×

Dow stands at 18K again, with record highs in sight

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were lower this morning, after the S&P 500 on Wednesday closed less than 0.5 percent away from its record high set more than a year ago. The Dow ended above 18,000 for the first time since April, less than 1 percent away from its all-time closing high. (CNBC)

Billionaire George Soros has returned to trading after a long hiatus, lured by opportunities to profit from what he sees as coming economic troubles, directing a series of big, bearish investments. He sold stocks and bought gold and shares of gold miners. (WSJ)

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn joins CNBC's "Squawk Box" this morning at 8:20 a.m. ET with his views on the stock market and whether he agrees today the dim views of Soros.

On the verge of endorsing presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama is set to meet with Clinton rival Bernie Sanders today at the White House. The Vermont senator faces intense pressure to drop out of the race. (AP)

More than five years and $5.5 billion after first breaking ground, Walt Disney (DIS) opened its first Chinese Disneyland today. Disney chief Bob Iger told CNBC the park amounted to the "biggest step" the company has taken in any overseas market. (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) launched a British version of its AmazonFresh food delivery service today, in a long-anticipated move to break into the UK grocery market. Amazon launched the service in Seattle in 2007 and has since moved to a handful of other U.S. cities. (Reuters)

Subscribers who finish the first season of a show generally do so in a week, according to a new Netflix (NFLX) study. Those viewers, the study added, are dedicating a significant amount of time to do it. They watch about two hours a day. (NY Times)

Apple's (AAPL) victory over Samsung in a long-running smartphone patent case could be overturned. The Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to reverse the appeals court ruling that favored Apple. (Reuters)

Nike (NKE) plans to continue to work with Maria Sharapova, the former world No. 1 player, despite a two-year ban by the International Tennis Federation following her positive test for the banned drug meldonium. But Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer cut its ties. (Reuters)

Pfizer's (PFE) long-acting opioid painkiller Troxyca ER received a positive recommendation from a FDA panel, which also expressed doubts about some claims that the treatment deters drug abuse. (Reuters)

PepsiCo (PEP) may soon announce another change in the formulation of Diet Pepsi, after a change in artificial sweeteners from aspartame to sucralose last August failed to stem sliding sales. The change could come as early as this week. (WSJ)

Ride-hailing giant Uber has reportedly held talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) about a potential partnership involving self-driving car technology. But the discussions are said to be at a preliminary stage and may not result in a partnership. (WSJ)

Media mogul Arianna Huffington is launching a new health-and-wellness company called Thrive Global. It focuses on educational workshops, e-courses and certifications to help companies improve the wellbeing of their employees. (CNBC)

Muslim prayers over the body of Muhammad Ali will be witnessed worldwide today, at a Louisville, Kentucky service to be broadcast on TV and streamed live online. Meanwhile, an interfaith memorial service is planned for tomorrow. (AP)


BY THE NUMBERS

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned today of "lasting economic consequences" of years of weak output. The ECB has already announced a slew of measures to tackle fragile growth and deflation, including negative rates and bond-buying.

The 10-year German Bund yield — at 0.05 percent late Wednesday and lower this morning — edges closer to zero, and threatens to join its Japanese counterpart with negative yields.

The U.S. Labor Department releases its weekly look at initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Commerce Department issues April U.S. wholesale inventories figures at 10 a.m. ET. The Energy Department is out with its weekly look at natural gas inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET.

J.M. Smucker (SJM) is among the companies out with quarterly earnings this morning, along with Vail Resorts (MTN), while H&R Block (HRB) and Mattress Firm (MFRM) are among the companies releasing their numbers after today's closing bell.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Restoration Hardware (RH) lost 5 cents per share versus estimates for earnings of a nickel. While overall revenue beat expectations, same-store sales were weak. The luxury furnishings retailer also warned on outlook.

United (UAL) said revenue passenger miles fell 1.2 percent in May compared to a year earlier, blaming a strong U.S. dollar and travel reductions from oil industry customers, among other factors.

Vodafone (VOD) agreed to merge its New Zealand unit with that country's giant pay TV provider Sky Network in $2.4 billion deal, giving Vodafone gets a 51 percent stake in the combined company.

Envision Healthcare Holdings (EVHC) is in talks to merge with rival health care services provider AmSurg (AMSG), according to the Wall Street Journal. A deal could be announced as soon as next week, the paper reports.

WATERCOOLER

How about ordering a Domino's (DPZ) pizza without a single click? The soon-to-be unveiled service works by launching the Domino's mobile app, and waiting 10 seconds before your favorite pizza or previous order is automatically placed. (CNBC)

Hostess is introducing Deep Fried Twinkies. The treat made popular at state fairs, carnivals, and seaside boardwalks around the county is now available Wal-Mart (WMT) (Mashable)