Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to rise, Trump declares tech emergency, and Berkshire reveals Amazon stake size


U.S. stock futures were higher this morning after the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq chalked up their first back-to-back gains of May. However, investors remain cautious amid ongoing trade tensions and the U.S. ban on China's Huawei. (CNBC)

* Cramer: Wednesday's 'crazy session' is a perfect example of the market's new normal (CNBC)

Dow stock Walmart (WMT) is out with quarterly earnings this morning. Applied Materials (AMAT), Baidu (BIDU), Nvidia (NVDA), and Pinterest (PINS) are out with their quarterly numbers after today's closing bell. (CNBC)

Walmart earnings beat, but revenue falls short, hurt by currency headwinds (CNBC)

Cisco Systems (CSCO), another Dow component, reported late Wednesday adjusted quarterly earnings and revenue that beat estimates. The networking equipment maker also issued better-than-expected revenue guidance.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.a) revealed the size of its Amazon (AMZN) stake, in a government filing, 483,300 shares worth $900 million, as of Wednesday's close. Warren Buffett first disclosed the new investment to CNBC on May 2, though the size of the position was previously unknown. (CNBC)

Big US hedge funds fell back in love with FAANG stocks in the first quarter (Reuters)

On the economic data front this morning, 8:30 a.m. ET brings the government's weekly look at initial jobless claims and its April report on housing starts, as well as the Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing index for May. (CNBC)


President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over threats against U.S. technology. The move is expected to precede a ban on U.S. firms doing business with the Chinese telecom company Huawei. (CNBC)

* Here's how Trump's latest executive order could affect Huawei (CNBC)
* France not looking to 'over-protectionism' for tech giants like Huawei: President Macron (CNBC)

Trump will propose a new immigration system that gives preference to high-skilled immigrants such as scientists and engineers in a proposal to address legal immigration today. (USA Today)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will officially enter the 2020 race for president this morning, NBC News reports. After making his formal announcement, he will travel to Iowa and South Carolina.

CNBC has learned that former Vice President Joe Biden is getting ready for his first fundraising blitz in New York for 2020. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is likely to be invited and hedge fund manager Jim Chanos is set to attend.

* Biden plots an early kill (Axios)
* The Democratic hunt for a 2020 down-ballot message (Axios)

Attorney General William Barr told The Wall Street Journal he isn't blocking special counsel Robert Mueller's testimony before Congress. Earlier, the Democratic-led House accused the Justice Department of being unwilling to set a date.

Trump pardons ex-media Baron Conrad Black, a former business partner (WSJ)

The Washington Post reported that a 2-year-old Guatemalan boy apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border died earlier this week in El Paso. The boy, who was not identified, had spent several weeks in the hospital.

American officials said the intelligence that caused the Trump administration to escalate its warnings to U.S. embassy staff about a threat from Iran came from photographs about missiles on small boats in the Persian Gulf. (NY Times)

EU antitrust regulators today fined Barclays, Citigroup (C), J.P. Morgan (JPM), MUFG and Royal Bank of Scotland $1.2 billion for rigging the spot foreign exchange market for 11 currencies. (Reuters)

PG&E's (PCG) transmission lines caused California's Camp Fire last year, according to a determination by state fire investigators. The fire, which killed 85 people, was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. (WSJ)

North Carolina sued e-cigarette maker Juul. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein accused the vaping company of targeting young consumers and misrepresenting the potency and danger of nicotine in its products. (CNBC)

* Federal judge orders FDA to begin review of e-cigarettes (AP)

Beyond Meat (BYND) was about 2% higher in premarket trading, after jumping 12% Wednesday on news that Tim Hortons is adding Beyond Meat to its menu. At one point, the recent IPO hit an all-time high of $93. (CNBC)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk explained how the company's Starlink satellite network will serve as the company's key money-maker, unlocking his vision of sending astronauts to Mars. (CNBC)

Jeff Koons' metallic sculpture of a balloon-animal, "Rabbit," sold for $91 million at Christie's, setting a record for a living artist at auction. (WSJ)


XPO Logistics (XPO) investors rejected a shareholder proposal calling for an independent chair, and also approved the logistics company's executive compensation plan. The debate over executive compensation came amid a 50% drop in shares over the past eight months and a profit forecast for 2019 that has been lowered twice.

Sony (SNE) announced it would buy back 4.8% of its stock, about $1.8 billion worth, through the end of the current fiscal year next March. Sony had announced its first-ever share buyback plan in February.

At Home Group (HOME) remains on watch after jumping 8.2% in Wednesday trading. The jump followed a Reuters report that Kohl's (KSS) approached the home decor retailer about possibly acquiring it.

Flowers Foods (FLO) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 32 cents per share, 2 cents above estimates, and the maker of Wonder Bread and other baked products also saw revenue beat forecasts. Higher prices helped overcome slower sales.

Dillard's (DDS) beat estimates by 19 cents with quarterly profit of $2.99 per share, with the retailer's revenue in line with forecasts. However, comparable store sales were flat, compared to expectations of a 1.3% increase.

KB Home (KBH) was upgraded to "outperform" from "sector perform" at RBC Capital Markets, which pointed to improvements in the home builder's pricing.


Netflix (NFLX) announced "Black Mirror" will return for its fifth season on June 5. This season will consist of three episodes, and will include stars such as Miley Cyrus, Topher Grace, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. (Variety)

For fans of CBS' "The Big Bang Theory," the universe will finally implode tonight. That's when TV's top comedy ends its 12-year run with a one-hour finale. (USA Today)