Morning Brief

May's strong start may be wiped out on Wall Street

Key Points


After Wall Street kicked off May with its best daily gains in nearly three weeks, U.S. stock futures were under pressure this morning. The surprising decision by Australia's central bank to cut interest rates there to an all-time low touched off the selloff. (CNBC)

Asian stocks were mostly higher today, despite disappointing manufacturing data from China. Australia's shares climbed after the Reserve Bank of Australia rate cut. China's Shanghai composite gained nearly 2 percent. The Japanese market were closed for a holiday. (CNBC)

The Japanese yen was rallying to 18-month highs against the dollar this morning, while the euro was hitting its best level since last August. Meanwhile, the dollar index was trading at January 2015 lows against a basket of major currencies. (Reuters)

Oil was gaining ground this morning, after U.S. crude dropped nearly 2.5 percent Monday on concerns that output may be rising from Mideast producers. Depressed prices have surged 60 percent since the 2016 bottom on Feb. 11. (Reuters)

Gold prices were steady this morning, after hitting their highest level since January 2015 on Monday before some profit-taking. Gold has been enjoying an incredible year, surging 22 percent, while the S&P 500 has been barely positive for 2016. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) shares were under pressure this morning, after logging their eighth consecutive decline Monday, the longest losing streak in nearly 18 years. Meanwhile, CEO Tim Cook was trying to reassure investors about slowing iPhone sales and China.

The pace of corporate earnings kicks up this morning, led by Dow stock Pfizer (PFE). Sprint (S) and Starwood Hotels (HOT) also report before the opening bell. Meanwhile, CBS (CBS) leads the list of companies issuing quarterly numbers after the closing bell this afternoon. (CNBC)

Medical equipment and technology firm Philips (PHG) plans to spin off its lighting division in an IPO. Analysts value the unit, the world's largest maker of lights, at about $5.8 billion. Philips said it would sell at least a 25 percent stake. (CNBC)

Aeropostale (ARO) is set to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week. The teen apparel retailer plans to close 12.5 percent of its stores, more than 100 locations, to deal with increasing losses. Aeropostale is in advanced talks on a loan. (CNBC)

Grocery chain operator Fairway (FWM), which has lost money in every quarter since it went public in 2013, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Fairway operates about 15 stores in the New York City area. (Reuters)

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) to a woman in a case involving the company's talc-powder feminine hygiene products. The woman had sued, claiming the products caused her to develop ovarian cancer. (AP)

The drug company previously headed by Martin Shkreli is being sued for allegedly breaching a contract that let it sell Daraprim, the medication whose price the company marked up 5,000 percent, sparking nationwide criticism. (USA Today)

Almost half of all Americans know someone who has been addicted to prescription painkillers — and most people feel the federal government isn't doing enough to stem a growing epidemic of opioid addiction, a new survey shows. (CNBC)

Following Donald Trump's landslide primary victories last week, his support among Republican and GOP-leaning voters nationally is up 6 points. Ahead of today's contest in Indiana, Trump has a wide lead in the state. (NBC News & RealClear Politics)


The European Commission today cut its 2016 and 2017 growth forecasts for the euro zone economy. The group also said inflation there would remain subdued this year.

U.S. automakers report April sales today, with economists expecting the numbers to show an annual rate of 17.3 million units compared to 16.6 million in March. The economic calendar fills up with the ADP's private payrolls report tomorrow and the the government's jobs data Friday.

About one-third of San Francisco-area residents are considering leaving because of high housing costs and traffic, according to a new survey by the Bay Area Council. People who have lived in the area for five years or less are those most likely to start packing their bags.

While millennials are waiting longer to get married and have children, factors that are the primary drivers of homeownership, the leading edge is now entering the housing market. But Generation Y, as they're also called, is finding it difficult to get a mortgage.


Swiss bank UBS (UBS) reported earnings that matched forecasts, as wealth management attracted strong inflows. But the UBS saw "abnormally low" transaction volumes in the first quarter as clients became more risk averse. The CEO told CNBC the environment to remain challenging.

HSBC (HSBC) reported profit that beat expectations but was down 18 percent from last year's first quarter. Adjusted revenue fell 4 percent. The London-based bank blamed extreme market volatility in January and February for the declines.

AIG (AIG) fell 35 cents short of estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 65 cents per share, on a shortfall in income from both underwriting and investments. The weak results come as the insurer faces higher "too big to fail" capital requirements.

Mylan (MYL) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 76 cents per share, 2 cents above estimates, although the drugmaker's revenue was slightly below forecasts. Sales did increase by 17 percent from a year earlier on improved sales of generic drugs.

Texas Roadhouse (TXRH) reported quarterly profit of 50 cents per share, 4 cents below estimates, although the restaurant chain's revenue matched forecasts as same-restaurant sales rose 4.6 percent. Texas Roadhouse saw profit margins expand from prior levels.


Starting today, Uber riders from China won't have to worry about language barriers or currency when traveling outside of the country. Now, riders will be able to pay for and hail a ride in the Alipay app in the more than 400 cities in which Uber operates. (Re/code)

Scientists have found three planets about the size of Earth that may be able to support life. The planets orbit an "ultracool dwarf," a star much smaller and cooler than the sun, but still possibly warm enough to allow for liquid water on the surfaces of at least two of the planets. (CNBC)

Leicester City Football Club has won one of the most coveted championships in the world of soccer. The 5,000-to-1 shot, which itself tied at the weekend against Manchester United, clinched the English Premier League title when Tottenham drew 2-2 against Chelsea last night. (CNBC)