Morning Brief

Stocks attempt to hold onto gains to conclude positive week on Wall Street

Key Points


Futures were lower this morning following Thursday's mild declines. However, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq remain on pace for a second straight positive week. The Dow has fallen for the past two sessions, its first back-to-back losses of this month. (CNBC)

* Cramer Remix: The trade war with China has shifted to tech (CNBC)

Dow component General Electric (GE) rose 3 percent in premarket after it reported first-quarter earnings 16 cents per share, 5 cents above what Wall Street was expecting. The company also reaffirmed its financial outlook for the year. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) shares continued lower in the premarket after losing nearly 3 percent on Thursday on what a disappointing forecast from a key chipmaking partner portends for iPhone sales. Other chip stocks also declined Thursday. (CNBC)

* (CNBC)

Oil prices were under pressure after President Donald Trump tweeted this morning that OPEC is keeping oil prices "artificially very high" and that "will not be accepted." U.S. crude hit its highest level since November 2014. (CNBC)

Three Fed speakers are on the calendar for today, highlighted by CNBC's Steve Liesman interviewing Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari at 2:15 p.m. ET. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and San Francisco Fed President John Williams also have public appearances. Of the three, only Williams is a voting member of the FOMC for 2018. (CNBC)


A Russia news agency said President Donald Trump invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the U.S. during a phone call, and said he would be glad to see Putin in the White House. RIA Novosti said Russia was now expecting Trump to formalize the invitation. (Reuters)

* Russia is opposed to 'sanction-swapping' with the US (CNBC)

Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he had serious concerns about the judgment of his first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, according to memos maintained by Comey. Memos about Comey's encounters with Trump were released Thursday. (AP)

* In Comey memos, Trump says Putin bragged about Russia's 'beautiful hookers' (The Hill)
* What the Comey memos tell us about Trump (Axios)
* Giuliani to join Trump's legal team to work on Russia inquiry (NY Times)

Federal prosecutors are examining whether they have sufficient evidence to open a criminal investigation into ex-FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, The New York Times reported. That came after a DOJ report repeatedly faulted him for misleading investigators.

The Kushner Cos, the real estate company that was run by Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, confirmed it was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors for information related to a report that it filed dozens of false documents about its buildings in New York. (AP)

CNBC has learned close allies of John Kasich have reached out to prominent Republican megadonors to gauge their interest in backing the GOP Ohio governor in a run against Trump during the 2020 presidential election.

Ahead of a rare summit, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said North Korea wants "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula. He added the nation is not attaching such preconditions as the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea. (USA Today)

Wells Fargo (WFC) is close to a settlement of as much as $1 billion over its risk management practices, including forcing customers to buy auto insurance policies, according to multiple sources. The news was first reported by the New York Times Thursday afternoon.

Lance Armstrong, the former cyclist who was sued by the federal government in 2013 after he admitted to extensive use of performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions, agreed to pay $5 million to the government to settle its civil fraud lawsuit against him. (USA Today)

China's ZTE said a U.S. ban on exports to the technology firm could threaten its survival and adversely affect American companies. The Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security imposed what's known as a denial of export privileges against ZTE. (CNBC)


Skechers (SKX) shares were losing 23 percent in the premarket after the shoe retailer issued weaker than expected guidance for the current quarter, based on an expected shift in shipments to the second half of 2018. Skechers did beat estimates on earnings and revenue in Q1.

Pinnacle Foods (PF) shares surged 9 percent in premarket this morning after activist investor Jana Partners disclosed a 9.1 percent stake in the company and said it would seek talks with the company on a range of subjects.

Mattel (MAT) named board member and former Google executive Ynon Kreiz as its CEO, replacing Margaret Georgiadis. During her 14 months at the helm, sales for Mattel's best known products like Barbie and Hot Wheels slumped.

Barclays (BCS) CEOJes Staley will be fined by British regulators, according to the bank. The fine stems from an attempt to find out the identity of a whistleblower. However, the bank said Staley will remain as CEO.

E-Trade Financial (ETFC) beat estimates by 10 cents with quarterly profit of 88 cents per share, with the online brokerage firm's revenue beating estimates as well. E-Trade also saw record daily average trading revenue as volume jumped.


American rapper Kanye West casually announced on Twitter that he's dropping not one, but two new albums next month. One will be a solo album released on June 1 followed by an album with Kid Cudi on June 8. (Variety)