Morning Brief

Wall Street is headed for a mixed open after the Dow dips into correction territory

Key Points


Futures were mixed this morning after a post-Fed Wednesday slide that left the Dow in correction territory once again and losses in nine of the past 11 sessions. The Nasdaq has declined in seven of the past 10 days, with the S&P 500 down in two of the past three days. (CNBC)

The Fed kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged Wednesday at a target of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent but acknowledged that inflation is beginning to creep higher. The central bank also noted some improvements in the economy. (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) stock was down 3 percent in premarket after the automaker reported its largest overall quarterly loss ever. Additionally, its free cash flow widened to negative $1 billion from negative $277 million in the prior quarter. (CNBC)

* 'Elon, you've got to grow up': Analyst explains frustrations with bizarre Musk call (CNBC)

A busy morning for economic reports may or may not change the mood of investors, but they'll have plenty of numbers to crunch starting with three simultaneous reports at 8:30 a.m. ET: initial jobless claims, international trade data and first-quarter productivity. (CNBC)

Hiring jumped 19.8 percent in April, according to a LinkedIn Workforce Report, a monthly analysis of employment trends. The report also noted that employers across the nation are in need of people with marketing skills. The government reports its April jobs report tomorrow.(CNBC)

* Amazon: More than a million US small businesses sell on its site (WSJ)
* April job-cut announcements tumble 43 percent from March: Challenger survey (CNBC)


President Donald Trump has all but decided to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord by the end of next week but exactly how he will do so remains unclear, Reuters reported, citing two White House officials and a source familiar with the matter.

Trump repaid his personal lawyer Michael Cohen for a hush payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, according to Rudy Giuliani, one of the lawyers representing the president in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe. (CNBC)

* Giuliani: Trump fired Comey because he wouldn't tell him he wasn't a target (CNBC)
* Donald Trump acknowledges Stormy Daniels payment, denies affair or use of campaign money (CNBC)

The White House said Ty Cobb is leaving as the lead lawyer representing Trump in the ongoing probe by the special counsel. He will be replaced by Emmet Flood, the man who represented President Bill Clinton during his impeachment. (CNBC)

The president, in a late Wednesday tweet, hinted that three American prisoners held in North Korea may win their release. North Korea could release them before or during a summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un. (USA Today)

Brazil said it has not reached an agreement with the Trump administration to permanently exempt it from punitive steel and aluminum tariffs despite the White House claiming it had reached a preliminary deal, The New York Times reported.

* It appears China has stopped buying soybeans from the US altogether because of trade fight (Bloomberg)

Goldman Sachs is moving ahead with plans to set up what appears to be the first bitcoin trading operation at a Wall Street bank. A team is looking at whether it can get regulatory approval and how to deal with additional risks associated with virtual currency. (NY Times)

The two black men arrested for sitting in a Starbucks (SBUX) without ordering anything last month have settled with the city for a symbolic $1 each and a promise from officials to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs. (AP)

Amazon (AMZN) halted a plan for a new office building in Seattle and might sub-lease rather than occupy another future tower downtown. That's pending a city council vote on a proposed tax on top businesses. (Reuters)

Cambridge Analytica, the political research firm caught in a whirlwind of Facebook (FB) privacy and data collection allegations in recent months, announced it is shutting down. The firm said the "siege of media coverage" drove away clients. (CNBC)


Kraft Heinz (KHC) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 89 cents per share, 7 cents above estimates, with revenue essentially in line. The food producer was able to raise prices to combat higher commodity costs and also benefited from tax reform.

Square (SQ) reported an in-line quarter with adjusted quarterly earnings of 6 cents per share, and the mobile payments processor saw revenue beat estimates. However, product development and marketing costs jumped by nearly half over a year earlier.

General Motors (GM) said it is working with design software maker Autodesk (ADSK) to manufacturer 3D-printed auto parts.

Fitbit (FIT) lost 17 cents per share for its latest quarter, 2 cents smaller than the 19 cent loss anticipated by Wall Street analysts. The wearable fitness device maker saw revenue beat estimates, but Fitbit also gave weaker than expected current quarter guidance.

3M (MMM) was upgraded to "outperform" from "sector perform" at RBC Capital, which calls the consumer products maker a high quality company at a relatively attractive valuation.