Morning Brief

Futures mixed on Wall Street after stocks roar on Thursday

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were mixed this morning, a day after stocks roared back into action. The Dow soared Thursday to close up 187 points following strong earnings from Cisco (CSCO) and Wal-Mart (WMT). The S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent; The Nasdaq advanced 1.3 percent. (CNBC)

Bitcoin hit a new record high this morning, coming within touching distance of the $8,000 handle. Coinbase said that there was still a possibility of a planned Segwit2x upgrade happening that would cause bitcoin to split and create a new cryptocurrency. (CNBC)

Gap (GPS) shares were more than 6 percent higher in premarket after beating on earnings. More shoppers made purchases at Gap's less-expensive Old Navy nameplate during the latest period, boosting total sales. (CNBC)

Splunk (SPLK) stock was 14 percent higher in premarket trade after the software company posted third-quarter earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street estimates. The company also sees fiscal 2019 annual revenue of $1.55 billion, versus the $1.52 billion analysts expected.

Another batch of economic data is set to be released today. First off, housing starts and building permits are due out at 8:30 a.m. ET, and then the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey is set to be published at 11 a.m. ET.


Comcast (CMCSA) has approached 21st Century Fox (FOXA) and expressed interest in an acquisition of some of Fox's assets, sources tell CNBC. Comcast is interested in the same set of assets that Disney (DIS) approached Fox about earlier this year, sources said.

* Comcast's Fox offer is all stock, focuses on international assets, cable networks, and Hulu: Sources (CNBC)

After months of teasing investors and fans that his company's first electric semi will "blow your mind," Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk finally took the wraps off the truck. But Musk also had one more gift for investors. He unveiled a next-generation Roadster and said it would be "the fastest production car ever made, period." (CNBC)

President Trump discussed a possible free trade agreement with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his trip to Tokyo, the U.S. ambassador to Japan said today, contradicting Japanese officials who had said such talks never took place. (Reuters)

Following President Trump's visit to Beijing, China is expected to send a high-level special envoy to North Korea today amid rising tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programs. (USA Today)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller reportedly caught the Trump campaign by surprise last month, issuing a subpoena to more than a dozen officials despite the campaign's voluntary compliance with his probe. (WSJ)

House Republicans passing a monumental bill to cut taxes on Thursday has upped the pressure on the Senate to pass its own bill. Tax reform will now look towards the Senate, where the Finance Committee is expected to vote today. (CNBC & Washington Post)

* GOP tax bill would spike Obamacare premiums nearly $2,000 for families, trigger Medicare cuts (CNBC)

Sen. John McCain warned Trump against nominating any more defense industry insiders to top Pentagon posts, as his committee questioned a Trump pick, an executive from Lockheed Martin, about potential conflicts of interest. (Reuters)

President Trump weighed in on the controversy surrounding Al Franken, calling the Minnesota senator who was accused of sexual misconduct: Al Frankenstein. Franken apologized Thursday after reports he forcibly kissed and groped a woman in 2006. (Politico)

Saudi authorities are striking agreements with some of those detained in an anti-corruption crackdown, asking them to hand over assets and cash in return for their freedom, sources familiar with the matter tell Reuters.

The medical condition of North Korea's latest escapee reveals worrying insights about health and hygiene in the rogue state. Multiple parasites were found on his body. Parasites are reportedly widespread in the state due to the use of human excrement as fertilizer. (CNBC)

The NFL reportedly denied a request by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for a special meeting to discuss the contract of Commissioner Roger Goodell. Jones had threatened to sue the league over Goodell's contract. (NYT)

Online retail giant Amazon (AMZN) has quietly launched an app called Relay designed to help truck delivery drivers get in and out of warehouses faster. The app will give Amazon direct access to millions of truck drivers across the country. (CNBC)

Former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt said he regrets the company's practice of having an empty jet follow him on trips. Immelt said he stopped the company's practice "as soon as I found out about it." (CNBC)

A robotics company that Alphabet (GOOGL) recently sold to SoftBank posted a new video that shows one of its more widely known robots doing a backflip. To emphasize the achievement, Boston Dynamics replays the move in slow motion twice in the YouTube video. (CNBC)


Barnes & Noble (BKS) has rejected an offer by an activist investor to take the company private. The Wall Street Journal reported Sandell Asset Management came to the retailer with a transaction that would value Barnes & Noble at around $650 million.

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit. The home furnishing retailer, however, is narrowing its earnings outlook for the year. The company is also buying 3-D imaging and augmented reality start-up Outward.

Applied Materials' (AMAT) third-quarter results also beat forecasts, posting earnings of 93 cents a share, 2 cents above forecasts. Revenue came in at $3.97 billion, more than the $3.94 billion Wall Street expected. It also provided an upbeat Q1 guidance.

Ross Stores (ROST) posted third-quarter earnings of 72 cents a share on revenue of $3.33 billion. Analysts expected earnings of 67 cents per share on revenue of $3.26 billion, according to Thomson Reuters estimates. Comps were up 4 percent, versus the 1.8 percent expected.


The highly anticipated superhero film Justice League hits theaters today. The ensemble film, which teams Ben Affleck's Batman, Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman and other DC Comics superheroes in a bid to save the planet from an invader, is Warner Brother's biggest DC Comics superhero movie to date. (USA Today)