Morning Brief

Stock futures higher | March jobs report set | Trump recommends Herman Cain


U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, solidifying what's likely to be the second straight positive week for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq as well as the third weekly gain in four weeks. The Dow and S&P 500 saw their highest closes since October 9 on Thursday. (CNBC)

The government releases the March employment report this morning at 8:30 a.m. ET, with consensus forecasts calling for 175,000 new nonfarm jobs for the month. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 3.8 percent, and average hourly earnings are seen rising by 0.3 percent. (CNBC)

* Friday's jobs report could eliminate market's recession fears (CNBC)

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Kansas City Fed President Esther George both have public appearances today — George is a voting member of the FOMC for 2019 while Bostic is not. Separately, there are no earnings reports of note scheduled today. (CNBC)


Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said a new consensus has been reached between China and the United States on the text of a trade agreement that they are negotiating, according to official state news website Xinhua. (CNBC)

* Biotech crops among sticking points in U.S.-China trade deal (Reuters)

President Donald Trump said he has recommended Herman Cain for a Federal Reserve board seat. The former GOP presidential candidate and Godfather's Pizza CEO was rumored to be under consideration for an appointment in January. (CNBC)

Trump said he would give Mexico a year to stem the flow of drugs and migrants over the southern border, and if the country cannot, he said he would impose auto tariffs, and if that didn't work, he would close the border. (CNBC)

A flurry of Brexit activity early this morning saw both the European Union and the U.K. move to lengthen the current timetable for negotiations, reducing the prospect of Britain exiting the bloc without a deal. (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk and the SEC were told by a judge to work out their differences over the next two weeks. The SEC had attempted to hold Musk in contempt of court for his recent tweets about Tesla production levels.

* As Tesla plummets, four experts weigh in on what comes next (CNBC)

A Tokyo court said today former Nissan Motor boss Carlos Ghosn will be held in jail until at least April 14 without possibility of bail. He is suspected of committing a breach of trust, meaning abuse of his position at Nissan for personal gain. (WSJ)

MacKenzie Bezos announced that she and Jeff Bezos have completed the process of dissolving their marriage, leaving her with $35.6 billion in Amazon (AMZN) stock. She grants him 75 percent of their stock, along with voting control. (CNBC)

Two-time Grand Slam tennis champion Naomi Osaka has agreed to a deal with sportswear giant Nike (NKE), joining tennis superstar Serena Williams. She already has deals with Japanese airline All Nippon Airways and car manufacturer Nissan, among others. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH (AMZN) is making a dent in Alphabet (GOOGL) unit Google's ad search dominance, according to the Wall Street Journal. People familiar with the matter told the paper WPP Group (WPP), the world's largest ad buyer, spent about $300 million on Amazon search ads last year, with 75 percent of that money coming from Google search budgets.

Oklahoma's attorney general has dropped all but one claim against Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) in a case charging the two companies with helping spark the U.S. opioid epidemic.

Boston Beer (SAM) was downgraded to "sell" from "neutral" at Goldman Sachs, reflecting Goldman's concerns about decelerating sales growth at the brewer of Sam Adams beer.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) was upgraded to "equal-weight" from "underweight" at Morgan Stanley, with a price target of $20 per share.

Viacom (VIAB) was upgraded to "outperform" from "sector perform" at RBC Capital, which thinks Viacom's recent pact with DirecTV on carrying its programming will pave the way for merger talks with CBS (CBS).

Duluth Holdings (DLTH) reported quarterly profit of 64 cents per share, missing estimates by 11 cents, with the parent of Duluth Trading also seeing revenue come in shy of Street forecasts. The maker of casual wear and accessories said inventory misalignment drove up expenses, and that it still has not come out of the sluggishness it saw in the fourth quarter.


Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, is reportedly calling for the ban of popular battle royale game "Fortnite." The member of the British royal family said the game is "created to addict" and "keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible." (Variety)