Morning Brief

Stocks set to rally at the open, giving Dow a shot at extending 7-day win streak

Key Points


Futures were higher this morning, giving the Dow a shot at extending a seven-day win streak. Both the Dow and S&P 500 closed at their highest levels since March 19 Friday, and the S&P now sits within 5 percent of its January all-time high. (CNBC)

* New deadline for NAFTA could make for an interesting week in markets (CNBC)
* Mark Mobius: Combination of South and North Korea would be 'beautiful' for investors (CNBC)

Xerox (XRX) abandoned its planned $6.1 billion deal with Japan's Fujifilm, in which Xerox would be combined with the Fuji Xerox joint venture. The move is part of a settlement with major investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, who felt that Xerox was significantly undervalued in that deal. Fujifilm said it was considering its options, including legal action to seek damages. (CNBC & Reuters))

There are no economic reports due today, although we will get key reports on retail sales and housing starts later in the week. St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard has a public appearance this morning in New York. (CNBC)

There are no earnings reports of note on this morning's calendar, while Agilent (A), Famous Dave's (DAVE), and Vipshop (VIPS) are among the few companies issuing earnings after today's closing bell. (CNBC)


President Donald Trump said that he will help Chinese tech company ZTE Corp "get back into business, fast," after being crippled by a U.S. ban. As one of the world's largest telecom equipment makers, ZTE relied on U.S. companies for components. (Reuters)

* Top White House officials feud over China (Axios)
* US firms given forum to object to China tariffs (WSJ)

House Speaker Paul Ryan wants to be notified on a new NAFTA trade deal by this Thursday to give the current Congress a chance to pass it. Mexico's top trade official said time was running short to meet such a deadline. (CNBC & Reuters)

National Democrats have been embracing more moderate leaders, including ones that do not criticize Trump by name. Dems hope they will give the party a chance to compete in states like Utah and Kansas for the midterm elections. (NY Times)

* Blue districts have higher uninsured rates and more poverty (Axios)

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester told CNBC that the United States should keep its debt-to-GDP in mind before things "get out of hand." Current public debt-to-GDP is 75 percent but is expected to double by 2047.

Prince Turki Al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia, a former chief of Saudi Arabia's intelligence agency, warned that the Trump administration's decision to shift its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will make the Middle East a more dangerous place. (CNBC)

Ford Motor (F) plans to resume production of its F-150 pickup trucks on Friday, May 18 at its Dearborn, Michigan and Kansas City plants, although that could change. F-150 plants stopped production last week because of parts shortages caused by a fire at a factory of a key supplier. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook distanced himself from his tech peers, including Facebook (FB) in a commencement speech that he delivered over the weekend. He said that Apple takes a different path when it comes to data privacy. (CNBC)

Walmart (WMT) said it may take India-based e-commerce company Flipkart public in as soon as four years, according to a regulatory filing. Walmart announced last week it would pay $16 billion for a 77 percent stake in Flipkart. (CNBC)


JPMorgan Chase (JPM) applied to China's securities regulator to set up a majority-owned securities business in that country.

HSBC (HSBC) said it performed the world's first trade finance transaction using blockchain technology. The bank said the transaction was done on behalf of food and agriculture giant Cargill.

Alphabet's (GOOGL) Waymo autonomous driving technology unit has hired Tesla (TSLA) executive Matthew Schwall. Schwall had been Tesla's main contact on technology matters with U.S. safety regulators.

State Bank Financial (STBZ) agreed to be bought by fellow regional bank Cadence Bancorp (CADE) in a $1.4 billion all-stock deal.


Marvel's "Avengers: Infinity War" was the number one movie at the box office for the third straight weekend, making it the fifth-highest grossing global film of all time. The big news was in China, however, where it debuted at a massive $200 million. (Variety)

The name "Alexa" has become a less popular baby name in the United States since Amazon started widely selling its Echo speaker in 2015. "Siri," Apple's virtual assistant, has never been a popular name in the U.S. (Recode)