Morning Brief

Stocks under pressure | Fed's rate decision set | FedEx warns of global slowdown



U.S. stock futures were slightly lower this morning. Some less optimistic China trade headlines erased an early rally Tuesday, with the Dow falling for the first time in five sessions and the S&P 500 dipping negative as well. (CNBC)

* Cramer: Market action shows investors are taking a 'leap of taste' (CNBC)

The Fed will issue its policy statement at 2 p.m. ET, with the central bank expected to leave rates unchanged and cut the number of projected rate hikes for 2019. Fed chairman Jerome Powell will hold a news conference at 2:30 p.m. ET. (CNBC)

* Fed's balance sheet plan and outlook under the microscope (Reuters)

FedEx (FDX) was 6 percent lower in pre-market after it reported a profit that missed estimates. Revenue fell below forecasts as well, and FedEx also cut its full-year outlook for the second quarter in a row, citing a slowing global economy. (CNBC)

* FedEx just warned the whole globe is slowing (CNBC)

The Mortgage Bankers Association will be out with its weekly report on mortgage applications at 7 a.m. ET, while the Energy Department will issue its usual Wednesday look at oil and gasoline inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

General Mills (GIS) will be out with quarterly earnings this morning, while Guess (GES), Micron (MU), Herman Miller (MLHR), and Williams-Sonoma (WSM) will issue their numbers after today's closing bell. (CNBC)


United States and China negotiators have scheduled a new round of high-level trade talks in Beijing and Washington beginning next week. They are aiming to close a deal by late April to end the yearlong dispute. (WSJ)

* Chinese companies are defaulting on their debts at an 'unprecedented' level (CNBC)

The pilots of a doomed Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX scoured a handbook as they struggled to understand why the jet was lurching downwards, but ran out of time before it hit the water, Reuters reported, citing three sources.

* Pilot who hitched a ride saved Lion Air 737 day before crash (Bloomberg)
* Transportation Department seeks audit of FAA's certification of Boeing 737 Max 8 (CNBC)

Former Vice President Joe Biden contacted a group of his supporters to ask for help in raising several million dollars from major donors, making it known he's planning to enter the 2020 election, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In a column published by British newspaper The Telegraph, Donald Trump Jr. claimed that Brexit would have been dealt within a few short months if U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May had followed his father's advice. (CNBC)

Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) received FDA approval for its Zulresso drug, the first specifically designed to treat women with postpartum depression. Sage's stock was up more than 60 percent year to date in anticipation of the approval. (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) is facing dozens of lawsuits and investigations, according to public filings. The costs of defense and settlements burden the car maker at a time when it is already cutting headcount, closing stores and delaying loan repayments. (CNBC)

Google announced its plans to upend the $140 billion gaming industry with a new streaming service called Stadia that allows people to play high-end games without purchasing expensive consoles or computers. (CNBC)

EU regulators hit Google with $1.7 billion fine for blocking ad rivals (CNBC)


Tencent Music (TME) issued its first earnings report as a public company, with the Chinese music streaming company beating Wall Street estimates on both the top and bottom lines. However, shares are being pressured by concerns over the company's license and content production expenses.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Sentra (SIEN) both received FDA warning letters saying the companies had not complied with post-approval study requirements for their breast implant products. The FDA said failure to correct the violations could result in withdrawal of approval.

Viacom (VIAB) said it had begun warning customers of AT&T's (T) DirecTV unit that they may lose channels such as M-T-V and Nickelodeon if the two sides can't agree on a new contract by a Friday deadline.

Steelcase (SCS) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 29 cents per share, beating consensus estimates by two cents, while the office furniture maker also saw revenue come in above Wall Street forecasts. The company's results were helped in part by higher prices.

Monster Beverage (MNST) was downgraded to "neutral" from "buy" at Goldman Sachs, which also removed the energy drink maker's stock from its "Conviction Buy" list. Goldman thinks the company's near-term U.S. sales could be softer than expected.

Dollar Tree (DLTR) was upgraded to "outperform" from "market perform" at Telsey Advisory Group following a meeting with management. Telsey said the meeting provided clarity on the discount retailer's plans to improve its results.

Smartsheet (SMAR) reported an adjusted quarterly loss of seven cents per share, smaller than the 14 cent loss expected by analysts. The cloud software company also saw revenue come in above estimates, although it is forecasting a larger than expected loss for the current quarter and the full year.


Oscar-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele's next film following "Get Out" is expected to surpass Marvel's "Captain Marvel" with a $45 million to $50 million debut. The film, "Us," currently sits at a 99 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. (Deadline)