Morning Brief

Futures and the dollar under pressure after Trump's firing of FBI Director Comey

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were under pressure and so was the dollar this morning after President Donald Trump's abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey last night raised concerns over whether it may create a distraction and delay the White House's economic agenda in Congress. (CNBC)

Futures were also pressured by the premarket drop in Dow stock Disney (DIS). The media and theme park giant late Tuesday reported quarterly earnings that beat estimates. But revenue missed, while concern persisted about higher programming costs at ESPN. (CNBC)

Yelp (YELP) was plunging more than 25 percent in the premarket after missing estimates on revenue and forward guidance. While delivering a smaller than expected loss, the online review site did cite difficulties in local account retention. (CNBC)

Snap (SNAP) reports its first quarterly results as a public company after the bell this afternoon. Analysts expect a 12 cent per share loss. Investors want to see whether Facebook's knockoff features have hurt Snapchat's user growth. (CNBC)

Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) reports earnings after the bell for the first three months of the years, before the firing of Fox News host Bill O'Reilly in April after sexual harassment allegations. Estimates call for earnings of 48 cents per share. (

On today's economic calendar, April import and export prices are out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Weekly data on oil inventories are released at 10:30 a.m. ET. The latest federal budget statement is issued at 2 p.m. ET. Regional Fed presidents Eric Rosengren and Neel Kashkari speak this afternoon.

The gains are slow and small, but home loan volume is beginning to improve again. Last week, total mortgage application volume increased 2.4 percent, with refinances up 3 percent. However, refis were 32 percent below a year ago when rates were lower. (CNBC)


Justice Department officials said Trump's dismissal of Comey, whose agency was conducting an investigation over Russia, was over the mishandling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. The administration said the FBI's Russia probe was not a factor in the Comey dismissal. (CNBC)

Calling Comey's firing 'Nixonian,' Democrats were quick to call for a special prosecutor over alleged Russian election interference and possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. Republicans on Capitol Hill are divided. (NBC News & Vox)

Preet Bharara, the former "sheriff of Wall Street" as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said he's troubled by the timing of Comey's dismissal. Bharara was fired by Trump in March in a purge of U.S. attorneys. (CNBC)

The crisis in Syria tops the agenda when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sits down today with Russia's foreign minister in Washington today. Trump is expected to drop in this morning. (USA Today)

Ford's (F) board of directors is extending its scheduled meetings this week so it can press CEO Mark Fields to clarify his strategy as the company's stock price languishes and its U.S. market share recedes. (WSJ)

Tesla (TSLA) is beginning to take orders today for its solar roof tiles, which are set to be rolled out in the U.S. this year, CEO Elon Musk said in tweets in the early hours of this morning. (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) is offering $250,000 to teams who invent next-generation robots for its fulfillment centers. Sixteen finalists have been chosen for the Amazon Robotics Challenge in Japan in July. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) has acquired an app and sleep monitoring device Beddit. The Beddit website is still up and running this morning, with an updated privacy policy saying "personal data will be collected, used, and disclosed in accordance with the Apple Privacy Policy." (CNBC)

Microsoft Build 2017 kicks off this morning in Seattle, a homecoming for the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant after years of holding its annual developers' conference in San Francisco. (USA Today)

Encouraged by its return on a $100 million bet it made on the Motor City three years ago, JPMorgan (JPM) is planning an additional $50 million investment in Detroit's revitalization efforts. (WSJ)


Priceline (PCLN) reported adjusted profit of $9.88 per share for its latest quarter, beating estimates of $8.89, with revenue for the online travel company very slightly below forecasts. Wall Street is also focusing on weaker than expected current quarter earnings guidance.

TripAdvisor (TRIP) missed estimates by 2 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 24 cents per share, and the travel review website operator's revenue also fell below forecasts even though it saw a nearly 6 percent increase in click-based ad revenue. However, TripAdvisor also said it is seeing a recovery in per user revenue.

Electronic Arts (EA) came in 10 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 85 cents per share, while the video game maker's revenue was in line with forecasts. EA saw particularly strong results for digital game downloads, which have higher profit margins. Separately, the company approved a $1.2 billion stock buyback.

Nvidia (NVDA) reported quarterly profit of 79 cents per share, 13 cents above estimates, and the graphics chip maker's revenue was above forecasts as well. Nvidia saw strong demand for its flagship chip products, and also benefited from its diversification into the artificial intelligence and autonomous driving markets.

News Corporation (NWSA) reported adjusted quarterly profit of seven cents per share, two cents above estimates, while the Wall Street Journal publisher saw revenue beat estimates as well. The results were boosted by digital subscriber growth at the Journal, among other factors.

Toyota (TM) forecast a 20 percent drop in profit for the current fiscal year, due to a rising yen and higher marketing costs in the U.S. market.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) has moved to a new technology platform for its bookings, replacing a 30-year old system, and reported that the transition has gone smoothly so far.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) is working with investment bank Perella Weinberg to field takeover bids from other retailers, according to a Reuters report. However, sources familiar with the situation say there is no certainty that any deal for the teen apparel retailer will happen.


Crocs (CROX) were up sharply in the premarket after surging 4.2 percent Tuesday. A new report said the shoes are "flying off the shelves" in the resale market. A new ad campaign featuring Drew Barrymore and John Cena may be the reason. Crocs this morning beat estimates on quarterly earnings and revenue. (CNBC)

Proctor & Gamble's (PG) Gillette revamped its subscription-based shaving razor service to include a text-to-order feature, the latest move in its battle with Unilever's Dollar Shave Club. (CNBC)