Morning Brief

Wall Street hopes to extend Apple-fueled rally

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were relatively flat this morning, after the Dow surged 175 points Monday, helped by a surge in Apple (AAPL), which has been recently battered. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both broke three-session losing streaks. (CNBC)

Dow stock Home Depot (HD) this morning reported earnings and revenue that beat expectations. The home improvement retailer also increased full-year guidance. Global same-store sales rose 6.5 percent, while U.S. comps increased 7.4 percent. (CNBC)

Oil was steady this morning, after U.S. crude surged nearly 3.3 percent Monday, finishing at $47.72 per barrel, its highest settle since early November. A new bullish call on supply concerns by long-time bear Goldman Sachs continues to provide support. (Reuters)

Apple (AAPL) was higher in premarket trading, after Monday's 3.7 percent rally, as Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) disclosed in filings a new $1 billion stake and CEO Tim Cook toured China. But the stock was still down 10 percent this year. (CNBC)

In other quarterly filings from billionaire investors, Greenlight Capital, run by David Einhorn, added to its positions in Apple, as well as others including Yahoo (YHOO), Macy's (M), Yelp (YELP) and General Motors (GM). (MarketWatch)

Bill Ackman's Pershing Square upped its stake in Restaurant Brands (QSR), the holding company of fast-food brands Burger King and Tim Hortons. The activist investor also increased holdings in Valeant (VRX), which has recently plummeted. (Reuters)

George Soros, who's been warning a 2008-type financial crisis could be repeated due to China's economic slowdown, has disclosed he's doubled his wager against the S&P 500 in the first quarter, while turning upbeat on gold. (Reuters)

But gold bull John Paulson cut his bets on bullion. Paulson & Company reduced its investment in SPDR Gold Trust exchange-traded fund by 17 percent to 4.8 million shares. (Reuters)

LendingClub (LC) received a federal grand jury subpoena last week, after the resignation of founder and CEO Renaud Laplanche. Laplanche's departure followed an internal review of lending and financial practices. LendingClub said it plans to cooperate with the DOJ and the SEC. (CNBC)

Alphabet (GOOGL) is accelerating a push into the ride-sharing business, unveiling a new app that enables commuters to carpool. The test program further frays ties with Uber, which received a $250 million investment by Google Ventures invested in 2013. (WSJ)

Twitter (TWTR) is making a change soon to allow users to jam more content in tweets by excluding links to photos and other media from the 140 character limit, an artifact of the social network's birth as an SMS service when smartphones were still rare. (Recode)

With Bernie Sanders winning three out of the last four Democratic presidential primaries, voters in Kentucky and Oregon go to the polls today. Sanders is expected to win in Oregon, while Hillary Clinton hopes for victory in Kentucky. (USA Today)

Many Republicans inside the Beltway see House Speaker Paul Ryan as the leader of the Republican Party. But according to the latest tracking polls, voters see things differently, choosing presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump over Ryan. (NBC News)

The IMF is said to be pressing euro zone leaders to let Greece skip paying interest or principal on bailout loans until 2040. But euro zone governments, led by Germany, have been reluctant to make such major concessions. (WSJ-subscription)

Saudi Arabia held $116.8 billion in U.S. debt at the end of March, revealing for the first time the holdings of the world's biggest oil exporter. That puts the oil rich nation among the largest foreign nation holders of American debt. (CNBC)

Chinese investment in the U.S. real estate market has surpassed $300 billion and is growing despite China's economic weakness and increased currency controls, a new report shows. But China still only makes up 10 percent of all foreign direct investment. (Reuters)


The government reports April numbers on consumer prices as well as housing starts and building permits at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Fed issues April industrial production and capacity utilization data at 9:15 a.m. ET.

San Francisco Fed President John Williams and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart participate in a panel discussion in Washington at 12:25 p.m. ET. Neither is a voting member on the central bank's policymaking committee this year. Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan, an alternate voting member in 2016, speaks in Midland, Texas at 1:15 p.m. ET.

An effort to conduct an unconventional audit of the Fed is on its way to a potentially important milestone on Capitol Hill this week. Sen. Rand Paul, former GOP presidential candidate, is spearheading the effort, which his father Ron Paul championed.

Only about a quarter of U.S. stocks were owned by people who pay taxes on their gains, down from more than 80 percent in the 1960s, according to new analysis. As a result, any potential changes in the capital gains tax may not fill government coffers as much as many might expect.


Syngenta's (SYT) takeover by ChemChina will reportedly be scrutinized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Reuters reports the USDA is joining the government panel reviewing the planned $43 billion deal in this country.

Office Depot (ODP) is mulling a possible sale of some of its European operations, after its takeover by larger rival Staples (SPLS) was called off last week due to regulatory concerns.

Alaska Air (ALK) and Virgin America (VA) have been asked by the Justice Department for more information about Alaska Air's $2.6 billion acquisition of its rival airline. The two companies say they're cooperating fully with regulators as they move to complete the deal.

Pandora Media (P) is being urged to explore a sale by hedge fund Corvex Management, which has disclosed a 9.9 percent stake in the online music streaming company.


Tiger Woods, promoting his upcoming golf tournament outside Washington, D.C., dumped three balls in the water from 100 yards away. The 40-year-old, sidelined since back surgery, said he still believes he can beat Jack Nicklaus's record 18 major wins. Woods has 14. (Daily News & CNBC)