Morning Brief

A likely Fed rate hike next week is putting a chill on stocks

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were lower this morning, threatening the first back to back losses in over a month for the Dow and S&P 500. Investors are getting used to the real possibility of a Fed rate hike next week. (CNBC)

House Republicans unveiled last night their plan for replacing Obamacare, killing the individual mandate, but keeping pre-existing condition protections and the under 26 age limit to stay covered by parents. (CNBC)

President Donald Trump is "all in" on the newly released Republican health care bill, a White House official told CNBC on Tuesday. "Hundred percent," the official added. (CNBC)

The U.S. has started shipping a controversial anti-missile system to South Korea after North Korea test-launched four medium-range missiles Monday, U.S. officials told NBC News, a move China opposes.

Immigration authorities are suspending a program allowing expedited H-1B visa processing for a fee, starting April 3. The skilled workers seeking these employment passes are important to the tech industry. (CNBC)

New HUD Secretary Ben Carson referred to slaves brought to the U.S. against their will as "immigrants," drawing quick condemnation from civil rights groups who cast his remarks as offensive. (Reuters)

The Trump administration is delaying implementing new rules designed to punish career-training schools that leave students with high levels of debt but weak job prospects. (WSJ)

President Trump's postelection agreement to pay $25 million appeared to settle the fraud claims arising from his defunct for-profit, Trump University. But a former student is now asking to opt out. (NY Times)

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the National Park Service has released photos from Trump's inauguration that appear to refute claims of media downplaying the crowds. (USA Today)

Russia's energy minister told CNBC Russia did not meddle in the U.S. election, despite accusations Moscow interfered and questions about whether Trump advisors met inappropriately with Russian officials.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) plans to spend about $20 billion on refineries, petrochemical plants and other projects in and around the Gulf of Mexico, underscoring a trend to turn to America. (WSJ)

With General Motors (GM) agreeing to sell its Opel/Vauxhall to France's PSA Group, Ford (F) remains bullish on the European market, a top executive at the automaker told CNBC.

Jeff Bezos has unveiled a rocket engine designed to power his Blue Origin's spacecraft to take people and satellites into orbit. The Amazon founder is competing in the private space race with SpaceX, backed by Tesla's Elon Musk. (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) has abandoned its legal battle to protect its Alexa digital assistant with First Amendment rights after a murder defendant agreed to hand over his Echo speaker data to police. (The Verge)

IBM (IBM) is teaming up with Salesforce (CRM) to make it easier for Salesforce customers to use data from IBM's Watson artificial intelligence platform. The value of the deal was not disclosed. (CNBC)

Philadelphia's recent soda tax has led to a disastrous decline in beverage sales, according to the beverage industry. Among similar measures around the nation, a Chicago soda tax goes into effect in July. (CNBC)


The global economy is expected to grow around 3.5 percent in 2018 compared to 3 percent in 2016, but the modest recovery may be derailed, the OECD warned in its latest outlook.

China's foreign exchange reserves unexpectedly rose for the first time in eight months in February, rebounding above $3 trillion as a regulatory crackdown and weakness in the dollar helped staunch outflows.

The January U.S. trade deficit is released at 8:30 a.m. ET, with economists looking for the gap to expand to $48.7 billion from December's $44.3 billion. This afternoon, January consumer credit figures are out at 3 p.m. ET.

Earnings out this morning include quarterly results from Brown-Forman (BFB), Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), Navistar (NAV), and Michaels (MIK). This afternoon's list includes Bojangles (BOJA), H&R Block (HRB), and Urban Outfitters (URBN).

Dish Network (DISH) joins the S&P 500 as of next Monday. The satellite T.V. provider replaces Linear Technology, which is being acquired by another S&P 500 company, chipmaker Analog Devices (ADI).


CSX (CSX) named Hunter Harrison as its new chief executive officer, replacing Michael Ward. Activist investor Mantle Ridge had been pushing CSX to hire Harrison, the former CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway (CP).

Oilfield services firm Weatherford (WFT) named Halliburton's (HAL) CFO as its new CEO. Weatherford's interim CEO is leaving. An executive vice president at Halliburton will serve as interim CFO there.

General Electric (GE) and Baker Hughes (BHI) received a Justice Department request for more information regarding their proposed combination of GE's oil and gas businesses with Baker Hughes.

UPS (UPS) won an after-the-fact victory, as an E.U. court annulled the European Commission's 2013 decision to block a proposed acquisition of TNT Express by UPS. FedEx (FDX) acquired TNT last year.


The White House re-opens to the public today, with self-guided tours available from weekdays and Saturdays. Requests must be submitted no less than 21 days in advance. (USA Today)

Today is National Pancake Day, and participating IHOPs are giving out free pancakes. In return, the restaurant chain is asking its customers to donate to charity. (USA Today)