Morning Brief

Stocks look to build on rally that saw the Dow soar more than 650 points

Key Points


shade Futures were higher this morning after stocks posted their best one-day gains since August 2015. The Dow and S&P 500 could post their first back-to-back gains since March 8-9 with advances today, although both still have deficits to make up. (CNBC)

* Cramer pinpoints what sparked the rally: China, 60 Minutes, short-covering and Facebook (CNBC)

FactSet (FDS), Francesca's (FRAN), and IHS Markit (INFO) are among the companies with quarterly earnings this morning, while Lululemon (LULU), Restoration Hardware parent RH (RH), Shoe Carnival (SCVL), and Sonic (SONC) will be out with theirs after the closing bell. (CNBC)

Red Hat (RHT) stock was 5 percent higher premarket after it reported quarterly earnings 10 cents above estimates, while the Linux software distributor saw revenue beat estimates as well. Red Hat benefited from growing demand for its hybrid cloud products. (CNBC)

The latest snapshot of the housing market comes at 9 a.m. ET, with the release of the January S&P Case-Shiller report on home prices. At 10 a.m. ET, the Conference Board's March consumer confidence index is out. (CNBC)


shade Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower behind the Facebook (FB) and Cambridge Analytica data scandal, appeared before U.K. lawmakers today. He said the election of Donald Trump made him speak out about the practices being employed by the firm.

Additionally, Facebook said it would send a top executive to appear in front of U.K. lawmakers, but not CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Instead, the company will send either Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer or Chief Product Officer Chris Cox. (CNBC)

* Facebook's data scandal should be a wake-up call about our online footprint (CNBC)

The Commerce Department reinstated a citizenship status question to the 2020 Census. The department said the question was added to help enforce the Voting Rights Act. Some argue the move was designed to undercount immigrants and minorities. (USA Today)

* California AG to sue Trump administration over census citizenship question (The Hill)

President Donald Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russians from the United States and the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle, the White House confirmed. The 60 Russian nationals were given seven days to leave the United States. (CNBC)

* How an outraged Europe agreed to a hard line on Putin (NY Times)
* Over 100 Russian diplomats and counting: The list of countries punishing Moscow after UK poisoning grows (CNBC)

A prominent Chicago defense attorney declined an invitation to lead President Trump's legal team responding to Robert Mueller's Russia probe. Trump's legal team has been in crisis mode after the president's lawyer John Dowd abruptly resigned. (Washington Post)

The White House is investigating whether two loans totaling more than $500 million to the family real estate business of Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner violated any criminal laws or regulations, according to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. (Reuters)

Stormy Daniels sued President Trump's personal lawyer for defamation. Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, said in a court filing that Michael Cohen publicly portrayed her as having lied about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump. (WSJ)

* '60 Minutes' Daniels interview was its most-watched episode in 10 years (CNBC)
* White House tries to shift focus on Stormy Daniels to Trump lawyer, campaign (CNBC)

Larry Kudlow, Trump's pick to head the National Economic Council, asked to keep White House economic advisor Gary Cohn's staff. Former CNBC contributor Kudlow told the Washington Post "It's a terrific staff, and I've asked everyone to stay on."

President Trump is on the verge of securing his first major trade deal, leveraging the threat of tariffs to gain concessions from South Korea on exports of steel and imports of American cars. The agreement could be announced as soon as today. (NY Times)

The Defence Department said it is investigating the delivery of suspicious packages to multiple military installations in the Washington, D.C. area. A package was tested positive for black powder residue. No injuries have been reported. (AP)

GMC unveiled an off-road truck AT4 sub-brand, designed to take on Jeep and the Ford Raptor. The move follows introductions of other off-road versions of pickup trucks, such as the Raptor and Colorado ZR2. (CNBC)

* New York Auto Show kicks off this week against a tough backdrop (USA Today)

Arizona's governor suspended Uber's ability to test self-driving cars on public roads in the state after a fatal crash that killed a 49-year-old pedestrian. The state had been a key hub for Uber, with about half of the company's self-driving cars. (Reuters)

At an event at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago today, Apple is expected to introduce a new lower priced iPad in a bid to get students and school administrators, to start thinking Mac again. (USA Today)

STOCKS TO WATCH (OSTK) announced a four million share secondary offering. The online retailer's offering would net about $178 million based on Monday's closing stock price.

GGP (GGP) agreed to be bought by commercial real estate company Brookfield Property Partners (BPY) For $15.3 billion in cash and stock, or $23.50 per share. Its offer for the mall operator is up from a prior bid of $23 per share and also increases the cash portion.

Carlyle Group (CG) will buy the specialty chemicals business of Amsterdam-based Akzo Nobel for $12.6 billion, including assumed debt. Akzo is selling that unit to focus on its paints and coatings business.

Walmart (WMT) will use China's Tencent and its popular WeChat payment system in the China market, dropping its prior linkup with Alibaba (BABA) affiliate Alipay.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will pay $13 billion in cash to buy out joint venture partner Novartis (NVS) in their consumer health care business. Novartis had a 36.5 percent stake in the joint venture.


Disney (DIS) and Marvel Studios announced production officially started on its first solo female superhero film Captain Marvel. The movie, which is expected to be set in the 90s, will bring back familiar faces from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (The Independent)