Morning Brief

US futures marking time ahead of trio of factors

Key Points


U.S. stock futures and oil prices were little changed this morning, as investors await the outcome of the OPEC meeting in Vienna and key U.S. economic data. The Nasdaq was on a six-session winning streak, after Wall Street posted slight gains on Wednesday. (CNBC)

Ahead of the government's May jobs data tomorrow, the ADP delivers its private sector payrolls for last month at 8:15 a.m. ET this morning, a day later than usual because of the Memorial Day holiday. Economists were looking for 170,000 new jobs at U.S. companies. (CNBC)

U.S.-based employers announced in May the fewest layoffs in five months as job cutting fell significantly across several sectors, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. (CNBC)

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi holds a news conference at 8:30 a.m. ET, following the ECB's decision to leave interest rates unchanged. No real drama is expected, as policymakers evaluate their recent drastic stimulus measures. (CNBC)

Japan's Nikkei tumbled 2.3 percent overnight, after the government there moved to delay a sales-tax hike for more than two years. The Japanese yen strengthened against the dollar, a trend that's generally a negative for Japanese stocks. (CNBC)

Citing lower growth expectations for smartphones, Goldman Sachs (GS) is cutting its price target on Apple (AAPL) to $124 per share from $136, though it still rates the stock a buy. Apple closed lower Wednesday at $98.46 per share, and it was under further pressure in the premarket. (CNBC)

SpaceX chief Elon Musk, also CEO of Tesla (TSLA), said at Recode's Code Conference he plans to send people to Mars in 2024. Musk also said he expects an Apple car by 2020, while warning about one company's artificial intelligence. (CNBC)

Tech titans — including Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky — were among the 17 new signatories to the Giving Pledge, the Bill Gates-Warren Buffett aimed at getting the world's billionaires to give away the bulk of their wealth. (USA Today)

Uber has raised $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia's main investment fund. The money was part of the ride-hailing giant's most recent financing round and continued to value the company at $62.5 billion. The investment does not cash out any of Uber's existing investors. (CNBC)

Forbes magazine reduced its estimate of the net worth of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and chief executive of troubled health technology startup Theranos, to zero from $4.5 billion last year. Her blood-testing company has been under investigation. (Reuters)

Spending on cancer medicines increased 11.5 percent to $107 billion worldwide in 2015, with projections that costs could exceed $150 billion by 2020. The trend reflects adoption of newer, pricier therapies, according to a new IMS report. (CNBC)

Americans who bought health insurance on government-run Obamacare exchanges tended to absorb significantly smaller price increases but stricter limitations than plans sold on outside marketplaces, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. (CNBC)

The Obama administration is expected to announce today the federal government's first move to regulate high-interest, low-dollar payday loans. The $38.5 billion market, currently left to the states, extends credit to 12 million lower-income households. (WSJ-subscription)

Americans are taking out record-size auto loans — making larger monthly payments and extending the terms farther than ever. The average loan topped $30,000 for the first time ever, according to new data, continuing the steady march higher. (CNBC)


In addition to ADP jobs data, the Labor Department issues its weekly report on initial jobless claims is expected to show 270,000 new claims for the week ending May 28, compared to 268,000 the prior week.

At 10:30 a.m. ET, the Energy Department releases its weekly report on natural gas inventories. Then at 11 a.m. ET, the government is out with its holiday-delayed report on oil and gasoline inventories.

With investors on ECB alert, they might also want to watch Fed Gov. Jerome Powell, who speaks on regulation at 8:35 a.m. ET, and Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan, who speaks at 1 p.m. ET at a conference at Boston College.

Homebuilder Hovnanian (HOV) and mining equipment maker Joy Global (JOY) are out with earnings this morning, while Broadcom (AVGO), Five Below (FIVE), and Zumiez (ZUMZ) are among the companies issuing quarterly numbers after the closing bell this afternoon.

Box (BOX) reported an adjusted loss of 18 cents per share, 6 cents smaller than analysts had anticipated. Revenue was also slightly above estimates. But the cloud company's billings fell short of expectations.

Costco (COST) reported flat comparable store sales in May, below the consensus Thomson Reuters estimate of a 1.4 percent increase.


Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is buying privately-held hair care products maker Vogue International for about $3.3 billion, giving J&J the OGX collection of shampoos, the FX hair styling product line, and the Proganix and Maui Moisture hair care lines.

Phillips 66 (PSX) saw Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway purchase nearly 538,000 additional shares of the energy producer, according to an SEC filing. Buffett had held 76.37 million shares, valued at about $6 billion, prior to this latest purchase.

Oracle (ORCL) is the target of a lawsuit by a former senior finance manager, who said she faced retaliation for questioning cloud business accounting practices which she felt were unlawful.

Some of the $8.9 billion worth of Alibaba (BABA) shares sold by Japan's Softbank were bought by Alibaba and two Singapore state funds. Separately, Softbank said it would not use any of the proceeds to buy assets being put up for sale by Yahoo (YHOO).

Apple (AAPL) plans to raise up to $4 billion in debt in Taiwan and Australia, according to Dow Jones. On Wednesday, Reuters had reported that Apple planned to sell $1 billion in debt in Taiwan.

Viacom (VIAB) independent directors have gotten a show of support from Keryn Redstone, granddaughter of controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone. That puts her at direct odds with Sumner Redstone's daughter Shari.

The CDC said flour produced at a General Mills (GIS) plant in Kansas City was likely the source of an E. coli outbreak that made 38 people sick and led to a recall. The company said it hasn't found any signs of E. coli.

McDonald's (MCD) is near a deal to move its headquarters from Oak Brook, Illinois to the former Harpo Studios campus in Chicago. That's according to Crain's Chicago Business.


The home from the 1980s sitcom "Full House" and the recent "Fuller House" reboot on Netflix is on the market, with a $4.15 million price tag. Located in San Francisco, the iconic house last sold for $1.85 million in 2006. (NBC News)