Morning Brief

Dow futures lower | 737 Max jet emergency lands | Economic optimism dips: CNBC survey


U.S. stock futures were lower this morning after a rebound for the markets. The Dow has been up in three of the past four sessions, but it is still down more than 300 points over that stretch. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose for the first time in three days Tuesday. (CNBC)

The Mortgage Bankers Association will issue its weekly report on mortgage applications at 7 a.m. ET. The government will issue January trade deficit figures at 8:30 a.m. ET, while the Energy Department is out with its report on oil and gasoline inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

* Want to sell your home? Hurry up and list it next week (CNBC)
* Optimism about economy dips but Americans still feel it is in good shape under Trump (CNBC survey)

On the earnings front, homebuilder Lennar (LEN) and payroll processor Paychex (PAYX) are out with quarterly earnings this morning, while retailer Five Below (FIVE) and apparel makers Lululemon (LULU) and PVH (PVH) will be out with their numbers after today's closing bell. (CNBC)

Health insurer Centene (CNC) announced this morning it will buy smaller rival WellCare Health Plans (WCG) for $15.27 billion in a cash-and-stock deal. The offer of $305.39 per share represents a premium of about 32 percent to WellCare's closing price on Tuesday. (Reuters)


A Boeing (BA) 737 Max jet operated by Southwest Airlines made an emergency landing in Orlando due to an engine issue. The jet only had two crew members aboard and Southwest said the issue was unrelated to recent crashes. (CNBC)

Attorney General William Barr plans to issue in a matter of weeks a public version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report that found President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign team did not conspire with Russia. (Reuters)

Multinational companies such as Procter & Gamble (PG) warn the new tax system, meant to help them compete in foreign markets and create jobs, could put them at a disadvantage globally and reduce incentives to invest at home. (WSJ)

A Green New Deal proposal backed by numerous Democrats failed to advance in the Senate as Democrats protested what they called a political show vote orchestrated by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (CNBC)

* Democrats see opening as Trump moves to strike down Obamacare (NY Times)
* House fails to override Trump's veto on bill that would have blocked his national emergency (CNBC)

McDonald's (MCD) will no longer take part in efforts to lobby against raising the minimum wage at the federal, state or local level, the fast-food giant told the National Restaurant Association, according to Politico.

OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma and its owners, the Sackler family, agreed to pay $270 million to Oklahoma to settle a lawsuit accusing it of ruthlessly marketing and misleading the public about the dangers of its highly addictive narcotic. (CNBC)

Chicago prosecutors abruptly dropped criminal charges against "Empire" star Jussie Smollett, who was accused of staging a phony hate crime against himself and faced 16 counts of disorderly conduct. (CNBC)

Apple's (AAPL) new credit card issued in conjunction with Goldman Sachs (GS) this week holds a lot of promise, but read the fine print before signing up. Here's what you need to know. (CNBC)

* Oprah had the best explanation for what Apple's TV event was really about (CNBC)

Xpeng Motors, a Chinese rival to Tesla (TSLA), is seeking at least $500 million in funding and separately looking at a public listing, possibly in the United States, its CEO He Xiaopeng told CNBC today.


KB Home (KBH) reported quarterly profit of 31 cents per share, five cents above estimates, although the home builder's revenue fell short of Street forecasts. The revenue miss was due to a decline in average selling prices, but KB Home did swing to a profit from a year-earlier loss during the quarter.

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) could be an eventual takeover target of French automaker Renault, according to the Financial Times. The paper said Renault wants to restart merger talks with longtime partner Nissan, and then set its sights on a bid to buy Fiat Chrysler.

J.C. Penney (JCP) named former Vitamin Shoppe Chief Financial Officer Bill Wafford as its new CFO, effective April 8. Former CFO Jeffrey Davis had left the retailer in October.

Novartis (NVS) won FDA approval for its new multiple sclerosis drug Mayzent, designed for patients whose attacks have shifted from intermittent to more frequent. (AMZN) and Volkswagen (VLKAY) have formed a strategic partnership to create an "industry cloud" for automakers, according to a German newspaper. The report said more details will be announced soon.

Apple (AAPL) won a ruling from the International Trade Commission late Tuesday in its long-running patent battle against chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM). Earlier in the day, in a separate patent ruling, the ITC ruled in favor of Qualcomm.

Shoe Carnival (SCVL) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 11 cents per share, beating estimates by five cents, with revenue also above analyst forecasts. Same-store sales rose 4.7 percent during the quarter.

DowDupont (DWDP) spin-off Dow Inc. will replace DowDupont in the Dow Jones Industrial Average when the chemical maker splits into three separate publicly-traded companies next week.


It turns out that Shuri, the beloved teen genius and technological architect of Wakanda, is among the dead after Thanos's snap, according to a new character poster that Marvel released ahead of "Avengers: Endgame." (Vox)