Morning Brief

Dow is set for a triple-digit fall at the open after the Fed hikes rates

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were lower this morning, after a late-day sell-off Wednesday erased earlier gains. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have fallen in six of the past eight sessions, and the major averages are all on pace for a third losing week in the past four. (CNBC)

* This chart could be flashing a warning sign for the market (CNBC)

The sell-off Wednesday came after investors interpreted comments from the Fed and chairman Jerome Powell as more bullish but more hawkish as well. The Fed raised rates for the sixth time since the policymaking FOMC began raising rates off near-zero in December 2015. (CNBC)

* Fed's mission improbable: Lift unemployment but avoid recession (WSJ)

Facebook (FB) shares remain under pressure in premarket trade this morning, even after CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized in a CNN interview for the data-mining scandal, calling it a major breach of trust. He added he's "open" to testifying before members of Congress.

* Zuckerberg's key comments on data breach (CNBC)
* Developer behind the app at the center of data scandal disputes Facebook's story (CNBC)
* Zuckerberg: I haven't seen a 'meaningful number of people' deleting Facebook accounts (CNBC)

The Labor Department releases its weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, with consensus forecasts calling for 225,000 new claims for the week ending March 17. The Energy Department will be out with its weekly look at natural gas inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

Earnings reports out this morning include the latest numbers from Accenture (ACN), Carnival Corp. (CCL), Conagra Brands (CAG), Darden Restaurants (DRI), Lands' End (LE) and Michaels Companies (MIK). Dow component Nike (NKE) highlights today's after-the-bell earnings, accompanied by Cintas (CTAS), KB Home (KBH) and Micron Technology (MU). (CNBC)


The White House is expected to announce a package of tariffs today penalizing China for intellectual property theft. The actions will not include restrictions on Chinese investment in the U.S. or student visas, sources said. (CNBC)

* Trump trade war with China could hit these industries hardest (CNBC)
* New Fed chair: Trump's trade policy a growing concern among central bankers (CNBC)

Congressional leaders released a massive $1.3 trillion government spending bill late last night, setting up a possible vote today. Lawmakers are rushing to pass the legislation to keep the government running through September by midnight Friday. (CNBC)

Robert Mueller, the special counsel in charge of the Russia probe, is not investigating Attorney General Jeff Sessions for perjury or for making false statements to Congress about his contacts with Russians, a lawyer for sessions said. (CNBC)

* Fired FBI official authorized criminal probe of Sessions, sources say (ABC News)

Democrat Conor Lamb said his Republican opponent, Rick Saccone, had conceded the race in the House special election on March 13 in Pennsylvania. That cemented a stunning Democratic upset in an area President Donald Trump won handily in 2016. (Reuters)

New York City's buildings regulator has launched investigations at more than a dozen of Jared Kushner's properties after an AP report said that the real estate developer routinely filed false paperwork claiming it had zero rent-regulated tenants in its buildings across the city. (AP)

President Trump lashed out this morning at former Vice President Joe Biden for wanting to "beat the hell out of him," saying "crazy Joe Biden ... would go down fast and hard, crying all the way." (AP)

Mark Anthony Conditt, the man believed to be responsible for a series of bombings in Austin that killed two people and wounded four others, left a 25-minute video confession on his cellphone. Conditt blew himself up early Wednesday as a SWAT team closed in. (USA Today)

Police in Arizona released footage of a deadly accident last weekend involving Uber's autonomous vehicle and a pedestrian. The video shows the vehicle's safety driver apparently looking down in the moments before the collision. An investigation is ongoing. (CNBC)

The fourth nor'easter this month continues hammering parts of New England this morning, bringing wet snow and strong wind gusts. Up to 8.55 inches of snow was reported in parts of New York City. (The Weather Channel)


Meredith Corp. (MDP) plans to lay off 1,000 Time Inc. workers over the next 10 months, in addition to 200 job cuts announced earlier this week. The company also confirmed earlier reports that it is exploring the sale of Time Inc.'s flagship titles like Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, and Money.

Guess (GES) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 62 cents per share, beating estimates by eight cents, while revenue also beat forecasts. CEO Victor Herrero said he thinks this year marks the beginning of a turnaround for the apparel retailer.

Best Buy (BBY) will stop selling electronic devices made by China's Huawei Technologies over the next few weeks, according to a Reuters report. That comes amid increased U.S. scrutiny of China-based technology firms.

BlackBerry (BB) reached an agreement with Jaguar Land Rover to provide software for the Tata Motors unit's next generation electric vehicles.

Michaels Companies (MIK) will shut its Aaron Brothers unit, a retailer of framing and art supplies, according to Reuters. The crafts retailer is expected to make an official announcement as soon as today.

British consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser will not bid for Pfizer's (PFE) consumer health care business. Reckitt's exit could push GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) into the lead for the unit, with Reuters reporting that Glaxo is working on an offer.


During a segment on "The Late Show," Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, sporting a workout shirt that said "Super Diva," met Stephen Colbert to hit the weights at the gym. Ginsburg insisted on her regular workout music, which is opera. (Hollywood Reporter)