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Wall Street is on track for a second weekly gain in three weeks

BY THE NUMBERS

Futures were higher this morning as Wall Street gets set to finish what's been a largely positive week. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are all on track for a second weekly gain in three weeks, with the latter two on pace for their biggest weekly gains in five weeks. (CNBC)

* Cramer: If you haven't invested yet, wait for a better, less political entry point (CNBC)

Bank earnings are in focus this morning, with quarterly reports from Citigroup (C), PNC Financial (PNC), and Wells Fargo (WFC) all out this morning. J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) reported first-quarter earnings of $2.37 per share, 9 cents above Wall Street estimates. (CNBC)

Qualcomm (QCOM) shares were about 3 percent higher in premarket trading after CNBC reported, citing sources, that former Qualcomm Chairman Paul Jacobs is talking to investors about a bid to take the chipmaker private.

The University of Michigan is out with its mid-April consumer sentiment index at 10 a.m. ET. At the same time, the Labor Department will issue its February JOLTS report, the measure of job opportunities and labor turnover. (CNBC)

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, and Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan all have public appearances today. None are voting members of the FOMC for 2018. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

The Trump administration, confident in its hard-line strategy, reportedly plans to ratchet up pressure on China. The administration may focus on new tariffs and threaten to block Chinese technology investment in the United States, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The White House said Trump told top economic advisors to look at the possibility of re-entering a massive Pacific trade deal. The president wants them to "take another look at whether or not a better deal could be negotiated." (CNBC)

Trump issued an executive order to set up a task force to study the USPS and recommend reforms following his criticism of Amazon (AMZN). That development may represent an escalation in Trump's attacks on Amazon for its dealings with the service. (CNBC)

CNBC has learned a man who used to work as Paul Ryan's personal driver is preparing to run for the outgoing House speaker's seat. Bryan Steil has been courting some of Wisconsin's top donors as he prepares to enter the fray.

The Washington Post and the Associated Press have published a series of excerpts from former FBI Director James Comey's forthcoming tell-all book about his experiences working under Trump. Here are some of the most revealing things Comey wrote.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett warned students in 1991 about the perils of using debt and leverage decades ago, using Trump as a negative case study. Buffett also told the students to instead use his own life as a model on how to succeed. (CNBC)

Google (GOOGL) is apparently drafting a set of ethical principles to guide the use of its tech in the wake of outcry against its partnership with The Pentagon. The company announced its partnership in March to develop A.I. to analyze and interpret drone videos. (Defense One)

A judge in Philadelphia ruled that limousine drivers for Uber are independent contractors and not the company's employees under federal law. This is the first ruling of its kind in what is a crucial issue for the ride-hailing company. (Reuters)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Broadcom (AVGO) announced a $12 billion stock buyback program. The chipmaker's new repurchase program goes into effect immediately and will last until the end of fiscal 2019.

Zillow (Z) gave stronger-than-expected revenue guidance for its first quarter. The real estate website operator also announced it is getting into the business of buying and flipping homes, beginning in Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Volkswagen's (VLKAY) new CEO Herbert Diess won the backing of the automaker's labor leader Bernd Osterloh, who said that with Diess the "right man is on board." Former CEO Matthias Mueller was ousted Thursday in a management shakeup.

The South Korean unit of General Motors (GM) said it lost $1.1 billion in 2017, its fourth straight yearly loss.

Spotify (SPOT) is buying Loudr.fm, a provider of licensing technology which will help it locate songwriters and pay them proper royalties.

WATERCOOLER

A previously unreleased book by "Lord of the Rings" author JRR Tolkien is set to be published this August. The story, described by experts as "the Holy Grail of Tolkien texts," is set before the "Lord of the Rings" takes place. (CNBC)