Morning Brief

Dow set to rise | Terror in New Zealand | Tesla unveils Model Y crossover


U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher "quadruple witching" Friday open on Wall Street, with investors welcoming positive signs in U.S. trade talks with China. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were tracking for a positive week. (CNBC)

The U.S. and China are making "concrete progress" on the text of their trade agreement, Chinese state media reported Friday. President Donald Trump said the U.S. will probably know in the next three or four weeks about a possible deal with China. (South China Morning Post & CNBC)

The New York Fed's Empire State manufacturing index is out at 8:30 a.m. EDT. The Federal Reserve releases February industrial production. The University of Michigan releases its preliminary March consumer sentiment index and the government issues its January JOLTS, job opportunities and labor turnover, report. (CNBC)


Forty-nine people were killed today when at least one shooter opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Authorities charged one man in his late 20s with murder. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern calls the terrorist attacks "one of New Zealand's darkest days." (CNBC)

* Gunman streamed what appeared to be helmet camera video on Facebook (NY Times)

Microsoft (MSFT) denied any connection with a Chinese facial recognition app that rights groups claim is being used by Beijing to track minority Muslims in China. The app, called SenseNets, sells facial recognition and crowd analysis technology designed to detect unusual behavior. (CNBC)

Facebook (FB) announced the departure of Chief Product Officer Chris Cox and WhatsApp division head Chris Daniels. Cox did not explicitly mention CEO Mark Zuckerberg's shift in focus to private messaging. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) refuted Spotify's (SPOT) complaint to European regulators, which claims the App Store creates unfair competition, saying the music streaming rival's goal is to "make more money off others' work." Apple said Spotify is seeking all the benefits of a free app, without being free. (CNBC)

* Apple released its first commercial about privacy: Watch it here (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) unveiled its Model Y crossover SUV, with CEO Elon Musk saying last night that deliveries would begin in the fall of 2020 for configurations between $47,000 and $60,000. The base $39,000 Model Y won't be ready until spring of 2021. (CNBC)

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is suing German automaker Volkswagen and ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn, alleging in a court filing that they "perpetrated a massive fraud" and repeatedly lied to U.S. investors in connection with the so-called dieselgate scandal. (CNBC)

Uber is planning to kick off its initial public offering in April, putting it close on the heels of its smaller rival Lyft. Next month, the ride-hailing company plans to launch its investor roadshow. Uber and Lyft are joining a number of expected tech IPOs, including Slack, Pinterest and Palantir. (Reuters)

Closing pop-up stores, pushing the grocery business, and focusing on advertising all will help Amazon (AMZN) boost profits, KeyBanc analysts said as they boosted the online retailer's price target to $2,100 per share, nearly 25 percent higher than Thursday's close. (CNBC)


Oracle (ORCL) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 87 cents per share, 3 cents above estimates. Revenue also beat forecasts. But the business software company did post a second consecutive decline in quarterly revenue.

Adobe Systems (ADBE) beat estimates by 9 cents with adjusted fiscal first-quarter earnings of $1.71 per share. The software maker's revenue also exceeded expectations. However, Adobe issued lower-than-expected current quarter guidance.

Ulta Beauty (ULTA) reported quarterly profit of $3.61 per share, 5 cents above estimates, with the cosmetics retailer's revenue slightly higher than analyst forecasts. Comparable sales jumped 9.4 percent on an increase in customer traffic.

Newell Brands (NWL) CEO Michael Polk will retire in June after serving in that role since 2011. The household goods company had been accused by activist investors Starboard Value and Carl Icahn of missteps.

Rent-A-Center (RCII) was within its rights to abandon a merger deal with private equity firm Vintage Capital in 2018, according to a Delaware state court ruling. The company also said Vintage must pay a $126.5 million termination fee.


It's finally here. A glitzy 1 million square feet of retail space opens at the Hudson Yards development in New York on Friday, promising to offer city dwellers and tourists alike a shopping experience unlike your traditional neighborhood mall. (CNBC)