Morning Brief

Dow set for gains | Kellogg nears deal with Ferrero | Bezos' phone data


U.S. stock futures were higher this morning after a Friday surge that ended a profitable first quarter for Wall Street's bulls. The S&P 500 concluded its best first quarter since 1998 and its largest overall quarterly gain since the third quarter of 2009. (CNBC)

Turkey's lira slides as Erdogan's party suffers pivotal losses (CNBC)
* The biggest question for the market entering the second quarter: Recession or just a soft patch? (CNBC)

Kellogg (K) is near a deal to sell its Keebler and Famous Amos brands to Italy-based Ferrero for up to $1.5 billion, according to sources who spoke to CNBC. Ferrero is the company that owns the Nutella brand and bought Nestle's US candy business last year.

The government issues February retail sales at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Institute For Supply Management issues its March manufacturing index at 10 a.m. ET. At the same time, the government issues February construction spending and February business inventories. (CNBC)

On the earnings front today, egg producer Cal-Maine Foods (CALM) is out with quarterly earnings this morning, while no companies of note are scheduled to release numbers after today's closing bell. (CNBC)


The Wall Street Journal reported that tension is simmering between U.S. and Ethiopian officials as investigators prepare to release in the coming days an interim report about the Boeing (BA) 737 MAX jetliner that went down in March.

News that special counsel Robert Mueller ended his investigation without recommending criminal charges against President Donald Trump has had little effect on public opinion, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows.

Attorney General Barr expects redacted Mueller report released by mid-April (CNBC)

Trump supporting a lawsuit saying Obamacare is unconstitutional could prove difficult for the president to come up with a replacement plan, especially after voters gave poor marks to GOP health-care proposals in 2017. (CNBC)

More than half of adults are either somewhat more confident or much more confident about their ability to save for retirement than they were three years ago, according to the CNBC and Acorns Invest In You Savings Survey.

Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan suffered stunning setbacks in local elections as his ruling AK Party lost control of the capital Ankara for the first time since the party's founding in 2001. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia accessed Jeff Bezos' phone and obtained private data belonging to the Amazon (AMZN) CEO, security specialist Gavin de Becker said in an article posted on The Daily Beast, laying out the findings of his investigation.

Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the weekend called for governments to play a greater role in regulating the Internet, citing four areas where he believes better rules are needed. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) has hired Tesla's (TSLA) head of electric powertrains, according to industry publication Electrek, sparking talk that Apple intends to produce an electric vehicle rather than merely a self-driving system.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has been testing tobacco-free stores in the U.S., but its CEO Stefano Pessina tells the Wall Street Journal that the drugstore chain has no plans to completely abandon cigarette sales. 


Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) baby shampoo samples were rejected by regulators in India, who said they failed quality tests. The tests indicated that the samples contained formaldehyde, but J&J said the company does not accept the results and that the products are safe.

T-Mobile US (TMUS) detailed a departure plan for Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter in an SEC filing. He would depart on one of three dates, whichever arrives first: the end of 2019, 20 days after the first quarterly filing of a merged T-Mobile and Sprint (S), or 20 days after an announcement that the proposed deal is off.

A judge may keep California utility PG&E (PCG) from resuming dividend payments until it meets goals to trim trees near its power lines and reduces its role in causing California wildfires.

Willis Towers Watson (WLTW) will buy TRANZACT for $1.2 billion from private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice. TRANZACT is a direct-to-consumer health care company that links consumers to health insurers.

Wells Fargo (WFC) was downgraded to "market perform" from "outperform" at Keefe Bruyette & Woods, which said it does not believe the bank will save as much in expenses as previously thought.

Intel (INTC) has laid off a "substantial" number of IT workers numbering in the "hundreds", according to the Oregonian newspaper.


Walt Disney's (DIS) live remake of its animated classic "Dumbo" did top the weekend box office with ticket sales of $45 million, but the opening was considered weak by industry analysts. The film had a budget of $170 million. (WSJ)