Morning Brief

Apple earnings pressure stocks ahead of Fed decision

Key Points


Apple's outsized influence on markets is in evidence this morning, after delivering weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue late Tuesday. Nasdaq futures were particularly weak, with shares of Apple (AAPL) off about 7 percent in the premarket. (CNBC)

Earnings this morning from Dow components Boeing (BA) and United Technologies (UTX), and the release of the Fed's post-meeting policy statement this afternoon are also drivers in the market. No interest rate change is seen this time around. (CNBC)

U.S. oil prices were sharply higher this morning, hitting new highs for the year, after an advance of more than 3 percent Tuesday, bringing total gains for the month to nearly 15 percent. Industry data showed a drawdown in stockpiles last week. The government releases its inventory report at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton won four out of five of Tuesday's primaries. In her victory speech, she looked ahead to the general election and moved to embrace the supporters of rival Bernie Sanders. (NBC News)

After sweeping all five state presidential primaries by large margins, Republican Donald Trump said he considers himself the "presumptive nominee." Tuesday's wins make it harder for rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich to limit Trump's roll. (CNBC)

Trump plans to deliver a rare policy speech today, aimed at calming some Republicans' fears about his ability to deal with global crises. (WSJ-subscription)

Investors wonder if after-the-bell earnings from Facebook (FB) might prove to be a tech bright spot, after Apple's first-ever drop in iPhone sales resulted in disappointing results. Apple also increased its dividend by 10 percent and raised its capital return program by $50 billion. (CNBC)

Apple strengthened its hold on the high-end smartphone market in mainland China in the March quarter, according to a new report, just a day after the tech giant's broader Chinese sales numbers for the period sent investors into a tailspin. (CNBC)

Twitter (TWTR) fell short of estimates on revenue and warned on outlook. The stock was 13 percent lower in premarket trading. Twitter did beat estimates with earnings. CEO Jack Dorsey told CNBC he's focused on the importance of the platform's live content. (CNBC)

Chipotle (CMG) reported its first quarterly loss in history, as same-same store sales plummeted almost 30 percent on food safety concerns. The restaurant chain's loss was smaller than expected. But that did little to help the stock in the premarket. (CNBC)

DreamWorks Animation (DWA) is said to be in talks to be acquired by Comcast (CMCSA) for more than $3 billion. Comcast, parent of CNBC, would combine DreamWorks with its Universal Pictures division. DreamWorks shares were up more than 20 percent in the premarket. (NY Times)

Comcast earned an adjusted 84 cents per share for the first quarter, 5 cents above estimates, with revenue also beating forecasts. Comcast saw growth across virtually all its business segments, and its biggest first quarter jump in TV customers in nine years. (CNBC)

AT&T (T) came in 3 cents ahead of estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 72 cents per share, with revenue essentially in line. AT&T's results were helped by its purchase of DirecTV. But AT&T 382,000 internet and TV service customers during the quarter. (AP)

The outgoing CEO of embattled drugmaker Valeant (VRX) lawmakers today that he was "too aggressive" and made mistakes in drastically hiking prices for several critical medicines, according to testimony provided to The Associated Press.

A spring storm system that battered parts of the Plains, Midwest and Texas with reported tornadoes, baseball-sized hail and high winds was forecast to expand into the Mississippi Valley and South today. (NBC News)


Ahead of the Fed's 2 p.m. ET decision, the government releases March trade deficit data at 8:30 a.m. ET, and the National Association of Realtors issues March figures on pending home sales at 10 a.m. ET.

A small gain in bond yields had a big effect on mortgage applications, with total volume decreasing 4.1 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refis dropped 5 percent.


EBay (EBAY) earned an adjusted 47 cents per share, 2 cents above estimates. The online retailer also saw revenue come in above, marking a quarterly rise in sales was its first in five quarters.

Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) came in 4 cents shy of estimates with quarterly profit of $1.73 per share. Revenue and full-year guidance was short of estimates. Same-store sales dropped.

Panera Bread (PNRA) reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.56 per share, 6 cents above estimates, with revenue also above forecasts. The restaurant chain also raised its guidance for the year.

Barclays (BCS) said pre-tax profit dropped 25 percent in the first quarter, but highlighted "good progress" in concentrating on its core business, where the pre-tax figure was up 18 percent.

H&R Block (HRB) is cutting 250 jobs as part of a cost-cutting effort, following a tax season which saw its customer volumes fall. That drop coincides with Intuit (INTU), the maker of TurboTax software, raising its guidance for revenue related to consumer tax preparation.

Edwards Lifesciences (EW) raised its 2016 sales and profit forecast, after its quarterly results beat estimates. The medical device maker also said it may get FDA approval for its new heart valve implant sooner than expected.


The FBI does not plan to tell Apple how the agency cracked the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists, leaving the company in the dark on a security vulnerability on some models. (WSJ-subscription)

Wells Fargo (WFC), predicting the traditional password will be gone in five years, plans to roll out biometric security technology for its corporate customers by July. (WSJ-subscription)