Morning Brief

Stocks at the open are on track to give back a big chunk of the Dow's 428-point rally

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were lower this morning, indicating a giveback of part of the Dow's 428-point surge on Tuesday. The Dow has posted triple-digit moves, either up or down, in 18 of the past 22 trading sessions. (CNBC)

President Donald Trump lobbed back at Russia via Twitter this morning, promising to send missiles to Syria in response for a recent chemical weapons attack allegedly carried out by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. (CNBC)

Shares of Facebook (FB) were relatively flat in premarket trading after logging their best one-day gain in nearly two years. Investors were reacting positively to co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Senate appearance. He goes before a House panel today. (CNBC)

* Zuckerberg's Senate testimony: Here are the key points (CNBC)
* Zuckerberg's notes for his Senate hearing, revealed (CNBC)

Facebook added $21 billion in stock market value for a total of nearly $480 billion with Tuesday's gain. Zuckerberg, according to the Forbes real-time wealth rankings, saw his paper fortune surge by $2.8 billion to $66 billion.

Following Tuesday's March producer price index, investors get more inflation figures this morning with the release of the March consumer price index at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Fed releases the minutes of its most recent policy meeting at 2 p.m. ET. (CNBC)

Demand for mortgages weakened last week, despite a brief respite from rising rates. Total mortgage application volume fell 1.9 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refis fell to the lowest level in 10 years, down 2 percent for the week. (CNBC)

Industrial products maker Fastenal (FAST) is among the few companies releasing quarterly earnings this morning. Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) tops the short list of after-the-bell profit reports. (CNBC)


President Trump "certainly believes he has the power" to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, the White House said, an indication administration officials have discussed the notion. (CNBC)

* Can Trump really fire special counsel Mueller? (CNBC)
* Trump had apparently demanded Mueller's ouster in December (NY Times)

Porn star Stormy Daniels is cooperating with federal authorities investigating the $130,000 hush-money payment Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen paid her just before the 2016 election, NBC News reported.

Trump on Tuesday privately signed a broad executive order urging a revamp of federal government aid programs. It requires that more participants prove they are working or trying to find jobs. (WSJ)

European Commission investigators raided Twenty-First Century Fox's (FOXA) London office. The raid comes amid Fox's drawn out takeover of Sky, which has fallen under intense scrutiny by regulators. (Telegraph)

CVS Health (CVS) wants to make it easier for its pharmacists to find patients less costly drugs. The drugstore chain is introducing a system to check for less expensive alternatives, higher quantities at lower costs, and discounts. (CNBC)

CBS (CBS) chief Leslie Moonves may be an obstacle to a potential purchase of Viacom (VIAB). Moonves, who would run the combined firm, apparently doesn't want Viacom CEO Bob Bakish as his lieutenant. (Reuters)

Tesla's (TSLA) Elon Musk is calling out Goldman Sachs (GS) after the bank encouraged investors to sell the electric automaker's stock. "Place your bets," Musk quipped on Twitter. (CNBC)

At least 100 people were killed when an Algerian military plane crashed shortly after takeoff today. The Soviet-designed Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft had been headed for Bechar in southwestern Algeria. (USA Today)


Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) is in talks with the Justice Department to settle charges that the automaker used software to skirt diesel emissions requirements in vehicles sold since 2014.

Activist investor Starboard Value is seeking four board seats at Newell Brands (NWL), according to an SEC filing. Fellow activist investor Carl Icahn has four board seats and is also pushing for changes.

USG (USG) shareholders are being urged by Germany's Gebr Knauf to pressure the building materials maker to engage in deal talks. USG rebuffed a $5.9 billion bid by its German rival in late March.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) is offering $788 million for Swedish drug maker Wilson Therapeutics. Directors at Wilson, which specializes in rare disease treatments, unanimously recommended it.

Analogic (ALOG) has agreed to be purchased by private equity firm Altaris Capital Partners in a $1.1 billion deal worth $84 per share in cash. The price is below yesterday's close, and shares were under heavy pressure.


This month, the vast Rockefeller art collection could make history by selling for as much as $1 billion at Christie's in New York City. No other estate auction has ever crossed that mark. (WSJ)