Morning Brief

Wall Street tries to avoid a 3 session losing streak heading into the long weekend

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were lower this morning as investors continued to fret about geopolitical tensions. Wall Street was trying to avoid a three-session losing streak. The market is closed tomorrow for Good Friday. (CNBC)

Earnings season gets underway in earnest today. JPMorgan (JPM) beat estimates with earnings and revenue. Wells Fargo (WFC) and Citigroup are also out with quarterly results this morning. (CNBC)

Concerns about North Korea, Syria, and U.S.-Russia relations left investors looking for safety this week. Gold rose at a five-month high and bond prices were higher, pushing yields inversely lower to multimonth lows. (CNBC)

The dollar index against major currencies remained under pressure this morning after President Donald Trump said the U.S. currency was getting "too strong," which make U.S. goods more expensive overseas. (CNBC)

President Trump has backtracked on a handful of major issues, from whether to label China a currency manipulator to his opinion of the NATO to the status of Fed Chair Janet Yellen. (CNBC)

Trump has not given up on repealing Obamacare, threatening to cut health insurance subsidies. Senate minority leader Charles Schumer said in a statement the president's "cynical strategy will fail." (CNBC)

The White House is quickly identifying ways to assemble the nationwide deportation force that President Trump promised on the campaign trail as he railed against the dangers posed by illegal immigration. (The Washington Post)

North Korea could conduct its sixth nuclear test as early as Saturday in response to Washington's talk of preemptive strikes on the rogue nation and the strategic deployment of a U.S. aircraft carrier. (CNBC)

Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned lawmakers there today that North Korea may be capable of firing a missile loaded with sarin nerve gas toward his country. (AP)

Russia has vetoed a U.N. resolution to condemn Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons. Moscow, an ally of Assad, also demanded a speedy investigation. (AP)

A groundbreaking African-American jurist who became the first Muslim woman to serve as a U.S. judge was found dead in the Hudson River in New York City. The judge had been reported missing. (Reuters)

The United (UAL) passenger who was videotaped being dragged off an overbooked plane by airport police filed an emergency "bill of discovery," seeking the airline's documentation of Sunday's confrontation. (NBC News)

Meanwhile, United is promising to reimburse the 70 passengers on board the flight from which Dr. David Dao was forcibly removed. It's part of continuing attempts to make amends for his rough treatment. (WSJ)

Apple (AAPL) has a secret group of engineers working on sensors to monitor blood sugar levels. The project aimed at helping treat diabetes was originally conceived by CEO Steve Jobs before his death in 2011. (CNBC)

Samsung said preorders for its Galaxy S8 are already exceeding those for the previous S7 device. The flagship smartphone goes on sale next week in South Korea, the U.S. and Canada. (CNBC)

Uber reportedly used a secret piece of software called "Hell" to spy on drivers for its rival Lyft, as pressure continues to mount on the dominate ride-hailing service after swathes of bad press. (The Information)

Just under three hours after Burger King unveiled a new advertisement designed to hijack your Google Home to read a long-winded description of its Whopper burger, Google has disabled the functionality. (The Verge)


With President Trump complaining about China's trade imbalance, new data revealed a Chinese surplus of $23.93 billion in March, more than double expectations. China reported a rare trade deficit in February.

Two key U.S. economic reports are released at 8:30 a.m. ET: weekly jobless claims and March producer prices. The University of Michigan's mid-April consumer sentiment index is out at 10 a.m. ET.

Even though the stock market is closed on Friday, the government issues a full slate of economic data tomorrow, with March retail sales and consumer prices at 8:30 a.m. ET and February business inventories at 10 a.m. ET.

Hostess Brands (TWNK) SID a secondary stock offering was priced at $15.25 per share, compared to Wednesday's close of $15.65. The shares are being sold by a number of funds.

Adobe Systems (ADBE) saw its credit rating upgraded to "A" from "A-" by Standard & Poor's, which said the software maker is likely to achieve continuing operating performance growth.


As Starbucks (SBUX) pushes to double its number of outlets in China by 2021, the U.S. coffee giant is offering to pay for critical illness insurance coverage for the parents of some employees in China.

A federal judge has rejected a bid by Goldman Sachs (GS) to dismiss the claims of two of the four female plaintiffs in a proposed class-action lawsuit. The bank denies their accusations of gender bias.

Wells Fargo (WFC) directors are likely to receive the support of key shareholder Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), which plans to sell nine million shares to keep its stake under 10 percent to avoid some federal regulations.

Tesla (TSLA) is embroiled in some controversy, with a group of shareholders urging the automaker to add two independent directors to its board who do not have any ties to CEO Elon Musk.

Pier One Imports (PIR) forecast a steeper than expected current quarter loss. The retailer's 2017 profit fell 24 percent as it closed stores, although its profit margins did improve.

Hanesbrands (HBI) increased its first quarter financial guidance, saying 2017 was off to a strong start. Separately, the underwear and activewear maker said its CFO was retiring.


NASA is set to unveil today its latest discoveries about ocean worlds in our solar system, and what the space agency calls "the broader search for life beyond Earth." (USA Today)