Morning Brief

Blame Yellen and Fed for tough week

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open this morning. But even if those gains were to hold, they would not be enough to prevent another week of losses on Wall Street. Concern lingers about the Fed's signals for a possible June interest rate hike. (CNBC)

Oil prices were steady this morning, trading around seven month highs, as a series of supply outages in Nigeria, Canada and Libya tightened the global oversupply picture. U.S. crude was on track for its sixth positive week in the past seven. (Reuters)

The Egyptian navy on Friday said it's found, about 180 miles north of Alexandria, passenger belongings and parts of the fuselage from the EgyptAir flight that disappeared enroute from Paris to Cairo Thursday. The search for wreckage entered its second day. (CNBC)

Donald Trump gets another chance to reassure wary conservatives still reluctant to back the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, when he speaks at the National Rifle Association's national convention today. (NBC News)

Gap (GPS) plans to close 75 of its Old Navy and Banana Republic stores. The apparel retailer also issued a cautious 2016 outlook, after reporting in-line quarterly earnings. Separately, Standard & Poor's cut Gap's credit rating to junk levels. (CNBC)

Panasonic is prepared to move up its investment in Tesla's (TSLA) big battery plant, if necessary to meet strong demand for the electric automaker's upcoming Model 3. Meanwhile, Tesla raised $1.46 billion to bump up production of the new sedan. (Reuters & CNBC)

Tesla has surprised parts makers with plans to move up the launch of high-volume production of its Model 3 to 2018, two years earlier than planned. (Reuters)

The auction for Yahoo's (YHOO) core business is expected to draw bids of around $2 billion to $3 billion, well below previous expectations for $4 billion to $8 billion. Verizon (VZ) is considered the lead candidate in a crowded field. (WSJ)

Samsung has struck a partnership with Alipay, China's biggest payments service run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, as Samsung looks to expand its footprint in the world's second-largest economy and as it battles Apple (AAPL) on another front. (CNBC)

Apple unveiled a revamped store design on San Francisco's Union Square, which is set to open tomorrow. The project was spearheaded by design chief Jony Ive and Angela Ahrendts, head of retail who moved over from Burberry in 2013. (CNBC)

Internal auditors at Deutsche Bank (DB) are investigating a series of trades starting in 2009 that may have improperly generated millions of dollars in personal profits, some at the bank's expense, for a handful of current and former employees. (WSJ)

U.S. authorities have charged a former chairman of Dean Foods and a professional Las Vegas gambler with engaging in a years-long insider trading scheme, which included a tip that benefited professional golfer Phil Mickelson. (Reuters)

The Preakness Stakes, the second run in the coveted Triple Crown in horse racing, is tomorrow. Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist is the morning line favorite, at 3-to-5 odds. The third leg at Belmont is next month. (USA Today)

After a decade, Daniel Craig appears to be done with James Bond. The British actor reportedly turned down nearly $100 million to continue as 007 for two more movies. That's about twice what he made for his first four bond movies. (The Telegraph)


U.S. credit-card balances are on track to hit $1 trillion this year, according to the Wall Street Journal, as banks aggressively push their plastic and consumers grow more comfortable carrying debt. The balances are nearing levels last seen before the 2008 financial crisis.

On the U.S. economic calendar, the National Association of Realtors releases April existing home sales at 10 a.m. ET. Economists look for an increase of 1.3 percent to an annual rate of 5.4 million units, following a March gain of 5.1 percent. This afternoon, oil traders get a new look at U.S. output, when Baker Hughes releases its weekly rig count at 1 p.m. ET.

Fed Gov. Daniel Tarullo speaks at 9 a.m. ET, focusing on insurance industry regulation. On Thursday, New York Fed President William Dudley reaffirmed the central bank minutes from their April meeting, saying policymakers could hike interest rates in June or July if economic data improves as expected.

Embattled Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) got a default notice from its bondholders because of the drugmaker's delay in filing its first-quarter financial report. However, Valeant said the default would be averted if it files by mid-July.


Applied Materials (AMAT) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 34 cents per share, beating estimates by 2 cents, while revenue was very slightly ahead of forecasts. The maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment did give an upbeat current quarter outlook.

Ross Stores (ROST) matched estimates with quarterly profit of 73 cents per share, though the discount retailer's revenue was short of forecasts. Ross also gave a weaker-than-expected current quarter and full-year outlook.

Shoe Carnival (SCVL) reported quarterly profit of 56 cents per share, a penny shy of estimates, with the shoe retailer's revenue and fiscal 2016 guidance also missing the mark. The company said it's seeing strength in athletic footwear and it's also controlling expenses.


Talk about a perk: Practichem, a Raleigh, North Carolina–based bio-tech firm, is rewarding each of its employees with a Tesla Model 3, when the electric car comes out next year. The sedan starts at $35,000. (Teslarati)

TD Bank is getting rid of its coin-counting machines, after being sued in New York by a man who claimed he was short-changed. The lawsuit was filed in April, after local news reports highlighted allegedly incorrect TD Bank machines. (CNBC)

A custodian who spent his nights cleaning restrooms at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and his days building prototypes has graduated from the college with a degree in mechanical engineering at age 54. (CNBC)