to discuss regional security issues including the fight against the Islamic State militant group. Obama's overseas trip takes him to Britain next and then Germany. (AP)

One of the world's most famous monarchs, Queen Elizabeth II, is turning 90 today, and when it comes to royal occasions, this family is renowned for its festivities. She's the longest-reigning monarch in British history. (CNBC)

Abolitionist Harriet Tubman is going to replace President Andrew Jackson on the front of the new $20 bill. Meanwhile, founding father Alexander Hamilton will stay on the front of the $10 bill. (NBC News)


Investors focus on the European Central Bank meeting this morning, with an interest rate decision and policy statement out at 7:45 a.m. ET, and a news conference with ECB President Mario Draghi at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The U.S. economic calendar today includes two reports at 8:30 a.m. ET: weekly jobless claims and the April Philadelphia Fed index. The index of leading economic indicators for March is out at 10 a.m. ET.


Electric automaker Tesla Motors (TSLA) has received almost 400,000 preorders for its Model 3 sedan, just weeks after the cheaper vehicle with a starting price of $35,000 was unveiled.

United Continental (UAL) reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.23 per share, 5 cents above estimates, while the airline's revenue was in line with forecasts. Guidance for the current quarter was downbeat, as passenger revenue miles are set to decline up to 8.5 percent on soft bookings.

Las Vegas Sands (LVS) missed estimates by 18 cents with adjusted quarterly earnings of 45 cents per share, and the casino operator's revenue was also below forecasts. The company's results were hurt by weaker Las Vegas results as well as the ongoing downturn in Macau.

Mattel (MAT) lost an adjusted 13 cents per share for its latest quarter, 6 cents wider than estimates, although revenue was above forecasts. The toymaker has been hit by a sales slump in its iconic Barbie line as well as other brands.

Qualcomm (QCOM) came in 8 cents above estimates, reporting an adjusted $1.04 per share profit. Revenue was above estimates, but its current quarter earnings guidance was not. The chipmaker said it would recognize more than $200 million in revenue for the current quarter following the resolution of a patent dispute with LG Electronics.

Citrix Systems (CTXS) trounced forecasts by 26 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.18 per share, and revenue was well above estimates as well. The business software maker also raised its full-year 2016 guidance. The company is benefiting from both cost cuts and improved software sales.

Struggling Japanese electronics giant Sony (SNE) cut its profit estimate by 9.4 percent for the fiscal year that ended in March, as slowing global smartphone sales dented demand for its camera modules.


The Olympic flame was kindled today at the birthplace of the ancient games in Greece, heralding the start of a 15-week journey leading to the Aug. 5 opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. (NBC News)

Curt Schilling, a former All-Star pitcher and one of the highest-profile baseball analysts on ESPN, has been fired from the network, after he drew intense criticism for promoting offensive commentary on social media. (NY Times)

Professional wrestler Chyna, real name Joanie Laurer, was found dead in her Southern California home on Wednesday. She was 45. The WWE icon was billed as the "Ninth Wonder of the World." (NBC News)