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Morning Brief

Apple to give Dow a boost | Mueller criticizes AG Barr | 'Game of Thrones' beats records

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, helped by an upbeat after-the-bell earnings report from Apple (AAPL). The S&P 500 has posted its best start to a year since 1987, and the Dow has seen its best first four months of the year since 1999. The Nasdaq saw its first decline in four sessions Tuesday. (CNBC)

Apple's stock is surging, but Wall Street analysts thought earnings results were just 'fine' (CNBC)

Dow component Apple (AAPL) was nearly 6% higher in premarket trading after the iPhone maker posted a quarterly profit of $2.46 per share, beating estimates by 10 cents. Revenue beat Wall Street forecasts as well. However, Apple did see its second consecutive revenue decline. (CNBC)

* Apple is finally moving beyond the iPhone as the smartphone industry stalls out (CNBC)
* Huawei smartphone sales surge 50% as Apple and Samsung struggle (CNBC)

Earnings reports out this morning include the latest numbers from ADP (ADP), Clorox (CLX), CME Group (CME), CVS Health (CVS), Estee Lauder (EL), Garmin (GRMN), Hilton Worldwide (HLT), Humana (HUM), Molson Coors (TAP), Royal Caribbean (RCL), Southern Co. (SO), and Yum Brands (YUM). (CNBC)

The Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee issues its monetary policy statement at 2 p.m. ET, following the conclusion of its two-day meeting. The Fed is not expected to change interest rates at this meeting. There will be a post-meeting news conference. (CNBC)

* Trump calls on Fed to cut rates by 1%, urges more quantitative easing (CNBC)
* Powell will try not to draw ire of Trump or rock markets (CNBC)

The economic calendar is a busy one, beginning at 8:15 a.m. ET with the release of the April ADP report. At 10 a.m. ET, the Institute for Supply Management releases its monthly manufacturing index for April. At the same time, the government is out with March construction spending. (CNBC)

* Weekly mortgage applications drop 4.3%, despite lower interest rates (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Robert Mueller raised criticisms about Attorney General William Barr's summary of the probe into Russia and 2016 election because he felt it left the impression that President Donald Trump was cleared of any possible obstruction, according to multiple reports.

* Read Barr's prepared statement for today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing (Axios)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters that Trump and leading Democratic lawmakers agreed that a plan to overhaul America's infrastructure would need $2 trillion. House Democrats also unveiled an infrastructure road map. (CNBC)

Speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference in California, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said the Trump administration should know more about whether it will sign a key trade deal with China within two weeks. (CNBC)

* Massive Saudi wealth fund zeros in on China, plans to open new Asia office (CNBC)

CNBC has learned Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn is hosting a fundraiser later this month at his Los Angeles mansion for House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido, recognized by Trump in January as the legitimate interim president, call for competing marches today after dozens people were injured in clashes across the country. (Washington Post)

* WikiLeaks founder Assange sentenced to 50 weeks in UK jail for skipping bail (CNBC)

Two people are dead and four others injured when a former student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte opened fire in a classroom building. Campus police disarmed and apprehended the suspect. (USA Today)

SEC commissioner Robert Jackson criticized a settlement between the agency and Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk over his use of Twitter. "Given Mr. Musk's conduct, I cannot support a settlement," Jackson said. (CNBC)

Philip Morris International (PM) won authorization from the FDA to sell iQOS, a device that heats tobacco rather than burning it, in the U.S. Altria (MO) will sell iQOS in the U.S., with plans to first introduce it in Atlanta this summer. (CNBC)

* The FDA just cleared a new tobacco product. Here's how it works (CNBC)

Federal health regulators announced they would require manufacturers of sleeping pills such as Ambien and related drugs to post strongly worded warnings. The FDA noted the drugs' side effects including risky behaviors, such as sleepwalking and sleep driving. (NY Times)

One of the most valuable malls in America is about to get a total makeover, further signaling how bricks-and-mortar retail is evolving to include places to work, workout and even live — not just buy clothes. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Amgen (AMGN) beat estimates by 8 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of $3.56 per share, with the biotech company's revenue also exceeding analyst forecasts. The beat came despite a 12% drop in sales of Amgen's Neulasta drug for cancer patients.

Mondelez International (MDLZ) earned an adjusted 65 cents per share for its latest quarter, 4 cents above estimates, while the snack maker's revenue was essentially in line with forecasts. The Oreo cookie maker did see organic revenue growth rise a better than expected 3.7%.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) beat estimates by a penny, reporting adjusted quarterly profit of 6 cents per share, with the chipmaker's revenue just slightly above estimates. Gross margins saw a five percent jump compared to a year earlier.

Wynn Resorts (WYNN) was allowed to keep its Massachusetts gaming license, although CEO Matt Maddox was rebuked over his handling of sexual misconduct allegations against former CEO Steve Wynn. The casino operator was fined $35 million, with Maddox being assessed a personal $500,000 penalty.

Las Vegas Sands (LVS) could see its shares impacted after gambling revenue in Macau fell 8.3% in April, its biggest year-over-year decline since June 2016.

Boeing's (BA) bond sale Tuesday raised $3.5 billion amid strong demand, helping it as it faces at least $1 billion in expenses related to the grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft.

Home Depot (HD) Chief Financial Officer Carol Tome will retire on Aug. 31, after serving as CFO of the home improvement giant since 2001. Executive Vice President Richard McPhail will replace her, the company announced.

WATERCOOLER

"Game of Thrones" is beating its own records. "The Long Night," or the longest ever "Game of Thrones" episode, was watched by 12.02 million viewers during its initial broadcast on Sunday night. (Variety)