Morning Brief

Stock futures are flat as investors appear cautious ahead of Fed decision

Key Points


Futures were flat ahead of today's Fed interest rate decision and policy statement at 2 p.m. ET. Despite very little movement for the Dow and S&P 500 Tuesday, the S&P is coming off its highest close since February 1 and is within 3 percent of its January all-time high. (CNBC)

* How to trade the banks ahead of the big Fed decision (CNBC)
* The Fed is hiking rates, but here's what else you need to know (CNBC)

Ahead of the Fed decision, investors will get a look at the May Producer Price Index at 8:30 a.m. ET, with economists looking for the headline number to increase 0.3 percent and the ex-food and energy rate to rise 0.2 percent. (CNBC)

AT&T's (T) $85 billion deal to buy Time Warner (TWX) was approved by a federal judge, handing a defeat to the Justice Department's effort to derail the deal. The decision is expected to prompt more consolidation in media, and perhaps spark a bidding war between NBCUniversal parent Comcast (CMCSA) and Walt Disney (DIS) for assets being sold by 21st Century Fox (FOXA).

* How AT&T's win shapes a wave of new deals (Axios)
* Now that AT&T has been cleared to buy Time Warner, here's what happens next (CNBC)

Telecommunications equipment maker ZTE fell around 40 percent early in Hong Kong trading hours. In a filing, ZTE said it will pay a $1 billion lump sum payment to the U.S. government as part of a settlement agreement, and an additional $400 million in escrow. (CNBC)

The earnings calendar is extremely light today, with consulting firm Korn/Ferry (KFY) one of the few companies out this morning, and apparel retailer Tailored Brands (TLRD) on the short list of those issuing earnings after today's closing bell.


North Korea's state media is calling the Singapore summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un a "historic" success for the North Korean leader. The reports underscore the meeting's propaganda value for the regime. (USA Today)

* Kim appeared to score an 'A+' victory — Trump's work is 'incomplete' (CNBC)

House Speaker Paul Ryan will advance two immigration bills to the full House next week in an attempt to resolve a deep split within the Republican Party on legislation to protect illegal "Dreamer" immigrants from deportation. (Reuters)

Two media reports said Trump's long-time lawyer Michael Cohen has been telling pals he expects to be arrested soon. Attorneys for Trump and Cohen failed to meet a deadline to raise objections about decisions related to files seized from Cohen by the FBI.

A district judge said special counsel Robert Mueller must tell former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort the names of individuals and groups that allegedly acted as unregistered foreign agents at Manafort's behest. (CNBC)

* Mueller unveils more proof Manafort led Ukraine lobbying in US (Politico)
* Mueller warns that election, politics meddling by foreigners is still happening (CNBC)

U.S. Representative Mark Sanford lost a Republican congressional primary in South Carolina after Trump urged voters a few hours before polls closed on Tuesday to punish Sanford's disloyalty by tossing him from office. (Reuters)

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar intensified the Trump administration's attack on drug middlemen. The HHS secretary even suggested the elimination of discounts that critics say inflate pharmaceutical prices. (CNBC)

Former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Erica Wilkins alleged she was paid about a quarter of what the team mascot made. Now, Wilkins is seeking to recover wages and "all other available damages" in violation of The Equal Pay Act and Fair Labor Standards Act. (USA Today)

Tesla (TSLA) told employees it will cut approximately 9 percent of its 46,000-person workforce. In mid-May, CEO Elon Musk had warned the company was undertaking a "thorough reorganization" and that it would flatten its management structure. (CNBC)


H&R Block (HRB) earned an adjusted $5.43 per share for its first quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $5.27. The tax preparation firm also saw revenue beat forecasts, and it raised its quarterly dividend by 4 percent to 25 cents per share. However, the stock is coming under pressure after issuing weaker than expected full-year revenue guidance and saying that profit margins could be as many as 500 basis points lower for the current fiscal year. (AMZN), Starbucks (SBUX) and other Seattle-based large companies will no longer be assessed a tax on large companies, after the Seattle City Council voted 7-2 to repeal a tax it had passed just a month ago.

Guess (GES) co-founder Paul Marciano has stepped down as the apparel maker's executive chairman, following an investigation into allegations of improper behavior. Guess said the investigation could not corroborate many of the accusations, but did find that Marciano had exercised poor judgement on various occasions. He'll be replaced as chairman by his brother, Maurice Marciano.

Toyota Motor (TM) will invest $1 billion in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab. Grab said that the investment by Toyota is the largest ever by an auto company in the ride-hailing sector.

Qualcomm (QCOM) President Cristiano Amon told Reuters that the chip maker will not abandon its data center business. Bloomberg had reported last month that Qualcomm was exploring whether to sell or shut down the division, but Amon said the company will keep operating it after making some staff reductions.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) accepted a $2.1 billion offer for its LifeScan unit, which makes products to monitor blood glucose. The buyer is private equity firm Platinum Equity.


Residents in Massachusetts city are trying to break the Guinness World Record for the largest paper airplane. The 64-foot-long plane was revealed at the Municipal Airport but there was no plan to fly the nearly one-ton contraption. (NBC Boston)