Morning Brief

Wall Street is set for small gains as stocks limp to June finish

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BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, but the damage to what had been a mostly positive month has been done. The Dow, which had been up 285 points Wednesday, is coming off its lowest close since May 3; the S&P 500 since May 29; and the Nasdaq since May 31. (CNBC)

With two trading days left in June, the Dow was lower by 1.2 percent for the month, dragged down by all the uncertainty about President Donald Trump's trade actions. The S&P 500 was fractionally lower in June. The Nasdaq was basically breakeven for the month. (CNBC)

The newest Dow member, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), is out with quarterly earnings this morning, along with consulting firm Accenture (ACN) and spice-maker McCormick (MKC), while Dow component Nike (NKE) and home builder KB Home (KBH) are among the companies issuing their numbers after today’s closing bell. (CNBC)

The Labor Department will be out with its weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, along with its third reading of first quarter GDP. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

President Donald Trump will likely get to appoint a second judge to the Supreme Court after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced that he will be retiring at the end of July. His administration has already published a list of 25 potential candidates for the bench. (CNBC)

CNBC has learned that former President Barack Obama is expected to hit the campaign trail to help the Democrats flip Congress and win governorships. The timeline is fluid but the former president is expected to start making an impact in September.

Starting over the Fourth of July weekend, the political network funded by billionaire industrialist Charles Koch is planning to release attack ads targeting seven senators who voted against Trump's $15.4 billion spending cuts package. (CNBC)

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to protest in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to protest the Trump administration's policy on immigration that separated more than 2,000 children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. (USA Today)

The Department of Homeland Security has asked the military for up to 12,000 beds to detain families caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The facility would have to comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement's family residential standards. (Politico)

Reuters reported that China has rejected U.S. requests for talks over how American airlines and their websites refer to Chinese-claimed Taiwan. China demanded that foreign firms begin referring to Taiwan as a Chinese territory on their websites.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today that the future of the European Union rests on the bloc’s ability to find a diplomatic answer to the migration crisis. Europe’s largest economy has taken in around 1.6 million migrants since 2014. (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) unveiled Delivery Service Partners, a new program designed to let entrepreneurs run their own local delivery networks of up to 40 delivery vans. Each Delivery Service Partner can start a business with as little as a $10,000 investment. (CNBC)

Facebook (FB) launched a stripped-down version of the social photo-sharing app Instagram, aimed at users in developing markets. The Lite app lets you post pictures, create and watch stories that disappear after 24 hours and search for users. (CNBC)

Lyft announced it is now worth $15.1 billion after a recent $600 million funding round. That would make it worth a quarter of rival Uber, which in May announced first-quarter results and a tender offer that nudges its valuation past $60 billion. (CNBC)

Chipotle Mexican Grill shares were under pressure in early trade after the company told an investor call that it was planning to close up to 65 under-performing restaurants, and that it will introduce a delivery function to its mobile app this summer. (CNBC)

Bed Bath & Beyond's (BBBY) stock was 5 percent lower in premarket after it reported a 0.6 percent drop in same-store sales, compared to expectations of a small increase, as competition in home furnishings intensifies. It reported quarterly earnings above estimates. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

General Electric’s (GE) long-term care insurance unit is reportedly drawing potential buyout interest from Athene Holding, the insurance business of private equity firm Apollo Global Management (APO). The Financial Times reported that talks with Athene are at an early stage and no deal is imminent.

Apple (AAPL) and Samsung settled a seven-year old iPhone patent dispute, ending a long legal battle. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Separately, Apple is considering a “streaming bundle” that would combine music, TV, and magazine articles into a single subscription, according to The Information.

BJ’s Wholesale (BJ) will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange today, after pricing its initial public offering at $17. The price was at the upper end of the indicated $15-$17 range, and values the warehouse retailer at $2.15 billion.

A group of Takeda Pharmaceutical shareholders was unsuccessful in passing a proposal to block the proposed acquisition of British drug-maker Shire (SHPG). The proposal would have required advance shareholder approval for large acquisitions.

Walmart (WMT) is introducing a 3D virtual online shopping tour that lets customers browse and choose items for their homes. The new feature will be introduced next week.

Equifax (EFX) struck a deal with the banking regulators in eight states that avoids fines for the credit reporting agency’s September 2017 data breach. The agreement calls for Equifax to perform an extensive assessment of cyber threats and improve processes for fixing security issues.

WATERCOOLER

Match Day 15 at the World Cup in Russia features the final matches in Group G and Group H, the last ones before the knockout round which begins on Saturday. In Group H, Japan and Senegal lead the table, but Colombia is also still in the hunt. (Fox Sports)

In Group G, England and Belgium have already punched their tickets to the Round of 16, so today's outing could be a B-team affair. Shockingly, defending champion Germany was eliminated yesterday in their last Group F match. (Fox Sports)