Morning Brief

What to watch today: Stocks to drop, Some US staff exit Iraq, CNBC's Disruptor 50 list


U.S. stock futures were lower this morning after the Dow posted its highest one-day gain since April 12 on Tuesday. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq had their best days since May 3, but the major averages still have some ground to make up to erase Monday's sharp losses. (CNBC)

* Cramer: Tuesday saw a 'genuine rally, and that is a bullish sign' (CNBC)
* Markets signal to US and China on the trade war: You have 'blundered into a minefield' (CNBC)

Economic activity in China cooled across the board last month, according to government data released today, raising questions about the economy's vitality even before higher U.S. tariffs start to bite. (WSJ)

* China blocks Wikipedia in all languages (CNBC)
* Trump's threat of auto tariffs on Europe may really be a 'Trojan horse' (CNBC)
Former Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein: Trump's tariffs aren't a bad idea (CNBC)

Alibaba (BABA) and Macy's (M) highlight the short list of earnings reports out this morning, while Dow component Cisco Systems (CSCO) grabs the spotlight in today's after-the-bell reports. Jack In The Box (JACK) and NetEase (NTES) are also out after the closing bell. (CNBC)

The government is out with April retail sales at 8:30 a.m. ET. April industrial production is out at 9:15 a.m. ET. At 10 a.m. ET, the National Association of Home Builders issues its May sentiment index and the government releases March read on business inventories is expected. (CNBC)

Mortgage applications slightly lower despite three weeks of falling rates (CNBC)

In the seventh annual Disruptor 50 list, CNBC features private companies — from biotech and machine learning to transportation, retail and agriculture — whose innovations are changing the world and fueling a race between superpowers like the U.S. and China. (CNBC)

* How we chose the 2019 CNBC Disruptor 50 innovators


The U.S. State Department ordered the departure of non-emergency government employees from Iraq today, after repeated U.S. expressions of concern about threats from Iranian-backed forces. (Reuters)

* Iran officially ends some of its nuclear deal commitments, local media reports (CNBC)

Two sources told CNBC that Donald Trump Jr. reached a deal to sit down with the Senate Intelligence Committee. The meeting with committee members will likely last between two and four hours, while limited to a handful of topics.

Members of the House Transportation Committee will question the acting administrator of the FAA today about the regulator's role in approving Boeing's (BA) now-grounded 737 Max airplane to fly. (NY Times)

Alabama is close to approving a near total ban on abortion after the state Senate passed a measure that would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony. (AP)

Sugary drink sales dropped 38% in Philadelphia after the city started taxing soda and other sweet beverages in 2017, a new study finds. Philadelphia introduced a 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax on sweetened drinks on Jan. 1, 2017. (CNBC)

Tim Hortons is adding Beyond Meat (BYND) to its menu. The Canadian coffee chain said today that it is testing the Beyond Breakfast Sausage in three breakfast sandwiches in select markets. (CNBC)

McDonald's (MCD) will let its franchisees decide which breakfast items to serve on an all-day basis, in an effort to simplify operations and reduce wait times for customers. (WSJ)

Disney (DIS) will take "full operational control" over Hulu from Comcast (CMCSA), effective immediately. Comcast also has an agreement to enforce an option to sell its 33% stake in Hulu to Disney in 2024 at a valuation of at least $27.5 billion. (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) broke ground on a new $1.4 billion air hub in Kentucky that will enable it to further control its own shipping and cut its reliance on UPS (UPS), FedEx (FDX) and the U.S. Postal Service. (CNBC)

Legg Mason (LM) may be the target of an activist campaign by Nelson Peltz's Trian management. Trian has reportedly held discussions with the money management firm about cutting costs and improving profit margins. (WSJ)


Tilray (TLRY) reported an adjusted quarterly loss of 27 cents per share, 2 cents larger than analysts were expecting. The Canadian marijuana producer's revenue did come in above estimates, helped by acquisitions, legalization of recreational marijuana use in Canada, and growth in its medical markets.

Aurora Cannabis (ACB) lost 5 cents per share for its fiscal third quarter, matching forecasts, while revenue fell below analyst estimates. Aurora, which is also a marijuana producer based in Canada, did see a surge in revenue from a year earlier, helped by the same factors that helped Tilray.

Agilent Technologies (A) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 71 cents per share, missing forecasts by 1 cent. The maker of laboratory instruments also saw revenue fall short of estimates, pointing to weakness in its pharmaceutical and food markets. Agilent also gave a current quarter outlook that falls largely below Wall Street forecasts.

Biogen (BIIB) reached an agreement to sell its spinal muscle atrophy treatment Spinraza to England's National Health Service for an undisclosed price. Spinraza has a U.S. list price of $750,000 for the first year and $375,000 per year in subsequent years.

Xilinx (XLNX) forecast fiscal 2020 revenue above Wall Street forecasts at $3.45 billion to $3.6 billion. The specialty chip maker is currently rolling out new semiconductors for use in 5G equipment.


One of the few paintings in Claude Monet's celebrated "Haystacks" series that's still remains in private hands sold at auction for $110.7 million. The oil on canvas, titled "Meules," is the first piece of Impressionist art to command more than $100 million at auction. (Reuters)