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The Nasdaq is on the verge of cracking 6,000 for the first time ever

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning after the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq on Monday logged their biggest gains since March 1. The Nasdaq closed at a record high and about 16 points away from 6,000. (CNBC)

Dow components 3M (MMM), DuPont (DD), Caterpillar (CAT), Coca-Cola (KO), and McDonald's (MCD) report earnings this morning. The afternoon after the bell list features AT&T (T), Chipotle (CMG), Texas Instruments (TXN). (CNBC)

On the economic calendar, the February Case-Shiller report on home prices is out at 9 a.m. ET. The Conference Board issues its April consumer confidence index at 10 a.m. ET.

IN THE NEWS TODAY

North Korea put on a massive live-fire drill today to mark the foundation of its military. With rising tensions, top Trump administration officials hold a rare briefing tomorrow at the White House for the entire U.S. Senate. (Reuters)

President Donald Trump indicated an openness to delaying his push to secure funds for his promised border wall with Mexico ahead of this week's government shutdown deadline. (Reuters)104423503

Trump has instructed his advisors to make reducing the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent a centerpiece of his tax-cut blueprint to be unveiled tomorrow. The House GOP plan calls for a corporate rate of 20 percent. (NY Times)

The U.S. plans to impose new anti-subsidy tariffs averaging 20 percent on Canadian softwood lumber imports, a move that escalates a long-running trade dispute between the two countries. (CNBC)

Alibaba (BABA) founder Jack Ma is making good on a promise to President Trump to give 1 million U.S. small businesses access to the Chinese market, announcing today a program to teach American businesses how to sell to its Chinese customers. (USA Today)

Netflix (NFLX) has struck its first licensing deal in China with one of the leading streaming platforms there, Baidu's iQIYI. Netflix abandoned last year a plan to enter China as a service operator, citing regulatory difficulties. (Variety)

Express Scripts (ESRX) shares were tanking about 15 percent in the premarket after the pharmacy benefit manager said its contract with health insurer Anthem (ANTM) was unlikely to be renewed. (CNBC)

Wells Fargo (WFC) holds its shareholder meeting today with the focus on a battle over its director slate following the fake accounts scandal. Separately, the Fed said the bank's updated living will was satisfactory. (NY Times)

Activist investor Marcato Capital blasts Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) again, saying the restaurant chain in an SEC filing made an "astronomical error" in a chart about the performance of the stock. (CNBC)

Saudi Aramco may not be worth $2 trillion. Even accounting for a more favorable tax rate, the highest valuation that employees were able to come up with was about $1.5 trillion. (WSJ)

T-Mobile (TMUS) CEO John Legere told CNBC he would be open to growing his business through a merger. The wireless carrier added more subscribers than analysts had anticipated. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) has hired former NASA employees, robotics experts, and ex-Tesla staffers to form part of its driverless car teams, according to official documents released to two media outlets.

Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer stands to make $186 million on the sale of the company's internet assets to Verizon (VZ). Yahoo shareholders vote on the $4.8 billion deal in June. (NY Times)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Alcoa (AA) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 63 cents per share, 10 cents above estimates. But the aluminum producer's revenue came up short of forecasts despite an upbeat pricing environment.

Whirlpool fell 5 cents short of estimates with adjusted first-quarter profit of $2.50 per share, while the appliance maker's revenue was slightly above Street forecasts. The company also cut its full-year outlook.

SAP (SAP) reported quarterly profit that matched forecasts, with the business software maker's revenue slightly above projections. SAP is shifting its emphasis to the cloud, and profit margins in that area fell.

Novartis (NVS) reported a first-quarter profit of $1.13 per share, a penny above estimates. Overall results were impacted by a charge related to the failure of an experimental heart failure drug.

Humana (HUM) raised its full-year forecast as its retail health insurance business turns in a better than expected performance. Humana also issued better than expected preliminary adjusted first quarter profit.

Akorn (AKRX) agreed to be bought by German health-care company Fresenius for $4.75 billion or $34 per share in cash. The U.S. generic drug maker's stock had risen this month on reports of deal speculation.

Tyson Foods (TSN) is considering the sale of its non-meat brands, such as its Sara Lee bakery unit, Kettle frozen foods, and Van's breakfast foods, to focus on its core businesses.