Morning Brief

US futures under pressure after steep Wall Street losses

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were drifting this morning, following Tuesday's losses of about one percent for the Dow and S&P 500, and 1.25 percent for Nasdaq, which was on the edge of correction territory once again. The S&P and Nasdaq have fallen in four of the past five sessions. (CNBC)

Goldman Sachs (GS) said it's "neutral" on U.S. stocks over the next 12 months, seeing no particular reason to own them. Goldman prefers credit to equities, with valuations less stretched, particularly in the high-yield junk bond segment. (CNBC)

Lowe's (LOW) this morning reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue. Meanwhile, Target (TGT) beat on earnings, missed on revenue, and warned on outlook. Dow component Cisco Systems (CSCO) leads this afternoon's list. (CNBC)

Oil prices were relatively flat this morning. Even with the market rebalancing faster than expected due to several serious outages, analysts said there's enough supply. U.S. crude on Tuesday finished at its highest level since early October. (CNBC)

Hillary Clinton is the apparent winner of Tuesday's Kentucky Democratic presidential primary and Bernie Sanders is the apparent winner in Oregon, NBC News projects. Clinton has moved within 100 delegates of clinching the nomination. (NBC News)

Donald Trump entered into a joint fundraising agreement with the Republican National Committee to allow the presumptive GOP presidential nominee to tap rich donors. The deal ends his ability to claim that he's self-financing his own campaign. (FT)

Trump has filed a new personal financial disclosure form, detailing a net worth of more than $10 billion; but so far no tax returns. Meanwhile, Trump's feud with Fox News host Megyn Kelly seemed to come to a close last night. (Reuters & NBC News)

Microsoft is selling its feature smartphone assets to a subsidiary of Taiwanese firm Foxconn Technology and newly-established firm HMD Global for $350 million. The deal paves the way for Nokia devices return to the market. (CNBC)

As Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook visits India today, there's word the U.S. tech giant is planning to open a center in Bangalore in early 2017 to help support and develop app makers. Apple is looking to the country to stoke future growth for its iPhones and other products. (CNBC)

Following Apple's $1 billion investment in Didi Chuxing last week and Cook's visit this week, the Chinese ride-hailing service's President Jean Lui told CNBC the two companies have not known each other for long but they see countless opportunities for collaboration.

Alibaba (BABA) CEO Jack Ma canceled a speech at an anti-counterfeiting conference after the U.S.-based International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition suspended the Chinese e-commerce giant's membership. Alibaba said it's had success busting fakers. (CNBC)

The CEO of Gap (GPS) told the clothing retailer's annual meeting he would consider Amazon (AMZN) as a possible distributor of the company's products, saying to not consider Amazon as a possible outlet for sales would be "delusional." (Bloomberg)

Competing with Amazon's Echo, Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google unit is expected to introduce a voice-activated home device at its annual developers conference today. Google Home is seen coming to market in the fall. (NY Times)

The U.S. has imposed duties of more than 500 percent on Chinese cold-rolled steel, used to make cars and washing machines, as a backlash escalates against a glut of Chinese steel flooding global markets. (FT)

A bill to let families of those killed in the Sept. 11 attacks sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the terrorist plot passed the Senate unanimously, bringing Congress closer to a showdown with the White House, which has threatened to veto the legislation. (NY Times)

The Obama administration is expected to promote a new regulation today, making millions more employees eligible for overtime pay. Opponents argued the measure could cost billions of dollars and would undermine the morale of salaried employees. (NY Times)

Facebook CEO (FB) Mark Zuckerberg meets with more than a dozen conservative leaders today over allegations that the social media site's "trending" feeds suppressed conservative news. (CNBC Commentary)

Four years ago today, Facebook began trading on the Nasdaq. The IPO was marred by technical glitches, which got the stock off to a rough start. But shares of the social network have increased more than 200 percent since their debut.


Japan, the world's third-largest economy surprised markets today by reporting its fastest pace of annualized quarterly growth in a year. That's a big rebound from the contraction in the final quarter of last year. Japanese stocks were little changed overnight.

There are no U.S. government economic reports today, but investors were awaiting the minutes of the most recent Fed meeting, which are released at 2 p.m. ET. There's been speculation the April minutes will show a more hawkish tone than was evident from the post-meeting statement.

Mortgage rates last week remained close to their lowest levels in over a year, but apparently that did not inspire homebuyers. Total home loan mortgage application volume fell 1.6 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refis rose 1 percent.

The industry group American Petroleum Institute reported a U.S. crude drawdown of 1.14 million barrels for last week. But that was less than half the decline forecast. The Energy Department's Wednesday assessment of oil inventories is out at 10:30 a.m. ET.


Banking giant JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is raising its quarterly dividend about 9 percent to 48 cents per share. In other dividend news, defense contractor Northrop Grumman (NOC) increased its quarterly payout 12.5 percent to 90 cents per share.

Federal regulators are extending their oversight of the decision making of General Motors (GM) regarding safety issues for another year. GM first came under additional scrutiny in 2014 because of its response to the widely-publicized ignition switch defect.

Verizon (VZ) and striking unions hold contract talks in Washington this week, with the Labor Department assisting. No public comments will be made about the discussions during that time. Nearly 40,000 Verizon employees walked out last month.

Andersons (ANDE) is the target of a $1 billion cash buyout bid by HC2 Holdings, run by former hedge fund manager Phil Falcone. The grain handling firm's CEO said Andersons was not seeking to be acquired. The stock was soaring 35 percent in the premarket.


Major music publisher and rights manager Kobalt has launched an iOS app for clients, providing real-time data on song revenue from services including Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, and Pandora. (CNBC)