Morning Brief

The Dow and S&P 500 have two days to erase March losses

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were lower this morning. Ahead of the final two trading days of March, the S&P 500 was within few points of a breakeven month. The Dow, however, was about 153 points away. The Nasdaq was already solidly positive for March. (CNBC)

With the first quarter drawing to a close and multi-quarter winning streaks virtually a lock on Wall Street, the Dow was up 4.5 percent, the S&P was up nearly 5.5 percent, and the Nasdaq was up 9.5 percent since the start of 2017. (CNBC)

Lululemon (LULU) shares were plummeting about 18 percent in premarket trading this morning, as investors overlooked the athleisure maker and retailer's quarterly sales and earnings growth and focused the release of very weak forward guidance. (CNBC)

A federal judge in Hawaii has indefinitely extended a court order blocking enforcement of President Donald Trump's revised travel ban that would have restricted entry into the United States by travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries. (CNBC)

In interviews with 10 of the roughly three dozen House Freedom Caucus members, lawmakers said they were eager to put aside tensions over the health-care debacle and seek common ground on tax reform. (Reuters)

In the wake of last week's GOP health-care failure, House Speaker Paul Ryan says he does not want the president to work with Democrats on new legislation for revamping Obamacare. (CBS News)

Following Gallup's dismal job approval survey for Trump, a new NBC News|SurveyMonkey Poll paints a similar picture, showing job approval for him at just 42 percent, with a disapproval majority.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the Trump administration will unveil its promised $1 trillion infrastructure plan later this year, but she did not offer details of funding for projects. (Reuters)

The Trump administration has informed Congress that it supports a $5 billion sale of 19 Lockheed Martin (LMT) F-16 aircraft and related equipment to Bahrain. The deal was held up last year under over human rights concerns. (Reuters)

The Trump administration is signaling to Congress it would seek mostly modest changes to NAFTA in negotiations with Mexico and Canada, a deal Trump called a "disaster" during the campaign. (WSJ)

In a shift, first daughter Ivanka Trump has decided to become an official government employee, joining husband Jared Kushner in serving as an unpaid advisor to her father in the White House. (NY Times)

Amid new boycott pressures, North Carolina Republican lawmakers have reached a deal to repeal the state's law prohibiting transgender people from using restrooms of their choice. (Reuters)

Bank of America's (BAC) Merrill Lynch unit is cutting its 10 divisions down to six, according to an internal memo obtained by CNBC. The memo said the changes would help the unit operate more effectively.

Amazon (AMZN) is shutting down its unprofitable Quidsi division, operator of Amazon bought it for more than $500 million in 2010. Quidsi was co-founded by Marc Lore who went on to also start, which sold to Wal-Mart (WMT) last year for $3.3 billion. (WSJ)

Saudi Aramco has formally appointed JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and HSBC as international financial advisors for its initial public offering. The trio join Moelis and Evercore, which have been appointed independent financial advisers. (Reuters)


The government issues weekly jobless claims and the final reading on fourth quarter economic growth at 8:30 a.m. ET. New filings for unemployment benefits last week were seen at 247,000, and GDP was expected to have advanced 2 percent in the last three months of 2016.

The busy week for Fed officials continues with Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, San Francisco Fed President John Williams, Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan, and New York Fed President William Dudley speaking today.


Toyota (TM) announced a recall of 2.9 million vehicles, the latest move related to defective Takata airbag inflators. This recall does not involve any vehicles sold in the United States.

Volkswagen (VLKAY) said the EPA has approved the sale of up to 67,000 diesel vehicles that have been modified to meet emissions standards. The vehicles in question are from the 2015 model year.

ConocoPhillips (COP) struck a deal to sell Canadian oil sands and natural gas assets to Canada's Cenovus Energy (CVE) for $13.3 billion. Cenovus is already a partner of the U.S.-based energy giant in the Surmont oil sands project.

General Electric (GE) and consortium partners are the sole bidders for a Nigerian railway project worth about $2 billion. The project involves building two rail lines connecting northern cities in Nigeria to others in the south.

Synovus Financial (SNV) is in talks to buy the financial arm of sporting goods retailer Cabela's (CAB), according to The Wall Street Journal. Capital One Financial (COF) backed off its offer to buy the unit.

Legg Mason (LM) is cutting more than 30 workers, or about 3 percent of its corporate staff, due to what the investment firm calls "disruption" in the money management industry.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) won its bid to undo a class action lawsuit by management trainees in six states. The trainees had claimed the restaurant chain unlawfully denied them overtime pay.


PwC will continue to work for the Oscars despite its embarrassing botch that saw "La La Land" temporarily given the Best Picture statuette rather than "Moonlight." (CNBC)

NASA's Juno mission has completed another flyby of Jupiter, and the pictures are stunning. The craft will eventually descend into the planet's atmosphere at some time next year at the end of its mission. (CNBC)