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Morning Brief

Wall Street seems to be stuck, but dull trading still sets records

Key Points

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq eked out new record closes. The Dow logged its highest closing level since the March 1 high. Meanwhile, Wall Street's fear gauge, the VIX, sank to its lowest level in more than a decade. (CNBC)

Earnings out this morning include the quarterly numbers from Allergan (AGN), Discovery (DISCA), and Valeant (VRX). Dow component Walt Disney (DIS) leads this afternoon's after-the-bell results.

Dow stock Apple (AAPL) was higher in the premarket after Monday's rally pushed the tech stock over $800 billion in market value for the first time. Warren Buffett praised the company in a CNBC interview Monday.

On today's economic calendar, the government releases at 10 a.m. ET this morning its March wholesale inventories report and its March JOLTS, the Job Opportunities and Labor Turnover Survey.

The NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism posted another historically high reading in April, but expectations for future business conditions fell due to uncertainty over health-care reform.

Three regional central bank presidents speak today: Minneapolis Fed's Neel Kashkari at 9 a.m. ET, Boston Fed's Eric Rosengren at 1:05 p.m. ET, and Dallas Fed's Rob Kaplan at 4:15 p.m. ET.

Bitcoin topped $1,700 this morning after hitting $1,600 for the first time Monday. One major bitcoin investor warned of a near-term pullback, but said $4,000 over the next 14 months is possible. (CNBC)

A big move for the stock market it coming, and it will take stocks much higher. At least, that's what Oppenheimer technical analyst Ari Wald forecasts. (CNBC Trading Nation)


Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates said at a hearing that she warned the Trump White House that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn "essentially could be blackmailed" by Russia more than two weeks before he was fired. (CNBC)

Yates also defended her decision to not defend Trump's first executive order on immigration. Yates, an Obama holdover, was fired after speaking out against the travel ban. (CNBC)

The Trump administration's review of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law won't be complete by early June as originally targeted, with officials reporting the findings piece-by-piece. (Reuters)

A meeting of Trump advisors that had been scheduled for today to decide whether to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement has been postponed due to scheduling conflicts. (Reuters)

South Koreans went to the polls today, in an election that may have already swayed under bombastic rhetoric from U.S. President Trump over a missile defense system being deployed there and an existing free trade deal. (CNBC)

A woman who accused former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly of sexual harassment in the U.S. called on Britain to block Fox's owner Rupert Murdoch from taking full control of Britain's pay-TV group Sky. (Reuters)

California has awarded a $500 million deal to Wells Fargo (WFC), perhaps a sign the state is ready to move past the sanctions it imposed last year for the bank's fake account scandal. (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) is due to unveil a new Echo speaker as early as today, with a screen that will incorporate video-calling capabilities, keeping the online retailer one step ahead of tech rivals in seeking to control smart homes. (WSJ)

IBM (IBM) is not at the forefront of artificial intelligence, Social Capital's Chamath Palihapitiya told CNBC, calling the Watson supercomputer a "joke." Palihapitiya joins "Squawk Box" for an hour, starting at 8 a.m. ET.


Pandora shares whipsawed in premarket trading after the streaming music service announced a $150 million investment, mixed financial results, and that two board members would resign as the firm gears up for a potential sale.

Hertz Global (HTZ) reported a wider than expected loss of $1.61 per share for its latest quarter. Revenue was also slightly below estimates. Lower U.S. pricing was among the significant drags on the company's results.

AMC Entertainment (AMC) exceeded estimates by 2 cents with quarterly profit of 7 cents per share. Revenue also beat. The movie theater chain operator said admissions revenue jumped more than 69 percent. (JD) posted its first profit since going public in 2014, although the China-based e-commerce company did warn that expenses related to its planned expansion would affect income growth.


A new lawsuit filed against the organizers of the disastrous Fyre Festival accuses them of staging "a massive Ponzi scheme." The suit also the festival as "a get rich quick" ruse. (NY Post)

Mondelez (MDLZ) is announcing a $500,000 prize for its next Oreo flavor. The food giant is taking submissions through Twitter and Instagram using #MyOreoCreation and #Contest hashtags. (USA Today)