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Morning Brief

US stock futures rise ahead of House vote on GOP health-care plan

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were higher this morning after a sixth straight session of indecision on Wednesday saw a muted reaction to the Fed holding interest rates steady. (CNBC)

In a renewed test for President Donald Trump and GOP leaders on Capitol Hill, the House plans to vote today on an Obamacare replacement bill. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Republicans have enough votes for passage. (CNBC)

An unusually sophisticated identity phishing campaign appeared to target Google's roughly 1 billion Gmail users worldwide, seeking to gain control of their entire email histories and spread itself to all of their contacts. (NBC News)

Oil prices fell below $47 a barrel this morning, hitting their lowest level this year after data showed a smaller-than-expected decline in U.S. inventories. (Reuters)

Three economic reports are released at 8:30 a.m. ET: the government's March trade deficit, weekly initial jobless claims, and first quarter productivity. March factory orders are out at 10 a.m. ET.

The afternoon's after-the-bell reports include Activision Blizzard, CBS, Herbalife, Monster Beverage, Motorola Solutions, Shake Shack, Zillow, and Zynga.

U.S. employers announced plans in April to cut 36,602 jobs, a 15 percent decrease from March, outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas reports. (CNBC)


Apple CEO Tim Cook, breaking the news on CNBC, said the tech giant is starting a $1 billion fund to promote advanced manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Cook also said rumors of new iPhone hurt sales.

Facebook shares were under pressure in the premarket after the social network warned about slowing ad growth. However, Facebook beat estimates with first-quarter earnings and revenue. (CNBC)

Violent videos of murders, suicides, and other crimes posted on Facebook have not scared away advertisers, COO Sheryl Sandberg told CNBC. Facebook also shook off the fake news controversy.

It appears that Facebook's copycat products on Instagram and WhatsApp are strongly exceeding Snapchat's numbers of 161 million daily active users at the end of last year. (CNBC)

Tesla shares were lower in premarket trading after the electric automaker posted a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss, but more than doubled revenue on record Model X and Model S deliveries. (CNBC)

Tesla said it remains on track to begin production of its mass-market, less expensive Model 3 sedan in July. Tesla is grappling with how to keep the Model 3 from cannibalizing sales of the pricier Model S. (CNBC)

Elon Musk doesn't seem to think there's a reason to be too concerned with Apple's purported plans for an autonomous car. "It's a cool company," said the Tesla CEO, but little else. (Recode)

Musk's SpaceX plans to start launching satellites into orbit in 2019 to provide high-speed internet to Earth. (CNBC)

President Trump plans to sign an executive order today to ease restrictions on political activity by churches and charities. But the White House has backed away from broader religious liberty. (NY Times)

Trump meets Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in New York today, their first face-to-face talks since an acrimonious phone call about refugees early in Trump's term. (Reuters)

In a big step to avoiding a government shutdown on Saturday, a $1.1 trillion bill to fund the government through September goes to the Senate after passage in the House. (WSJ)

Puerto Rico has been placed under court protection in what amounts to the largest-ever U.S. municipal bankruptcy. Puerto Rico and its agencies owe $73 billion to creditors. (WSJ)

Truck owners and truck rental agencies in the U.S. must be "vigilant" about the increasing frequency of "ramming attacks" by terrorists using vehicles as killing machines, according to a new Transportation Security Administration report obtained exclusively by NBC News.

As the U.S. leans on China to rein in North Korea, the state-run news agency out of Pyongyang said the nation would continue its nuclear weapons program even at the risk of losing a friendly relationship with Beijing. (NY Times)

Britain's Prince Philip, the 95-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, will retire from his royal duties in the Fall. The duke has the full support of the queen, Buckingham Palace said in a statement. (CNBC)


Viacom reported second-quarter earnings and revenue, topping expectations, as the company continues to focus resources on growing its Paramount business.

Mobile payments firm Square shares were up about 3 percent in premarket trading, cooling off a bit after a 10 percent spike on a small than expected quarterly loss and revenue that was above estimates.

Fitbit shares were about 8 percent higher in the premarket after the wearables company reported a small than expected quarterly loss, better than expected revenue, and a drop in costs.

Cheesecake Factory shares were losing about 8 percent in premarket trading after the restaurant chain missed estimates on earnings and revenue. The company's same-store sales only saw a slight increase.

Avis Budget was losing about 6 percent in the premarket after the car rental company announced a larger than expected quarterly loss and revenue that also missed estimates.

Separately, Avis Budget struck a deal with its largest shareholder, SRS Investment Management, that will delay the hedge fund's push for bigger changes.

Tailored Brands shares were about 10 percent higher in premarket trading after the company and Macy's ended by mutual agreement their in-store tuxedo rental partnership.


It's "Star Wars" day today, so May the 4th be with you. (Get it; it plays off the "may the force be with you" from the movies). Here are six ways USA Today suggests fans celebrate.