Morning Brief

Stocks are on track for weak open as investors digest earnings from two Dow stocks

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were pointing to a modestly lower Wall Street open after Wednesday's record close of the small-cap Russell 2000. The Dow was up for its ninth session in 10. The S&P 500 was up for its fifth session in six. The Nasdaq was up for its second session in three. (CNBC)

Shares of Dow stock Cisco Systems (CSCO) were lower in the premarket after the network equipment maker's in-line outlook actually sparked concerns about its software-focused transition. Earnings and revenue late Wednesday were slightly above estimates. (CNBC)

Shares of Dow component Walmart (WMT) were bouncing around in premarket trading after the retailing giant reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue. J.C. Penney (JCP) is also out with quarterly results before the bell. Nordstrom (JWN) reports after the bell. (CNBC)

* Macy's may have the winning retail formula: Analyst (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, the Labor Department is out with weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Philadelphia Fed releases its May manufacturing index at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Brent crude futures this morning hit $80 per barrel for the first time since November 2014 on concerns Iranian exports could fall due to expected renewed U.S. sanctions after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. (Reuters)


A second round of U.S.-China trade negotiations kicks off in Washington today and although the bilateral talks are expected to be tough, there might still be scope to resolve some issues. (CNBC)

* Trump trade advisor Navarro's sharp words for Mnuchin over China (Axios)
* Germany's Merkel: EU now ready to discuss cutting trade tariffs with Trump (CNBC)

Despite throwing the widely anticipated June summit with Trump into doubt this week, experts say North Korea will most likely still attend talks in Singapore to discuss the possibility of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. (CNBC)

In what appeared to be a veiled rebuke of Trump, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that American democracy was threatened by a growing "crisis of ethics and integrity." Before joining the White House, Tillerson was CEO of Exxon. (NY Times)

One year ago today, Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel to investigate Russia meddling in the 2016 election. On Wednesday, a Senate panel released thousands of pages of documents about a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. (CNBC)

* Inside Scaramucci's connection to Goldstone who set up that Trump Tower meeting (CNBC)
* FBI held secret interview with Australian ambassador in 2016 (CNBC)

Ford (F) is set to restart production of its popular F-150 pickup truck tomorrow at its Dearborn, Michigan plant. Production had been halted due to parts shortages stemming from a fire at a supplier's factory. (CNBC)

Ocado shares in London were surging more 40 percent after the U.K.-based online retailer signed an exclusive deal to provide its grocery delivery service to U.S. supermarket chain Kroger. (CNBC)

The YouTube unit of Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google is set to launch a new music streaming service called YouTube Music next week. YouTube also plans to soon unveil a premium service to charge more for its original video shows. (Reuters)

The ISS investor advisory group recommends Facebook (FB) shareholders withhold support from five directors including Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, over the social media network's ability to respond to problems like election interference and harassment. (Reuters)

* Zuckerberg is set to meet with European officials next week on data privacy (WSJ)

A judge is set to rule today on a request by CBS (CBS) to keep controlling shareholder Shari Redstone from interfering with a planned special board meeting, at which directors plan to consider diluting Redstone's voting power. (Reuters)

Almost four months ago, Amazon (AMZN), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.a) and J.P. Morgan (JPM) announced a new partnership aimed at bringing down the costs of health care. But the venture is finding it tough to fill its CEO post. (CNBC)

* Amazon loses another key executive as it becomes a top target for tech talent poaching (CNBC)

Microsoft (MSFT) unveils a new Xbox controller with customizable features for disabled gamers. The new accessible device is targeted at users with a range of physical disabilities. It's set to launch later this year. (CNBC)


Southwest Airlines (LUV) said it had completed engine inspections across its fleet, following a fatal accident on a flight last month. CEO Gary Kelly said a small number of engine fan blades have been sent back to the manufacturer for further tests.

Allergan (AGN) was sued by Walgreen (WBA), Albertsons, and HEB Grocery, accusing it of antitrust violations in trying to prevent sales of generic versions of Allergan's Restasis. The drug is used to treat dry eye disease.

Xerox (XRX) named John Visentin as its new CEO after abandoning its deal to give control of the company to Japan's Fujifilm. Visentin had been hired last year by major Xerox investor Carl Icahn in his quest to push for change at the company.

Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) reported quarterly profit of 87 cents per share, beating the consensus forecast of 63 cents. But the video game maker's revenue was below estimates, in part due to lower than expected sales for its "NBA 2K" game.

Jack In The Box (JACK) fell 6 cents short of estimates with earnings of 80 cents per share. The restaurant chain's revenue also missed. Jack In The Box sees current-quarter and full-year sales to be flat and to up 1 percent.


Audiences across the world watching Meghan Markle marry Prince Harry on Saturday are expecting romance and pageantry. But such memorable opulence doesn't come cheap. The wedding, including security, is expected to cost about $40 million. (CNBC)