Morning Brief

Historic handshake at the DMZ and strong tech earnings dominate ahead of the open

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were pointing to a mixed open but with particular strength in Nasdaq futures due to strong tech earnings. Thursday's rally put the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq into positive territory once again for April with two trading days remaining in the month. However, the three stock measures were still lower for the week. (CNBC)

In addition to key earnings and economic data this morning, investors were watching the historic summit in South Korea, where the leaders of South and North Korea pledged to end their 65-year war later this year. The leaders also promised to work toward a nuclear-free region. (CNBC)

* Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in shake hands at the DMZ (CNBC)
* Trump declares in tweet: 'KOREAN WAR TO END' (AP)

White House releases photos of Mike Pompeo's secret meeting Easter weekend with Kim. Pompeo, director of central intelligence at the time, was confirmed as the next secretary of State on Thursday. The logistics for Trump's meeting and Kim are still in the works. (CNBC)

Dow components Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) are among the key earnings this morning. Meanwhile, the government is out with its initial look at of first quarter GDP at 8:30 a.m. ET. The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for April comes at 10 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

Shares of Amazon (AMZN) were about 7 percent higher in the premarket after the e-commerce and cloud giant late Thursday reported better than expected quarterly earnings and revenue. Amazon also increases Prime prices by 20 percent $119 per year. (CNBC)

* Amazon's stock surge adds $12 billion to Bezos' his fortune (Fortune)
* Amazon now has a multibillion-dollar advertising business (CNBC)
* Amazon's Thursday Night Football stream deal (CNBC)
* Amazon's Alexa is getting a memory (CNBC)

Macquarie was so impressed with Amazon's "blowout" earnings, the global investment bank raised its 12-month price forecast to the highest on Wall Street and a value that would imply a record milestone for a publicly traded company, a $1 trillion market cap. (CNBC)

Dow components Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC) were also higher in premarket trading after the tech giants late Thursday both beat estimates on quarterly earnings and revenue. Microsoft saw a 93 percent profit jump from its cloud business. Intel saw a boost in its server chip sales. (CNBC)

Facebook (FB) shares were modestly higher after closing 9 percent up Thursday for their best day in two years. The social network last Thursday was upgraded to buy from hold at Stifel Nicolaus, saying the stock is now "too cheap to ignore" despite privacy challenges. (Market Watch)

* Facebook warns investors that more Cambridge Analyticas are likely (CNBC)


German Chancellor Angela Merkel is embarking on a one-day working visit to meet President Donald Trump at the White House today, harboring no illusions of matching the "special relationship" formed by France's Emmanuel Macron. (CNBC)

* Pompeo arrives in Brussels in show of support for NATO (Reuters)

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended his decision not to appoint a second special counsel to investigate Republican concerns about the FBI, noting special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation had already taken on "a life of its own." (Reuters)

Conservative economists Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore are predicting a new mass exodus of wealth from New York and California because of the new GOP tax law. But academics who have studied taxes and migration call the forecast "pure nonsense." (CNBC)

Wells Fargo (WFC) is facing a Labor Department investigation of its retirement plan services unit. The review centers on whether the bank has been pushing participants in low cost 401(k) plans to roll holdings into more expensive IRAs at the bank. (WSJ)

A jury found entertainer Bill Cosby guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home near here 14 years ago. All three counts that he was convicted are felonies, each punishable by up to 10 years in state prison. The judge at the retrial did not set a sentencing date. (NY Times)

T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S) have made progress in negotiating merger terms, with the U.S. wireless carriers reportedly aiming to successfully complete deal talks as early as next week. T-Mobile is majority owned Deutsche Telekom and Japan's SoftBank controls Sprint. (Reuters)

Boeing (BA) shares may benefit after rival Airbus cut output of its A330 passenger jet and reported a drop in profits compared to a year earlier. Separately, Southwest Airlines (LUV) placed an order for 40 of Boeing's 737 MAX jets worth $4.68 billion at list prices. (Reuters)


Starbucks (SBUX) matched forecasts with quarterly earnings while revenue topped estimates. The coffee giant maintained its full-year outlook but said that projection excludes the impact of the planned closure of stores on May 29 to conduct an anti-bias training.

Expedia (EXPE) lost 46 cents per share for its latest quarter, a loss that was one cent smaller than consensus estimates, while the travel website operator's revenue was above forecasts. Expedia was helped by larger than expected bookings volume.

Mattel (MAT) lost 60 cents per share for the first quarter, wider than the 39 cents per share loss that analysts had expected. Strong demand for the toy maker's Hot Wheels and Barbie products helped, but like its rivals, Mattel was hurt by the closure of Toys R Us.

U.S. Steel (X) earned an adjusted 32 cents per share for the first quarter, 3 cents above estimates, with the steel maker's revenue in line with forecasts. The shares were under pressure, however, after U.S. Steel gave weaker-than-expected current quarter guidance.

Baidu (BIDU) beat forecasts on both the top and bottom lines with its latest earnings, on the strength of stronger advertising sales for the China-based internet search giant.

Sony (SNE) reported the highest fiscal-year operating profit in its 72-year history, signaling the company is firmly back on a growth track after years of losses.


Ending weeks of intrigue, the Cleveland Browns picked Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield as No. 1 overall in last night's NFL draft. Mayfield was shown celebrating with his family, saying at one point, "Yes, sir. Let's go." (NBC Sports)

Four days days after Prince William and Duchess Kate's new royal baby was born, the public learned today the little prince will be named Louis Arthur Charles. He's the couple's second son and their third child. Louis is fifth in line to the throne behind his older sister. (USA Today)