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Morning Brief

Brexit, Yellen top agenda for cautious stock investors

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, with the focus on Britons voting tomorrow to exit or remain in the European Union trading block. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq rose in three of the past four sessions, on easing Brexit concerns. (CNBC)

Fed Chair Janet Yellen appears before the House Financial Services Committee this morning, after delivering her semiannual economic testimony to the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday. Yellen talked about Brexit, negative interest rates, and Donald Trump. (CNBC)

SolarCity (SCTY) was soaring 15 percent in premarket trading, after Tesla (TSLA) made a $2.8 billion buyout offer. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is the chairman and majority shareholder in SolarCity. Shares of Tesla were dropping 10 percent in the premarket. (CNBC)

McDonald's (MCD) has received more than half a dozen bids for its planned sale of China and Hong Kong stores, including offers from Beijing Tourism Group, Sanpower, and ChemChina. A deal could end being worth about $3 billion. (Reuters)

Following last week's opening of the $5.5 billion Shanghai Disney, the U.S. theme parks and media giant sued three China-based firms in a copyright dispute involving Disney's hit movie "Cars" and "The Autobots," a locally produced animated film. (Reuters)

Facebook (FB) signed nearly 140 deals for more than $50 million, paying celebrities and media companies to create videos for its live-streaming service. Agreements with BuzzFeed and the New York Times were both over $3 million. (WSJ)

The iPhone 7, set to be unveiled this fall, will reportedly look very much like the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s except for a few subtle design changes, breaking Apple's (AAPL) pattern of major overhauls every two years. (WSJ)

Hillary Clinton, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, holds a rally in Raleigh, North Carolina this afternoon, following two days of speeches highly critical of GOP rival Trump. On Tuesday, she said the billionaire would be disaster for the U.S. economy. (Reuters)

In a New York City address this morning, Trump plans to lambaste Clinton as a failed secretary of state who's out of step with Americans on trade and immigration. Trump is seeking to refocus his campaign, after high-level staff departures this week. (AP)

Hong Kong remains the world's most expensive city, where the average monthly rent of a unfurnished two-bedroom apartment of "international standards in an appropriate neighborhood" costs $6,809.47. In a close second was Luanda, Angola. (CNBC)

Paintings by Pablo Picasso and Amedeo Modigliani sold for $63.5 million and $56.5 million, respectively — giving the art auction market a much-needed boost, when they fetched the highest prices for Sotheby's in London since 2010. (Bloomberg)

A robotic spaceship filled with two tons of junk is expected to dive into the Earth's atmosphere and disintegrate this morning. The ship delivered food and supplies to the International Space Station in March. (USA Today)

Millions of Americans across the Midwest were facing damaging winds, large hail, flooding and a possible tornado outbreak today. Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Columbus were all under storm threat. (NBC News)


Oil prices were higher this morning, with U.S. crude and Brent both trading over $50 per barrel. The American Petroleum Institute showed a larger than expected drawdown on stockpiles. The U.S. government issues its weekly inventory report at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Today's U.S. economic reports largely center around the housing market, with the government's April assessment of home prices out at 9 a.m. ET, and the National Association of Realtors issuing its May existing home sales report at 10 a.m. ET.

Another drop in mortgage rates, to their lowest level in three years, sent borrowers back to the bank to refinance home loans. Refi applications rose 7 percent last week, while total volume increased 2.9 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Winnebago (WGO) is among the few companies out with earnings this morning, while Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) and Red Hat (RHT) are among those releasing quarterly results after this afternoon's closing bell.


Adobe Systems (ADBE) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 71 cents per share, 3 cents above estimates. Revenue matched. But the software tools maker issued a weaker than expected forecast for the current quarter.

FedEx (FDX) beat estimates by 2 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of $3.30 per share. Revenue also beat. But FedEx reported an overall quarterly loss due to pension adjustments and costs related to its acquisition of Europe's TNT.

KB Home (KBH) reported quarterly profit of 17 cents per share, 3 cents above estimates. Revenue easily topped forecasts. The homebuilder said deliveries increased a better than expected 30 percent and new orders were higher by 8 percent.

Fortune Brands Home & Security (FBHS) joins the S&P 500 after the close tomorrow. The stock replaces Cablevision Systems, following the completion of its acquisition by Europe's Altice. Churchill Downs (CHDN) replaces Fortune in the S&P MidCap 400.


Rory McIlroy, the 27-year-old golfer from Northern Ireland, withdrew from the Rio Olympics today, because of his concerns over the Zika virus. Golf is returning to the summer Olympics after a 112-year absence. (Washington Post)

Led by a brilliant Lionel Messi, Argentina outplayed the U.S., and came away with a 4-0 victory in the semifinals of the Copa America soccer tournament last night. Argentina faces in Sunday's final the winner of tonight's Colombia-Chile match. (Sports Illustrated)

Cleveland celebrates its first professional sports title in 52 years, with a victory parade and rally for the NBA champion Cavaliers this morning. The parade starts near Quicken Loans Arena and travels to the city's convention center. (USA Today)