Morning Brief

North Korea tensions pressure Wall Street

Key Points


After the long holiday weekend, U.S. stock futures were lower this morning as concerns over tensions with North Korea continue. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq have fallen for three straight sessions, currently sitting at two-month lows. (CNBC)

China's economy grew 6.9 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, slightly faster than expected, supported by a government infrastructure spending spree and a frenzied housing market that is showing signs of overheating. (Reuters)

Vice President Mike Pence visited the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea today, a day after Pyongyang's failed missile launch. Pence reiterated the U.S. "era of strategic patience" with the rogue nation was over. (Reuters)

The U.S., its allies, and China are working together on a range of responses to North Korea's nuclear weapons program, Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said, citing what he called an international consensus to act. (Reuters)

Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said tensions with North Korea "could be the first test, real test, of the Trump presidency." McCain added China will be "key" to addressing the problem. (NBC News)

North Korea revealed what appeared to be new intercontinental ballistic missiles at a military parade over the weekend. But experts said it's not clear whether the missiles were real or just mock-ups for show. (CNBC)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in Sunday's referendum to grant him sweeping political powers. But opponents said the vote was marred by irregularities and they would challenge its result. (Reuters)

Trump is expected to nominate former Treasury Undersecretary Randy Quarles as the Fed's top bank regulator, a position that needs Senate confirmation. (Politico)

Gary Cohn gave Richard Cordray, the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an ultimatum over dinner a few weeks ago: Go the easy way, or go the hard way. (Politico)

United (UAL) is changing its policy regarding the booking of its own crews onto flights, following the confrontation that led to a passenger being dragged off an overbooked flight. (Reuters)

In the wake of the United fiasco, Delta (DAL) changed its policy for bumping passengers off flights and would pay customers up to nearly $10,000 to voluntarily give up their seats. (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) may be interested in privately held warehouse retailer BJ's Wholesale. That's according to the New York Post. The private equity owners are looking for a $4 billion price tag.

Apple (AAPL) received a permit in California to test self-driving vehicles. Separately, there are conflicting reports on whether Apple is planning to become involved in the bidding for Toshiba's chip unit.

China's Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba (BABA) has raised its offer for electronic payment firm MoneyGram (MGI), outbidding rival Euronet Worldwide. The Ant deal was unanimously approved by the American firm's board. (Reuters)

The eighth installment in the "Fast and the Furious" became the biggest worldwide debut of all time, besting both "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Jurassic World." Universal's "The Fate of the Furious" earned about $532 million worldwide over the holiday weekend. (AP)

Despite reports of haphazard planning, the annual Easter Egg Roll is taking place today at the White House. This year, of course, it will be hosted for the first time by the Trumps. (USA Today)

Tax filing procrastinators, here's a friendly reminder. Although Tax Day in the United States by law falls on April 15, this year the deadline lands tomorrow. So don't forget. (Fortune)


With the stock market closed for a three-day weekend, investors get their first chance today to react to Friday's economic data, with both March retail sales and consumer prices falling.

On the Monday docket, the New York Fed releases its April Empire State Survey at 8:30 a.m. ET. The National Association of Home Builders issues its April housing market index.

The busy week for corporate earnings gets off to a slow start today. But after the bell this afternoon, Netflix (NFLX) and United Continental (UAL) issue their quarterly results.


Facebook (FB) shareholders have put out two proposals for the upcoming annual meeting. One focuses on the spread of fake news, the other on pay equality. The board has recommended votes against both proposals.

Intel (INTC) has pulled out of a joint venture with Rackspace (RAX), which had been set to last through 2018. The venture was designed to encourage an open source competitor to Amazon's Web Services.

Wal-Mart (WMT) is reportedly in advanced talks to buy Bonobos, an online retailer of men's apparel. Recode reports the two sides have agreed on a price. Nordstrom (JWN) is an investor in Bonobos.

General Motors (GM) plans to invest $14 million in a new research and development facility in San Francisco, adding more than 1,100 new jobs. The facility is focusing on the development of self-driving technology.

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) is not in a position to seek any merger deals for now, according to CEO Sergio Marchionne. He said the automaker would now focus on executing its business plan.

Fidelity & Guaranty (FGL) will not be acquired by China's Anbang Insurance as planned, according to Reuters. Anbang has not received the necessary regulatory approvals, according to sources.

Alere (ALR) will be bought by drugmaker Abbott (ABT) for a lower price than the two sides had originally agreed upon, after concerns about the accuracy of various representations made by Alere.

Eli Lilly (LLY) failed to receive FDA approval for a new rheumatoid arthritis drug developed with partner Incyte (INCY). The FDA wants additional clinical data to determine the most appropriate dosages for the drug.


Airline passengers left behind about $867,812 in coins and currency in the plastic bowls and bins at various U.S. airport checkpoints last year, according to the TSA. That's 13 percent more than 2015 and about 80 percent more than in 2008. (CNBC)

New emojis are coming in June. The new batch includes 69 new characters in all. The group that vets and approves emojis provided a preview, including a rendering of a breastfeeding woman and Chinese takeout. (CNBC)