Morning Brief

Wall Street cautious as Trump agenda faces big test

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were lower this morning, dragging down global equities, with the Japanese market off 2.1 percent overnight. Wall Street on Tuesday saw its biggest declines since before the election. (CNBC)

Gold hit a three-week high as investors sought a haven from uncertainty about President Donald Trump's agenda, ahead of tomorrow's House vote on the GOP's Obamacare replacement. (Reuters)

Dow component Nike (NKE) was under pressure this morning after issuing a weaker than expecting reading of future orders. Fiscal third-quarter revenue was also slightly below estimates, though earnings beat. (CNBC)

Dow transport component FedEx (FDX) was gaining in the premarket despite a big quarterly earnings miss and basically in-line revenue. Investors seem to be encouraged by an optimistic outlook for margins. (Reuters)

In the latest sign of escalated aggression, North Korea attempted to conduct another missile launch today. But it failed almost immediately, U.S. and South Korea officials said. (Reuters)

Recent measures by the U.S. and the U.K. to restrict electronic devices on flights from certain overseas airports were led by new threats from ISIS, according to a report from ABC News.

Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago, according to documents seen by the Associated Press.

President Trump plans to travel to Brussels in May for a NATO meeting. Separately, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is trying to get next month rescheduled, so he can attend a Florida meeting with China's president. (AP)

Tillerson, the former Exxon (XOM) chief, has revealed he did not seek his current role in the Trump administration and only accepted the secretary of state job after being convinced by his wife. (CNBC)

CKE Restaurants, the company behind Carl's Jr. and Hardee's chains, has named a new CEO to replace the retiring Andy Puzder, who last month withdrew his nomination to be Trump's Labor Secretary. (USA Today)

The FDA said breast implants can cause a rare form of cancer that may have killed at least nine people. The agency is checking into more than 350 reports linking anaplastic large cell lymphoma with both silicone and saline implants. (NBC News)

PepsiCo (PEP) is pulling 2-liter bottles and 12-packs from Philadelphia grocery stores over the city's new tax on sweetened drinks. The company said wants to offer package sizes working families can better afford. (AP)

Sears Holdings (SHLD) is issuing a warning about its ability to stay afloat. The troubled retailer said "substantial doubts exist" about its future after losing money year-after-year and seeing sales decline. (CNBC)

Uber plans to keep co-founder Travis Kalanick as CEO despite a series of damaging developments, said Arianna Huffington, one of seven voting Uber board members. But she said Kalanick needs to change his management style. (Reuters)

Airbnb is trying to do something Uber couldn't: win China. The home-sharing service changed its China brand to Aibiying and plans to offer its Trips platform in Shanghai. (CNBC)

Amazon's (AMZN) Jeff Bezos made $27.6 billion last year, bumping him up to No. 3 on the annual Forbes Billionaires List. Warren Buffett reclaimed the second spot. Bill Gates remained at the top. (USA Today)

Trump has become $1 billion poorer compared to last year, according to Forbes, now estimating his net worth at $3.5 billion. That dropped him 220 spots on the Forbes Billionaires list to 544th. (Washington Post)


Oil was sinking again this morning after industry data showed a larger than expected increase in inventories. The government's weekly stockpile report is out at 10:30 a.m. ET. Crude prices fell nearly 2 percent Tuesday.

The economic calendar is packed with housing data, including FHFA's January snapshot of home prices at 9 a.m. ET, and February existing home sales from the National Association of Realtors at 10 a.m. ET.

The fast-rising cost of housing is shrinking demand for home loans but also pushing those who are in the market to cheaper, adjustable-rate options, according to last week's report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Howard Schultz presides over his final Starbucks (SBUX) annual meeting today as CEO before handing the reins to Kevin Johnson. Investors want an update on mobile and whether the service bottlenecks have improved.


Snap (SNAP) shares were stronger in premarket trading after gaining more than 2 percent on Tuesday. Drexel Hamilton initiated coverage of the Snapchat parent with a buy rating, the second Wall Street firm to do so.

Casual wear maker Duluth Holdings (DLTH) shares were surging about 20 percent in the premarket after beating estimates with earnings and revenue despite unseasonably warm weather in early December.

Winnebago (WGO) beat estimates by 3 cents with quarterly profit of 48 cents per share, with revenue well above forecasts. The RV maker credits a more balanced portfolio and greater scale, among other factors.

Perry Ellis (PERY) fell a penny shy of forecasts with quarterly profit of 59 cents per share, and revenue fell well short of estimates. The apparel maker also warned on outlook.

Dutch paint producer AkzoNobel has rejected a sweetened, unsolicited buyout offer of nearly $24.2 billion from U.S. rival PPG Industries (PPG), calling the offer too low and too risky.

Avon Products (AVP) is undergoing a revamp of its North American business, led by Cerberus, which took over control of those operations last year, including the elimination of some decades-old products.


Legendary game-show creator Chuck Barris, who claimed to be a CIA assassin, died at 87. Barris was behind "The Dating Game," ''The Newlywed Game" and "The Gong Show." (NBC News)