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Wall Street could turn week around with positive Friday

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning as investors shrugged off tech stocks' recent slump. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have been lower for four of the past five sessions, while the Dow has fallen in two of four sessions this week. (CNBC)

The week could end in positive territory. The Dow is already up 0.4 percent for the week while the S&P 500 is a hair above breakeven. The Nasdaq has a 0.7 percent deficit to make up, but futures are pointing to a higher overall open for the Friday session. (CNBC)

May housing starts data will release at 8:30 a.m. ET, with forecasts calling for a 3.4 percent jump to an annual rate of 1.21 million units. At 10 a.m. ET, the preliminary June consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan is expected to come in at 97.0, virtually unchanged from May. (CNBC)

Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan will be the first Fed official to make a public appearance after the conclusion of this week's policy meeting. Kaplan – who is a voting member of the FOMC for 2017 – will speak in Dallas at 12:45 pm ET. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into Jared Kushner's business dealings. FBI agents and federal prosecutors have also been examining the finances of other Trump associates, according to US officials. (Washington Post)

*Trump lashes out at 2016 rival Hillary Clinton after reports of obstruction probe (CNBC)
*Vice President Pence hires outside counsel to deal with Russia inquiries (Washington Post)

President Donald Trump will unveil a new Cuba policy today that will both seek to empower the Cuban people and severely limit travel to the communist nation, according to senior White House officials. (CNBC)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise underwent more surgery on Thursday, a day after being shot in the hip at a congressional baseball practice, officials said. The annual bipartisan charity baseball game went on as scheduled. Late Thursday, Trump released a video to laud the tradition of the game and express hope for Scalise to recover. (CNBC)

The Russian Defense Ministry said today that Ibrahim abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State's leader, may havebeen killed by air strikes on the Syrian city of Raqqa at the end of May. The claim has not yet been verified. (CNBC)

Google is bracing for a potential fine of more than 1 billion euros as Brussels prepares to announce the first of a trio of antitrust decisions on the company's practices. EU officials are expected to announce in the coming weeks that Google abused its market dominance to build its shopping service. (Financial Times)

The Justice Department is examining whether Barclays violated antitrust laws by promising to stop poaching JPMorgan Chase bankers, in another blow for the U.K. bank's CEO, Jes Staley. The DoJ has asked Barclays for more information on discussions between top executives and JPMorgan execs following a string of high-level departures from the U.S. bank to its British rival. (Financial Times)

Under political pressure, Facebook says it has expanded its use of artificial intelligence to block terrorist propaganda. British Prime Minister Theresa May targeted tech companies this month in the wake of a series of deadly terror attacks in the U.K. (The Wall Street Journal)

Snap shares were higher in premarket trading on Friday. The parent company behind Snapchat closedat its IPO price on Thursday, with shares hitting $17 for the first time since the company debuted on the New York Stock Exchange. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Dow Chemical (DOW) and DuPont (DD) are among our stocks to watch today, with the Justice Department clearing the planned merger between the two without any further divestitures. The two companies say they are on track to close the deal in August.

Nike (NKE) was downgraded to "neutral" from "overweight" at JPMorgan Chase, following Thursday's announcement of a restructuring and a two percent workforce reduction.

Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) is under Justice Department investigation regarding its accounting practices, according to a SEC filing by the consulting firm. Booz Allen said it is cooperating with the government, and that its own auditing had not identified any erroneous practices.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announced the completion of its $30 billion purchase of Swiss drug maker Actelion.

Weight Watchers (WTW) shares are getting a boost following a filing by general counsel Michael Colosi showing he purchased 7,110 shares in the weight loss company.

BHP Billiton (BHP) named Ken MacKenzie – the former CEO of Australian packaging company Amcor – as its next chairman. He'll succeed former Ford CEO Jac Nasser as chairman of the mining company on September 1. Nasser had been the target of criticism by activist investor Elliott Management.

WATERCOOLER

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos wants our help. He tweeted Thursday asking for ideas on where his money and philanthropic efforts can be best directed. Bezos, who's historically a long-term thinker, wants to better assist people who need help now. (The Verge)