Morning Brief

With just days left in April, Wall Street is on track for strong monthly gains

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were searching for direction this morning after a rally on Wall Street for most of Wednesday lost steam, The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all closed slightly lower. But the Nasdaq did touch a new intraday high. (CNBC)

With two trading days left in April, the Dow and S&P 500 are on track for their fifth positive month out of the past six, and the Nasdaq is on track for its sixth consecutive monthly gain. (CNBC)

Earnings continue to pour in today, with Ford (F), American Airlines (AAL), Under Armour (UAA) out this morning. The after-the-bell list features big tech names including Alphabet (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), Intel (INTC), and Microsoft (MSFT). Starbucks (SBUX) also issues quarterly results this afternoon. (CNBC)

There's also a data dump on the economy this morning, with weekly jobless claims and March durable goods released at 8:30 a.m. ET. March pending home sales are out at 10 a.m. ET.

The European Central Bank releases its latest interest rate decision and policy statement this morning, followed by ECB President Mario Draghi's news conference at 8:30 a.m. ET.


President Donald Trump is set to sign a memo today, authorizing an investigation into whether a flood of aluminum imports from China and elsewhere jeopardize national security. The move is similar to one launched last week regarding steel. (CNBC)

Despite earlier indications, Trump agreed in afternoon phone calls with Mexico and Canada not to terminate the NAFTA "at this time." Instead, the president said the U.S. would try to renegotiate the trade treaty. (CNBC)

There's discussion about a possible health-care vote tomorrow, now that the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which helped to sink the GOP's earlier attempt to revamp Obamacare last month, endorsed an amended plan. (Axios & CNBC)

The White House said it would continuing paying Obamacare subsidies, removing a government shutdown threat. Lawmakers are expected to pass a one-week funding extension as Friday night's deadline approaches. (CNBC)

Trump is expected to take action tomorrow to open more offshore areas to oil and gas drilling, in part by reversing his predecessor's attempt to permanently protect large swaths of U.S. waters. (CNBC)

Trump's tax proposal calls for deep reductions in business tax rates and major changes to the individual tax system. But the plan faces a narrow path to victory through Congress. (WSJ)

More than 20 tech CEOs and executives meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to talk about innovation and job creation in America as well as tax policy and immigration reform. (Press Release)

United (UAL) hopes up to $10,000 for volunteers, better training, and fewer oversold flights will help the airline avoid a repeat of the fiasco of a passenger being dragged off a flight earlier this month. (CNBC)

United CEO Oscar Munoz blamed the forcible passenger removal on a "system failure", while apologizing for another mishap, this time involving the death of a prized rabbit. (NBC News)

Buffalo Wild Wing's (BWLD) first-quarter earning miss could give activist hedge fund Marcato an advantage ahead of a June proxy vote. The restaurant chain also cut its annual earnings targets. (CNBC)

Weight Watchers (WTW) named HSN chief executive Mindy Grossman as its new CEO. Grossman departs the shopping network on May 24, and then she's expected to join Weight Watchers in July. (CNBC)

Paramount Pictures, owned by Viacom (VIAB) has revived its $1 billion deal to finance future movie projects with two Chinese media companies, which was presumed dead last month. (Variety)


PayPal (PYPL) came in 3 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 44 cents per share, with revenue slightly above forecasts. The online payment service also announced a $5 billion share buyback.

Deutsche Bank (DB) reported first quarter profit that more than doubled from a year earlier, with the bank being helped by a higher volume of fixed income trading and lower legal costs.

Amgen (AMGN) beat estimates by 15 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of $3.15 per share, although revenue was short. The biotech also raised the low end of its 2017 earnings forecast.

AstraZeneca (AZN) reported falling drug sales once again during its most recent quarter, but the drug maker said it believes its fortunes will begin to rebound during the second half of the year.

Nokia (NOK) saw sales decline during its most recent quarter, but the telecom equipment maker said the rate of decline was slowing and that the global market for its equipment was showing signs of recovery.

The Pratt & Whitney engine unit of United Technologies (UTX) was criticized by Airbus, which is upset that engine issues have delayed deliveries of the A320neo passenger jet.


Looking at the charts, Netflix (NFLX) appears ready for another 19 percent breakout, according to Evercore ISI technical analyst Rich Ross. (CNBC's Trading Nation)