Morning Brief

Wall Street waffling on anniversary of the bull market

Key Points


On today's eighth anniversary of the second-longest bull run ever, U.S. stock futures were not giving strong indications either way this morning. It's been a rather muted March on Wall Street after lots of records last month. (CNBC)

Since the bottom on March 9, 2009 during the financial crisis, the Dow has gained nearly 220 percent, the S&P 500 has surged nearly 250 percent, and the Nasdaq has soared 360 percent. (CNBC)

Oil fell sharply again this morning after U.S. prices sank nearly 5.4 percent on Wednesday on government data showing a much larger than expected build up this week in crude inventories. (Reuters)

Backed by President Donald Trump, House Republicans pushed ahead in a marathon, late night session with their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, despite Democratic concern about the cost. (Reuters)

Groups representing hospitals, doctors, and seniors are urging House Republicans hold off on their Obamacare overhaul plan, saying it risks stripping too many people of insurance. (WSJ)

Jon Huntsman has accepted Trump's offer to be the U.S. ambassador to Russia. Previously, he served as ambassador to Singapore under George H.W. Bush and ambassador to China under Barack Obama. (NBC News)

Two senior senators, Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, asked the FBI and Justice Department for any information they have on Trump's wiretapping claims. (Reuters)

Hawaii has become the first state to sue to stop Trump's revised travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries. The state had previously sued over the initial order, which federal judges put on hold. (AP)

The number of people caught trying to enter without permission fell significantly in February, which the Trump administration said was a sign the president's policies were already having an effect. (NY Times)

Trump's nominee to lead the SEC faces a range of possible conflicts of interest due to the long list of banks and public companies Jay Clayton has represented as one of Wall Street's top lawyers. (WSJ)

Financier Anthony Scaramucci's move from Wall Street to Washington has become unlikely after the Trump administration communications job he was offered in January was handed to someone else. (WSJ)

A day after Trump held an infrastructure meeting, the American Society of Civil Engineers is set to release its 2017 infrastructure report card today, an estimate of how much money is needed to maintain the nation's roads and bridges.

Contractors likely breached security and handed over documents that purportedly describe the CIA's use of hacking tools to WikiLeaks, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials told Reuters.

In a blog post, Uber addressed its special technology that hides the regular city view from users and shows them an altered view, pledging not to employ the so-called "Greyball" against regulators. (CNBC)

After acquiring Uber's China business last year, Apple-backed Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing has set its sights on Silicon Valley, opening today a new research and development center there. (CNBC)

Shares of Snapchat's parent were under pressure in the premarket after soaring nearly 6.4 percent Wednesday. Hedge fund billionaire David Tepper told CNBC he bought on last week's IPO and he believes in the company. (CNBC)

Leading tech analyst-turned-venture capitalist Gene Munster sat down with eight millennials this week and found out they don't think Snap's (SNAP) camera glasses Spectacles are all that cool. Snap calls itself a camera company. (CNBC)

Troubled electronics retailer RadioShack has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in just over two years. The company said it's closing about 200 stores and evaluating options on the remaining 1,300. (AP)

Westinghouse Electric, the U.S. nuclear power plant developer owned by troubled Japanese electronics giant Toshiba, has brought in bankruptcy attorneys. (Reuters)

Some AT&T (T) cellphone users in at least 14 states and Washington, D.C., were unable to call 911 for a few hours last night. The telecom giant did not say when and how the problem began. (NY Times)

Elon Musk's vision of hyperloop, a super-fast transport system, has taken a step closer to reality, with the release of pictures of a test track. (CNBC)

Scientists uncovered a newly identified fault line that could unleash a magnitude-7.4 earthquake in Southern California, a region other researchers say is already long overdue for a strong temblor. (USA Today)


With the European economy looking pretty good and inflation on target, ECB President Mario Draghi holds his usual post-monetary policy meeting news conference at 8:30 a.m. ET. Rates were held unchanged.

Investors wait for tomorrow's U.S. government jobs report for February to see whether the data supports the growing expectations of a Fed interest rate hike at next week's meeting.

In the meantime, the Labor Department is out with its weekly look at initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, with forecasts calling for 238,000 new claims for last week. Wednesday's ADP private jobs report was really strong.

U.S. employers announced plans in February to cut 36,957 jobs, a 19 percent decline from January, outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas reports.

Staples (SPLS), Signet Jewelers (SIG) are among the companies releasing quarterly results this morning. Ulta Salon (ULTA), El Pollo Loco (LOCO), and Zumiez (ZUMZ) are out with earnings after the closing bell.


Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) has agreed to sell most of its Canadian oil sands assets for $7.25 billion to Canadian Natural. The deal also includes a joint acquisition by Shell and Canadian Natural.

An investor group led by Edgar Bronfman Jr. and the media executive Ynon Kreiz has decided not to continue its pursuit of Time (TIME), according to the New York Times.

Dutch paints and chemicals rival Akzo Nobel has rejected an unsolicited $22.1 billion cash and stock bid from U.S.-based PPG Industries (PPG), saying the offer undervalues the company.

Shares of e.l.f Beauty (ELF) were soaring in the premarket, after the California-based cosmetics maker exceed estimates with quarterly earnings and revenue, and its full-year outlook.

Camping World (CWH), run by CEO Marcus Lemonis, host of CNBC's "The Profit," beat expectations with quarterly earnings but missed on revenue. Shares of the recreational vehicle maker were under pressure.

Bankrate (RATE) shares were tanking this morning after the financial information provider missed estimates on quarterly earnings and revenue. The stock was already basically flat in 2017.

Planet Fitness (PLNT) announced a secondary stock offering of 15 million common shares, being sold by existing shareholders in the fitness chain. The stock was under pressure in the premarket.


China has granted 38 new Trump business trademarks in a move that could raise concern over conflicts of interest. The applications were first filed last April during the campaign. (CNBC)

Despite a boycott and a decision by Nordstrom (JWN) to no longer carry the brand, Ivanka Trump's fashion line soared recently in online sales, according to e-commerce site Lyst. (USA Today)