Morning Brief

Stock futures stall | Tesla shares tanks | Dimon defends capitalism


U.S. stock futures were flat this morning after the S&P 500 closed Wednesday at its highest since Oct. 9, the Nasdaq since Oct. 3. Wednesday marked six months since the most recent record high by one of the major averages, with the Dow's all-time high having been set on Oct. 3, 2018. (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) shares were 7 percent lower in pre-market trading after it said deliveries fell 31 percent during the first quarter. Tesla has struggled with the longer transit times involved in its first Model 3 shipments to Europe and China. It did reaffirm prior guidance of deliveries for 2019. (CNBC)

* Wall Street analysts say Tesla's first-quarter deliveries were 'substantially worse' than expected (CNBC)

On the data front, the Labor Department releases its weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. Separately, automaker Ford (F) will release its first quarter sales figures this morning, two days after other major automakers issued numbers for either March or the first quarter. (CNBC)

New York Fed President John Williams, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, and Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker all have public appearances today. Neither Mester nor Harker are voting members of the FOMC for 2019 (The New York Fed President is always a voting member). (CNBC)


J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon released his annual letter to shareholders today and touched on many topics, including whether there is a recession coming, stock buybacks and recent criticisms of capitalism. (CNBC)

Ethiopian authorities said Boeing (BA) must review the "controllability" of the 737 MAX 8 aircraft model before it can fly again. Boeing has suggested that the crash may have been avoided had pilots followed established safety procedures. (CNBC)

President Donald Trump is planning to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He today in the Oval Office. That comes as Washington and Beijing appeared to be closing in on a deal that would put an end to their ongoing trade war. (CNBC)

The New York Times reported that investigators for special counsel Robert Mueller have told associates that Attorney General William Barr inadequately characterized the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for Trump.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., last night said he had filed a formal request with the Treasury Department for Trump's tax returns. Democrats have been demanding to seem them since 2016. (NBC News)

In another nail-biting vote in the U.K.'s Parliament, lawmakers voted by a majority of just one to force Prime Minister Theresa May to seek an extension to the Brexit process and avoid a no-deal departure. (CNBC)

Tokyo prosecutors arrested ousted Nissan Motor boss Carlos Ghosn for a fourth time today, broadcaster NHK said, after reports authorities were building a new case against him over payments made to a dealer in Oman. (Reuters)

Apple's (AAPL) Beats brand unveiled the new Powerbeats Pro headphones, which appear to be a good alternative to AirPods, with a sportier design, adjustable ear plugs and water resistance. (CNBC)

Walmart (WMT) announced its new online baby registry this morning, as the world's largest retailer continues its aim to grab the market share left by the Babies R Us liquidation. (CNBC)

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating nearly three dozen cases of people suffering from seizures after vaping. It's unclear whether using e-cigarettes causes these seizures, the FDA says. (CNBC)

* Cramer: Altria's non-tobacco moves makes it a compelling stock to buy (CNBC)


Netflix (NFLX) amended its bylaws to allow shareholders to nominate board members. Under the new rules, a shareholder or a group of up to 20 shareholders with a stake of at least three percent for a three-year period may nominate up to two directors. Shareholders had voted in favor of the so-called "proxy access" rule last year.

Walt Disney's (DIS) "Avengers: Endgame" set a one-day ticket sales record for the Fandango ticket-buying service, even though the movie doesn't hit theaters until the end of this month. Fandango, which is owned by NBCUniversal parent Comcast (CMCSA), did not disclose exactly how many tickets were sold.

Constellation Brands (STZ) is selling about 30 of its wine brands to E&J Gallo Winery for $1.7 billion. Most of the brands being sold by the Corona beer maker are of the less expensive variety, selling for $11 per bottle or less in stores.

PG&E (PCG) named Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson as its new chief executive, with the California utility also announcing a new board of directors. It had been widely reported earlier that Johnson would be named CEO, as the utility deals with liabilities relating to the recent series of California wildfires.


The cast of "Game of Thrones" -- even the dead ones -- returned for the glitzy, final-season premiere screening at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The dearly departed characters had no clue how the series would end. (USA Today)