Morning Brief

Retail sales, earnings hold key on Wall Street

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were lower this morning, which could push the Nasdaq to a fourth consecutive losing week and the Dow and S&P 500 to a third straight week of losses. Wall Street was mixed on Thursday, with the Nasdaq taking the brunt due to Apple's decline. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) remains under pressure in the premarket this morning, after falling 2.4 percent lower Thursday to close at $90.32 per share. That's the lowest level since June 2014 and below the key technical and psychological level of $92. (CNBC)

Apple's stock market value again fell below that of Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL). Apple's value was $494.8 billion, while Alphabet's was $494.9 billion. Apple stock was down 14 percent this year, while Alphabet was off 6.4 percent in 2016. (CNBC)

Apple is putting $1 billion into Didi Chuxing, Uber's chief rail-hailing rival in China. CEO Tim Cook said the investment would help the U.S. tech giant better understand the Chinese market. Apple recently has come under pressure from regulators there. (CNBC)

J.C. Penney (JCP) continues the string of retail earnings this morning, after a number of disappointments including Nordstrom's (JWN) miss on quarterly profit and revenue. Nordstrom also cut its full-year outlook. The stock was off 17 percent in the premarket. (CNBC)

Oil prices were lower this morning, as a stronger dollar pressured markets. Russia also warned a global crude supply overhang could last into next year. But U.S. crude gained 1 percent Thursday, and was on track to log its sixth positive week in the past seven.

Speculator bets on higher Brent prices reached record highs in April, OPEC said in a report on today, but the oil cartel warned that fundamentally, oversupply still persisted in the market. (CNBC)

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Donald Trump, claims Amazon (AMZN) has "a huge antitrust problem." Trump also accuses Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, of using the paper to influence Congress to not tax Amazon appropriately. (Reuters)

Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg has launched an investigation into claims the social network suppressed pro-conservative stories and forced other stories into the social media site's influential "trending topics" list. (CNBC)

Alibaba (BABA) and SoftBank today announced plans to form a joint venture to launch cloud computing services in Japan, underlining the Chinese e-commerce giant's global ambitions in the space. The venture will be a 60-40 split between Softbank and Alibaba. (CNBC)

Honda (HMC) posted a surprise fourth quarter loss, due to costs related to recalls of airbag inflators made by Japan's Takata Corporation. Honda lost nearly $860 million for the quarter. Honda forecast a 13.2 percent rise in net profit for the current year. (Reuters)

Israel-based Mobileye (MBLY) struck agreements with two unnamed automakers to provide self-driving car systems in 2019. Mobileye is considered a market leader, given its current share in the market for components needed to enable self-driving features. (WSJ)

The Obama administration is stepping up the fight over bathroom equality. The federal government will tell public schools across the country today they should allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. (NBC News)

Investor Mark Cuban said Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton should pick a VP like himself. Cuban, a Trump supporter, said the fellow billionaire is "that guy who'll walk into the bar and say anything to get laid." (The Hill)

The Secret Service said it would investigate Trump's longtime butler over Facebook posts laced with vulgarities and epithets calling for President Barack Obama to be killed. The Trump campaign said it "totally and completely" disavows the statements. (NY Times)


This Friday the 13th marks the busiest day of what's otherwise been a rather weak for economic numbers, beginning with the release of April retail sales and the April producer price index at 8:30 a.m. ET. The University of Michigan's mid-May consumer sentiment index and the government's March business inventories are both out at 10 a.m. ET.

Jeffrey Gundlach, CEO of DoubleLine Capital, said the Fed will finding it challenging to raise interest rates again this year. Fed officials seem to disagree about the timing and number of rate hikes in 2016, he said on an investor webcast.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said she "would not completely rule out the use of negative interest rates in some future very adverse scenario," in a letter to a congressman this week.


Dillard's (DDS) posted a quarterly profit of $2.17 per share. That was 35 cents below estimates, with revenue also registering a slight miss. Dillard's posted a 5 percent drop in same store sales, more than twice what analysts had been predicting.

Nvidia (NVDA) beat estimates by a penny with quarterly profit of 33 cents per share. Revenue was also above expectations. The graphics chipmaker's profit was up by 46 percent from a year earlier, on increasing demand from videogame players willing to pay for better performance.

Shake Shack (SHAK) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 8 cents per share, 3 cents above estimates. Revenue also beat. Same store sales jumped 9.9 percent, way outpacing estimates. Shake Shack also raised full-year revenue and sales growth.


For a limited time, McDonald's (MCD) is cooking its Quarter Pounders with fresh beef, but only in 14 locations around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. McD's usually flash freezes its burgers. The chain's San Francisco test of garlic fries sold out earlier this week. (CNBC)