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Wall Street looks to halt the stock sell-off

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were faring pretty well this morning, after the Dow's biggest one-day drop in more than two months. Ahead of the last trading session of the month today, the Dow was still up nearly 1 percent for April and so was the S&P 500. But the Nasdaq was down 1.3 percent for April, due to the recent downdraft in tech stocks. (CNBC)

The dire prognostication from Carl Icahn about a "day of reckoning" in the financial markets should not be taken as gospel, said fellow billionaire investor Warren Buffett, ahead of Saturday's annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders in Omaha, Nebraska. (CNBC)

Other market milestones that could influence investors today include an 18-month high for the Japanese yen and 2016 highs for U.S. oil prices. Crude gained another 1.5 percent Thursday, on track to post gains of about 20 percent for April. Meanwhile, Dow stocks Chevron (CVX) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) report earnings this morning. (Reuters)

China's central bank guided the yuan higher at the sharpest pace since 2005 on Friday in a move analysts attributed to the dollar's weakness against major currencies. (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) shares were soaring more than 12 percent in premarket trading, pushing the paper wealth of CEO Jeff Bezos up about $6 billion, after the e-commerce giant blew past estimates on first-quarter earnings and revenue on the strength of both its retail operation and its newer cloud services business. (CNBC)

Digital entertainment guide provider Rovi (ROVI) said today it plans to buy Tivo (TIVO), which makes digital-video recorders, in a deal valued at about $1.1 billion. The combined company will be called Tivo. (CNBC)

Struggling Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) issued its delayed annual report today. Valeant bond holders Centerbridge Partners had previously revealed its intention to call a default because of the delay. (CNBC)

Quest Diagnostics (DGX) won emergency FDA authorization to sell the first commercially developed test for the Zika virus in the United States. Previously, the only Zika blood tests that had Emergency Use Authorization were available from the CDC. (Reuters)

Diagnostic test maker Alere (ALR) turned down a request by Abbott Labs (ABT) to end Abbot's planned $5.8 billion takeover deal in exchange for a breakup fee. Abbott's request followed its $25 billion deal to buy St. Jude Medical (STJ), which was unveiled Thursday morning. (Reuters)

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) is offering to sell more assets in order to win European Union approval for its $100 billion deal to buy rival beer brewer SABMiller. Anheuser-Busch recently entered into a number of agreements to sell a variety of assets. (NY Times)

Caterpillar (CAT) plans to close five plants and cut about 820 jobs, as the heavy equipment giant responds to falling demand. The cutbacks are part of the major restructuring that the company has been talking about for several quarters now. (MarketWatch)

Financially strapped Atlantic City could miss a $1.8 million bond payment due Sunday, a step that would make it the first New Jersey municipality to default on debt since the Great Depression. (WSJ-subscription)

Twenty people were arrested outside a Donald Trump rally in California last night, amid the worst violence since last month's cancellation of a campaign stop in Chicago. Hundreds of protesters blocked traffic surrounding the rally south of Los Angeles. (NBC News)

As Donald Trump moves closer to clinching the Republican presidential nomination, he offered lavish praise for Bernie Sanders, who faces increasingly slim chances in his battle with Hillary Clinton in the Democratic race. (Reuters)

BY THE NUMBERS

The Friday economic calendar is jampacked, including the Fed's preferred inflation measure, the PCE deflator, at 8:30 a.m. ET along with personal income and spending data; the Chicago purchasing managers index for April at 9:45 a.m. ET; and the University of Michigan's final April consumer sentiment index at 10 a.m. ET.

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, speaking in London today, pledged to push for gradual increases in interest rates, as long as inflation continues to rise and the U.S. economy remains near full employment.

The euro zone showed a mixed picture of economic health today, with solid growth and falling unemployment, but consumer prices yet again dipping into deflation territory.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Amgen (AMGN) came in 30 cents above estimates, earning an adjusted $2.90 per share, with revenue also above expectations. The biotech giant also raised its 2016 outlook, as best-selling drugs like its rheumatoid arthritis treatment Enbrel continue to sell well.

Gilead Sciences (GILD) fell 12 cents short of expectations with quarterly earnings of an adjusted $3.03 per share, and its revenue missing forecasts as well. Pricing pressure in the hepatitis C market was among the factors weighing on Gilead's results.

LinkedIn (LNKD) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 74 cents per share, 14 cents above estimates, with revenue also soaring past forecasts. The business social network boosted full-year outlook, in contrast to the disappointing guidance in February, which cut the stock nearly in half.

Pandora Media (P) lost a smaller-than-expected 20 cents per share on an adjusted basis, smaller than the 31 cent loss expected by analysts. The online radio service also gave a better than expected full year revenue forecast based on rising ad sales.

Baidu (BIDU) saw both its quarterly earnings and revenue fall below analyst expectations, but the China-based search engine gave a better than expected revenue forecast for the current quarter, as advertisers spend more money to be seen in Baidu searches.

Outerwall (OUTR) reported adjusted quarterly profit of $2.44 per share, well above estimates of $1.33, with revenue also well above expectations. The company also raised full-year guidance, with results from its Coinstar unit making up for declines in movie rentals at Outerwall's Redbox.

Expedia (EXPE) gave investors a surprise with adjusted quarterly profit of 9 cents per share. Forecasts had expected the travel services website operator to post a loss of 6 cents per share, but bookings for hotels were better than expected.


WATERCOOLER

Leicester City Football Club, a 5,000-to-one long-shot, is on the verge of winning one of the most coveted titles in the world of soccer: the English Premier League. Powerhouse Chelsea, who won last year, were ninth in the table ahead of the weekend. (CNBC)

One of the most bizarre stories in NFL Draft history was unfolding in real time last night, as former Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil's social media accounts were turning his evening into a nightmare and costing him millions of dollars. (NBC Sports)