Morning Brief

Stock futures initially tumble on US airstrikes in Syria, but then recover

Key Points


Reacting to last night's U.S. airstrikes on a Syrian military airfield, stock futures, after an initial tumble, were recovering to around breakeven. The Dow and S&P 500 were flat for the week heading into Friday. (CNBC)

Safe-haven plays such as gold and the yen were higher in response to situation in Syria. U.S. Treasury prices were higher, inversely pushing yields to five-month lows. Oil was sharply higher, but off session highs. (CNBC)

Beyond assessing the airstrike fallout, investors get the government's March employment report at 8:30 a.m. ET. Forecasts call for 180,000 new nonfarm jobs last month. The unemployment rate was seen steady at 4.7 percent. (CNBC)

President Donald Trump, in an address, said the attack with 59 missiles was launched because of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's "horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians." Trump said, "No child of God should ever suffer such horror." (CNBC)

The U.S. had warned Russia ahead of time. But the Kremlin, quoted by state media, said the American military action against in Syria will do significant damage to Russian-U.S. relations. Meanwhile, Russia suspended a U.S.-Russian agreement on coordinating air operations over Syria. (CNBC & WSJ)

The action by President Trump, largely supported on Capitol Hill, was taken without prior congressional approval. In 2013, Trump's tweets showed his opposition to U.S. strikes in Syria. He wrote at the time then President Barack Obama would need congressional approval. (USA Today)

The U.S. missile attack, military analysts said, can be read as President Trump sending a message about North Korea: "When I make a threat, I am serious about it." (CNBC)

Trying to persuade China to rein in North Korea's military aggressiveness, Trump meets again today at Mar-a-Largo with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump said he's "developed a friendship" with Xi. (CNBC)

The Senate voted to scrap the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees in order to move toward a Friday confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch, a historic move with wide implications for the top American court. (CNBC)

When Trump son-in-law and senior advisor sought the top-secret security clearance, he omitted meetings with Russians and dozens of contacts with foreign officials. (NY Times)

In her first public interview since losing the election, Hillary Clinton said alleged Trump camp ties to Russia should be investigated, the GOP health-care failure was "somewhat gratifying;" and she doesn't think she'd run for office again. (CNBC)

In his first speech since being fired, Preet Bharara, former U.S. attorney often referred to the top cop on Wall Street, quashed rumors that he would run for political office. Bharara also joked about Trump. (CNBC)

The third-generation leader of South Korea's top conglomerate, Samsung, was mostly silent at his first court appearance in what has been called the "trial of the century" over alleged graft. (Reuters)


While no major companies are set to report earnings today, Ruby Tuesday (RT) after the bell Thursday posted an adjusted loss of 6 cents per share and a same-restaurant sales drop of 4 percent. The company also named a former Burger King and Cosi executive as its next CEO.

WD-40 (WDFC) late Thursday posted quarterly profit of 87 cents per share, 3 cents short of estimates, while revenue also fell short of forecasts. It also cut its sales guidance for the full year.

PriceSmart (PSMT) fell 2 cents short of estimates with quarterly profit of 90 cents per share, and the discount retailer's revenue also was less than analysts had expected.


Twitter (TWTR) refused a government order to reveal the name of a user with an anti-Trump account. Twitter has filed a lawsuit blocking that order, aimed at finding out who is behind the account.

Alphabet's (GOOGL) YouTube unit unveiled a new policy that places ads on channels only after they reach 10,000 views. The move is aimed at preventing those who post unauthorized content from making money.

Okta (OKTA), a developer of security and identity management software in the cloud, is raising $187 million in an IPO for a market value of $1.5 billion, after pricing its offering at the top end of the expected range. Shares are set to start trading today.

Amazon (AMZN) will create 30,000 new part-time jobs over the next year, which would nearly double its U.S. part-time workforce. Some 25,000 of those will be in warehouses, while the rest will be home-based.

Yum Brands (YUM) will cut the use of antibiotics in chickens bought for its KFC restaurants, giving poultry suppliers until the end of 2018. The move joins McDonald's (MCD) and Chick-fil-A.

Honda (HON) is recalling 37,000 vehicles in the U.S. to check if replacement air bags contain the recalled Takata inflators that may have been installed prior to the massive Takata recalls last year.


The second round of the Masters tees off this morning. Charley Hoffman posted a dream 7-under first round while wind battered the field. Hoffman leads heading into today. (USA Today)

Adidas unveiled a new sneaker today with a 3-D printed sole, aiming for mass production in the coming year. Sportswear makers have touted the potential of 3-D printing as being able to make increasingly customized designs. (CNBC)