Morning Brief

Stocks under pressure | EU slams US tariff threat | Swalwell enters 2020 race


Futures were lower this morning. The S&P 500 has been up for eight straight days, and if it can rise today, it would chalk up its first nine-day win streak since November of 2004. The Dow is coming off its first loss in four sessions, while the Nasdaq has been higher in seven of the past eight trading days. (CNBC)

Boeing (BA) remains on watch after falling nearly 4.5 percent Monday and dragging nearly 120 points off the Dow by itself. A potential negative story has been rebutted this morning, with China Aircraft Leasing Group denying a newspaper report that it had put an order for 100 737 Max jets on hold. (CNBC)

The Labor Department will issue its JOLTS report for February, its measure of job opportunities and labor turnover, at 10 a.m. ET. U.S. job openings have been near record highs in recent months. Separately, Levi Strauss (LEVI) will issue its first quarterly earnings report after today's close. (CNBC)


Attorney General William Barr will appear before a congressional panel today for the first time since special counsel Robert Mueller completed his report into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (Reuters)

* Today, five pharmacy 'middlemen' head to Capitol Hill's hot seat (STAT News)

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is expected to testify today on Capitol Hill. Democrats are likely to press him on whether the agency intends to comply with their request for President Donald Trump's tax returns. (WSJ)

California Rep. Eric Swalwell has entered the 2020 presidential contest. The Democrat made his announcement on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" last night. Swalwell, a four-term congressman, says he feels he can do more. (CNBC)

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May traveled to Berlin and Paris today for talks with the German and French leaders in a bid to secure backing for a second delay to Brexit. EU leaders will meet in Brussels Wednesday for an emergency summit. (CNBC)

* Europe slams latest US tariff threat as 'greatly exaggerated' (CNBC)

An experimental cancer "vaccine" showed promising results in a small clinical trial of patients with lymphoma, according to a study published in the journal Nature Medicine. Mount Sinai tested the treatment in 11 patients. (CNBC)

Michael Avenatti said Nike (NKE) "pulled a stunt" by having him arrested before he could go public with accusations that the retailer paid certain high school athletes to coax them into playing basketball at Nike-sponsored colleges (CNBC).

* Felicity Huffman, others to plead guilty in US college admissions scandal (Reuters)

Ousted Nissan Motor boss Carlos Ghosn said he was innocent of all the charges against him and was the victim of a conspiracy, according to a video recorded before his arrest last week and broadcast by his lawyers. (Reuters)

The private leader in building small rockets is evolving its business. Rocket Lab unveiled the "Photon satellite platform," adding a spacecraft service to its business of building and launching small rockets. (CNBC)

* Tech giant Alphabet launches drone delivery service in Australia (CNBC)

Wynn Resorts (WYNN) is offering $7.1 billion for Australian casino operator Crown Resorts. Crown said talks between the two parties were at a preliminary stage, with the proposed bid consisting of 50% cash and 50% in Wynn shares. (Reuters)


Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) will pay $110 million to settle a lawsuit that it had misled investors about safety concerns surrounding excess diesel emissions. An investor group had sued the automaker in 2015, saying it had falsely claimed it was complying with safety regulations.

Alcon (ALC) will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange today, following the Swiss eye care company's spin-off from drug maker Novartis (NVS).

Altria (MO) has been asked by the Federal Trade Commission for more information on its investment in e-cigarette maker Juul. Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, bought a 35% stake in Juul for $12.8 billion in November, and is now seeking to convert its non-voting stake in Juul to voting shares.

PerkinElmer (PKI) was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Goldman Sachs, with the life sciences company's stock also added to Goldman's "Conviction Buy" list. Goldman thinks PerkinElmer's growth will accelerate beyond the Street's consensus estimates.

Avaya (AVYA) is preparing to investigate a possible sale of the company, according to a Bloomberg report. That follows the receipt of unsolicited interest in the business communications company.

Zogenix (ZGNX) shares are under pressure after the Food and Drug Administration refused to review a marketing application for the drug maker's seizure treatment. The FDA said the application was insufficient and would have to be resubmitted.


Virginia left wearing a crown on last night in the men's N.C.A.A. tournament. The Cavaliers defeated Texas Tech, 85-77, in overtime for the university's first national basketball championship. (NY Times)