Morning Brief

US futures bounce back ahead of the expected Fed rate hike

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were higher ahead of the conclusion of the Fed's two-day meeting. The Dow fell for a second straight session on Tuesday. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both broke multiday win streaks. (CNBC)

The Fed is widely expected to announce an interest rate hike at 2 p.m. ET, followed by a Janet Yellen news conference. Some experts wonder whether a reversal of the Fed's bond reinvestment policy may come soon. (CNBC)

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said repatriating corporate cash held outside the U.S., if laws change to make it more favorable, would spur substantial economic growth, like a Fed "QE4" bond buying, regardless of how companies use those funds. (CNBC)

Oil prices were sharply higher on industry data showing a surprise inventory decline. The government releases stockpile figures at 10:30 a.m. ET. Meanwhile, the IEA said demand for oil is expected to drop this year. (CNBC)

The White House said President Donald Trump paid $38 million in taxes on income of more than $150 million for 2005. The statement came moments before the promised reveal of the information on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show." (CNBC)

Trump may have leaked his own 2005 tax return, according to Pulitzer prize winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, who said he got the document in the mail. He shared the findings exclusively with Maddow. (CNBC)

David Cay Johnston wrote an opinion story in the USA Today, saying the big story following the president's taxes is how Congress has turned the tax code into a source of massive wealth for many of the richest Americans, including Trump.

For Trump, in the swirl of chaos thanks to the CBO saying the GOP health-care bill would lead to 24 million uninsured and the FBI preparing to weigh in on the president's Obama wiretapping accusation, the tax story is a welcome reprieve. (CNBC Op-Ed)

The Justice Department is expected to announce charges as soon as today related to breaches at Yahoo, which complicated the tech firm's Verizon (VZ) deal. The alleged hackers reportedly have ties to Russia. (USA Today)

Hundreds of Twitter accounts from media outlets to celebrities including pop star Justin Bieber, were hacked today, calling Germany and the Netherlands Nazis over their dealings with Turkey. (CNBC)

The Netherlands holds parliamentary elections today in the year's first test of the strength of anti-immigrant nationalism in Western Europe, following Brexit in the U.K. and Trump's election in the U.S. (USA Today)

The U.S. Air Force picked Elon Musk's SpaceX to blast a second GPS satellite into orbit, part of a broader drive to open up various other launch contracts for competitive bidding through late 2019. (WSJ)

The Treasury Department is set to employ emergency cash-conservation steps to avoid breaching the federal borrowing limit after a 16-month suspension of the debt ceiling expires this week. (WSJ)

Trump plans to nominate Goldman Sachs banker James Donovan as deputy Treasury secretary. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council director Gary Cohn are also Goldman alums. (Reuters)

Federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii hold hearings today on whether to block enforcement of Trump's revised executive order banning travel to the U.S. from six Muslim-majority nations. (NBC News)

Senate Republicans suggested changes to the House plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, including lower insurance costs for poorer, older Americans. (NY Times)

According to the latest CNBC Global CFO Council Survey, a majority of respondents were less than 50 percent confident Congress will pass health care legislation and tax reform by the end of this year.


Ahead of the Fed's busy afternoon, there are plenty of economic data policymakers and investors to consider, starting with February figures on retail sales and consumers prices at 8:30 a.m. ET. January business inventories are out at 10 a.m. ET.

Mortgage rates moved to their highest level since 2014 last week on expectations for a Fed rate hike. In hopes of locking in before rates go up even further, applications for home loans rose 3.1 percent and refis were up a stronger 4 percent.

There are no major earnings reports due for release this morning, but Oracle (ORCL) is out with quarterly results after the closing bell this afternoon, along with Avid Technology (AVID), Guess (GES), Jabil Circuit (JBL), and Williams-Sonoma (WSM).

The winter storm that hit the Northeast seems to be perfect stage for the IPO of pricey jacket maker Canada Goose, controlled by Bain Capital. The offering is set to price tonight, with trading set to begin tomorrow on the NYSE and the Toronto Stock Exchange.


The reputation of weed-killer Roundup is taking a hit as a federal court unsealed documents raising questions about its safety and the research practices of its manufacturer, chemical giant Monsanto (MON).

FTD Companies (FTD) reported earnings and revenue were slightly lower estimates. The flower and gift seller's new CEO said the firm has recently performed below potential but it has various assets to build upon.

Gap (GPS) named former Gymboree CEO Mark Breitbard as chief executive of its Banana Republic unit. Breitbard joins in early May.

Microsoft (MSFT) named LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman to its board of directors, effective immediately. Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion late last year.


"The Matrix" is reportedly getting a remake, with Warner Bros. in the early stages of developing a rebooted version of the 1999 cyberpunk classic. (The Hollywood Reporter)

The NCAA men's basketball March Madness tournament rolls on today, with UC-Davis taking on North Carolina Central at 6:40 p.m. ET, followed by USC and Providence. (USA Today)