Morning Brief

Stocks are set to open higher, but whether that continues depends on the latest jobs report

Key Points


Futures were higher this morning, possibly extending the gains seen Thursday. The Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq are all on pace for their third positive week in four. Meanwhile, the bull market turns 9 years old today, the second longest in history. On March 9, 2009, stocks halted their financial crisis slide. (CNBC)

Whether Wall Street sees a higher open could depend on the data from the all-important nonfarm payrolls report for February, due out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Investors will be paying close attention to average hourly earnings and the unemployment rate. (CNBC)

* US may lose up to 150K jobs from trade tension: Economist (Reuters)
* Private-sector jobs grow by 235,000 in February, vs 195,000 expected: ADP/Moody's Analytics (CNBC)

Meanwhile, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans speaks at the Manhattan Institute Shadow Open Market Committee Spring Meeting in New York today at 12:45 p.m. ET. Additionally, Evans will join CNBC at 8:40 a.m. ET to talk about the jobs report, interest rates and inflation. (CNBC)

The price of bitcoin fell below $9,000 today, extending the losses seen earlier in the week when it dropped below the key $10,000 level. On Wednesday, the SEC said exchanges that offer "digital assets that are securities" would have to register with the agency. (CNBC)


President Donald Trump accepted an invitation to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May, setting in motion a significant step in negotiations about North Korea's nuclear weapons program and the first face-to-face encounter between the two leaders. (CNBC)

* Trump is 'being played' by Kim Jong Un's offer to meet (CNBC)
* The last two times North Korea said it was giving up nukes, it was lying (CNBC)

Trump implemented tariffs on imported steel and aluminum but exempt Canada and Mexico, two key U.S. trading partners. In addition to the exemptions, the White House will give other nations the opportunity to justify why they shouldn't be included. (CNBC)

* US allies see Trump's steel tariffs as an insult (Washington Post)

The president said his administration is in the final stage of crafting regulations to ban the use of bump stocks, devices that enable semi-automatic guns to fire at full automatic speeds, following the Feb. 14 shooting rampage that killed 17 people at a Florida high school. (CNBC)

A federal judicial panel said that challenges to the FCC's repeal of the Obama-era open internet rules will be heard by an appeals court based in San Francisco. A dozen challenges have been filed by 22 state attorneys general, public interest groups and others. (Reuters)

Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services is recommending Tesla (TSLA) stockholders reject a multi-billion-dollar, 10-year pay package for Chief Executive Elon Musk, saying the "unprecedented" award was too rich. (Reuters)

Fifty-two percent of Disney (DIS) shareholders voted to reject an executive compensation plan that could reward CEO Bob Iger with up to $48.5 million, a compensation tied to the closing of a planned acquisition of film and TV assets from 21st Century Fox. (FOXA). (Reuters)

Former pharma executive Martin Shkreli, who gained infamy in 2015 for ordering a 5,000-percent price hike in a life-saving drug used by AIDS patients, is expected to be sentenced today in Brooklyn on federal securities fraud and conspiracy charges. (USA Today)

Weight Watchers (WTW) is about to launch a line of quick prep meal kits at grocery stores, according to Bloomberg. The Oprah Winfrey-backed company has a partnership with Chef'd, which provides customers with the option to select meals approved by Weight Watchers.


Shares of Toys R Us debtholders Hasbro (HAS) and Mattel (MAT) saw their stocks fall in premarket trade Friday after CNBC reported, citing sources, that Toys R Us may soon liquidate its U.S. operations. One of the sources cautioned that the situation remains fluid.

Several candidates have been approached to lead Amazon (AMZN), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) and J.P. Morgan Chase's (JPM) new joint venture to improve health care for their employees while lowering costs, sources tell CNBC. Berkshire Todd Combs is taking the lead on the recruiting effort.

Wynn Resorts (WYNN) agreed to pay $2.6 billion to settle a lawsuit brought by Japan's Universal Entertainment. The move ends a dispute that pitted Steve Wynn, the former CEO who quit amid sexual misconduct claims, against his former associate Kazuo Okada.


Former President Barack Obama is reportedly in advanced negotiation talks with streaming giant Netflix (NFLX) to produce a series of exclusive shows. If approved, Obama and his wife, Michelle, would provide content that will focus on inspirational stories. (NY Times)