IN THE NEWS TODAY
U.S. stock futures were higher this morning. But if gains hold at the open on Wall street, they would only make a partial dent in recent losses. Meanwhile, Dow stock Merck (MRK) and Alibaba (BABA) lead a busy morning of earnings reports. (CNBC)
U.S. oil prices were surging about 2 percent this morning, as a huge wildfire in Canada disrupted oil sands production, while escalating fighting in Libya threatened output. Crude eked out a small gain Wednesday, snapping a three session losing streak. (Reuters)
Facing a prospective tab of more than $1 billion to finance a general-election run for the White House, Donald Trump has reversed course, saying he would actively raise money to compete with Hillary Clinton's fundraising juggernaut. (WSJ-subscription)
The Rolling Stones are asking Trump to stop playing their songs at his campaign events. The rock band said they have not given permission to the Trump campaign to use their songs and "have requested that they cease all use immediately." (AP)
With Trump close to clinching the GOP presidential nomination, China is urging Americans to be "rational and objective" in viewing the relationship between the two countries. Trump has been critical of China in the campaign, proposing stiff tariffs. (CNBC)
Bond guru Jeff Gundlach is predicting Trump — the presumptive GOP nominee now that John Kasich and Ted Cruz bowed out — will win the White House. Trump will have a very large deficit while in Office, the DoubleLine CEO said from the Sohn Investment Conference. (CNBC)
Legendary billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller told Sohn attendees to get out of the stock market and buy gold. He cites as reasons the Fed's easy money policies and the slowing Chinese economy. "[Gold] remains our largest currency allocation," he added. (CNBC)
Hedge fund billionaire David Einhorn, head of Greenlight Capital, said at Sohn he's short Caterpillar (CAT) and long General Motors (GM), as the former faces a decline in some of its core businesses and the latter tightens its belt and faces a stronger future. (CNBC)
Chamath Palihapitiya, founder and CEO of Social Capital, said at Sohn Amazon (AMZN) will be worth $3 trillion in 10 years, and its retail business unit won't be the biggest factor in driving the shares to that eye-popping value. (CNBC)
Palihapitiya, a former Facebook (FB) executive, joins CNBC's "Squawk Box" for one hour, starting at 8 a.m. ET, to talk about a range of tech trends from Apple (AAPL) to Twitter (TWTR) to what else he's investing in now.
Apple plans to take its latest trademark dispute over the iPhone name in China to the mainland's highest court. Apple recently lost its appeal in a lower court, which ruled in favor of Xintong Tiandi Technology (Beijing). (South China Morning Post)
Tesla (TSLA) reported a slightly narrower loss than expected, while revenue matched forecasts. Tesla also accelerated production targets, now aiming to deliver 500,000 vehicles annually by 2018. The stock was 4 percent higher in premarket trading. (CNBC)
Yahoo (YHOO) lost a 15-year partnership with AT&T (T), which awarded its Web and mobile portal hosting contract to Synacor (SYNC), a small market cap stock that's soaring nearly 150 percent in premarket trading. (Seeking Alpha)
Tribune Publishing (TPUB) said its board unanimously rejected Gannett's (GCI) unsolicited $815 million takeover offer, and will proceed instead with a strategic plan to revive its print business and tap growth in digital content. (Reuters)
BY THE NUMBERS
Ahead of the government's release tomorrow morning of the April employment report, investors get a look at weekly jobless claims figures. Economists expect first-time filings for unemployment benefits to have risen to 260,000 last week.
There will be two Fed-related interviews CNBC today: San Francisco Fed President John Williams at 1:40 p.m. ET and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart at 3:05 p.m. ET.
The after-the-bell earnings list this afternoon features Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Herbalife (HLF), News Corp. (NWSA), Motorola Solutions (MSI), Wynn Resorts (WYNN), and Yelp (YELP), among others.
Verizon (VZ) is holding its annual shareholder meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as nearly 40,000 of its workers are on strike, asking for protections against outsourcing and other concessions.
STOCKS TO WATCH
Whole Foods Market (WFM) beat estimates by 3 cents with quarterly profit of 44 cents per share, though revenue came in marginally below forecasts. The organic grocery chain did cut its full-year profit and sales forecast, amid increasing competition and promotional activity.
Fitbit (FIT) came in 7 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly earnings of 10 cents per share, while the maker of wearable fitness devices also saw revenue beat forecasts. However, its current quarter forecast was weaker than expected.
Zynga (ZNGA) broke even on an adjusted basis for its latest quarter, compared to forecasts of 1 cent per share loss. The online game maker saw revenue beat estimates on increased ad sales, although its customer base did decline.
TripAdvisor (TRIP) earned an adjusted 32 cents per share for its latest quarter, 14 cents below estimates, and its revenue also missed. The travel website did see more hotel bookings on its website, but that impacted revenue from referrals to other travel sites.
21st Century Fox (FOXA) matched estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 47 cents per share, and the media company's revenue beat forecasts. Fox's results were helped by a rise in ad sales and affiliate fees.
MetLife (MET) missed estimates by 18 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.20 per share, while the insurer's revenue fell short of Street estimates as well. MetLife saw lower returns on its various investments as well as higher expenses.
Kraft Heinz (KHC) reported quarterly profit of 73 cents per share, 11 cents above estimates, while the food maker's revenue also came in above forecasts. The company saw costs fall during the quarter, as well as seeing increased sales for its condiment and sauce products.
Weight Watchers (WTW) lost a penny per share less than expected at 17 cents per share, although revenue was below forecasts. The weight management company did raise its full year forecast on a boost in subscriber numbers as well as meeting attendance.
Facebook has paid a $10,000 reward to a 10-year-old for finding a glitch in its picture sharing app Instagram. The Finnish boy is the youngest ever recipient of the social network's "bug bounty," paid to users who find issues in its platforms. (NBC News)
It's Cinco de Mayo today, and for many Americans, that means enjoying Mexican food—and probably a few margaritas. But Cinco de Mayo, which translates to May 5, is probably one of the most misunderstood Mexican holidays. (USA Today)