Morning Brief

The Trump-Xi summit grabs Wall Street's attention

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were searching for direction this morning after the Dow and S&P 500 on Wednesday saw their biggest reversals in 14 months. Wall Street is watching for news out of today's meeting of President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago. (CNBC)

Plans by the Fed to pare back its $4.5 trillion balance sheet should not be seen as a surprise with a reshuffling at the central bank likely in 2018, the chief economist at Goldman Sachs told CNBC.

ECB President Mario Draghi insisted today the central bank's monetary policy stance remained appropriate and stressed "sufficient confidence" would be necessary to reduce stimulus. (CNBC)

Trump and China's Xi may say little publicly about North Korea after they talk today, but China has the leverage to quietly exert pressure on Pyongyang if it chooses, according to geopolitical experts. (CNBC)

Trump spoke by phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile, among other regional issues. Trump and Abe met at Mar-a-Lago in February. (Reuters)

Vice President Mike Pence said, "all options are on the table" for a U.S. response to a poison gas attack in Syria, which the White House blames on the Syrian government. (Reuters)

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been removed from his seat on the National Security Council, reversing one of the most controversial decisions of the young Trump administration. (CNBC)

Senate Republican leaders are poised to move today to change the upper chamber's filibuster rules so Democrats can no longer block the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. (USA Today)

The House is set to leave town this morning for a two-week break without reaching an agreement on health care, a blow to Trump and GOP leaders who tried to revive their failed Obamacare replacement bill. (NBC News)

Amazon (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos, the world's second-richest person, plans to sell $1 billion worth of stock in the e-commerce giant every year to help fund his private spaceflight company Blue Origin. (Space News)

Uber is refuting a New York Times article that claimed faster pick-up times for riders means more idle drivers. The Times also detailed psychological techniques used at Uber to keep drivers on the road.

Facebook (FB) is trying to halt the spread of so-called revenge porn on its services just weeks after a nude-photo scandal involving the Marines surfaced on the social media site. (WSJ)

MGM Holdings (MGMB) will buy the 81 percent of the Epix cable channel that it doesn't already own from partners Viacom (VIAB) and Lions Gate (LGF) for about $1 billion. (CNBC)

Unilever (UL) has vowed to reward shareholders with a multi-billion dollar transformation in the wake of a corporate review sparked by a takeover approach from U.S. rival Kraft Heinz (KHC). (CNBC)

General Electric (GE) is weighing a sale of its consumer lighting business, which for decades defined the company following its co-founding 125 years ago by Thomas Edison. (WSJ)

BlackRock (BLK) has nominated Cisco Systems (CSCO) leader Chuck Robbins as a director, making him the first technology chief executive on the board of the world's largest money manager. (WSJ)

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes owes a debt of about $25 million to her embattled blood-testing start-up once valued at $5 billion. Theranos has the power to absolve her from the debt. (WSJ)

PepsiCo (PEP) pulled its controversial Kendall Jenner ad, saying "clearly we missed the mark." But the company still faces an uphill struggle to recover from its marketing misstep, marketing experts said. (CNBC)


Following Wednesday's strong ADP private-sector jobs report and ahead of tomorrow's government employment report, investors get weekly jobless claims figures to consider at 8:30 a.m. ET.

CarMax (KMX) and Constellation Brands (STZ) are among the companies releasing earnings this morning, while Ruby Tuesday (RT) and WD-40 (WDFC) are out with quarterly results after the bell this afternoon.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) beat estimates with quarterly earnings and revenue. But the housewares retailer warned on full-year guidance. The company raised by 2 cents its dividend to 15 cents per share.

Yum China (YUMC) exceeded forecast on quarterly earnings and matched estimates with revenue. Investors were encouraged by an unexpected 1 percent increase in same-restaurant sales.

Costco (COST) reported a better than expected 6 percent increase in U.S. same-store sales. Analysts had anticipated a 4.2 percent rise for the warehouse retailer, according to estimates compiled by StreetAccount.

One of the largest U.S. trucking companies, Schneider National (SNDR), raised $550 million in its initial public offering, according to the Wall Street Journal. The stock is set to begin trading today on the NYSE.


Twitter (TWTR) unveiled a faster version of its mobile service, called Twitter Lite, designed to work better and use less data for those with weaker mobile connections of smaller data plans.

Apple (AAPL) is being sued by Australian regulators, who accuse the company of "bricking" iPhones whose cracked screens were fixed by non-Apple repair shops.

Sunoco (SUN) is selling convenience stores and gas stations to Japan-based Seven & I Holdings, the parent of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain. Seven & I will pay about $3.3 billion.

Cardinal Health (CAH) is near a deal to buy Medtronic's (MDT) medical supplies business for a reported nearly $6 billion. A deal could be announced later this month.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) struck a patent settlement with Britain's Hikma Pharmaceuticals related to the narcolepsy drug Xyrem. Jazz granted Hikma the right to sell a generic version in the U.S. market.

Allergan (AGN) plans to move ahead with testing of Botox, best known for helping smooth wrinkles, as a treatment for depression, despite barely missing expectations of a study.


Dustin Johnson took a serious fall on a staircase on the eve of the Masters and injured his lower back. It's uncertain whether the world's No. 1 golfer would be able to play. The first round tees off this morning. (AP)