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Morning Brief

What to watch today: Stocks to slip, another shocking Tesla bear case, and Qualcomm plunges

BY THE NUMBERS

Wall Street broke a two-day losing streak with some strong Tuesday gains, but futures were pointing to a modestly lower open ahead today's session. Investors continue to watch for China trade developments.

Despite the recent volatility, the Dow is just 3.5% below its October 2018 record close. The S&P 500 is 2.8% behind its May 1 record close. The Nasdaq is 4.6% off its May 3 all-time high close. (CNBC)

This morning's earnings calendar is retail-heavy, including quarterly results from Target (TGT) and Lowe's (LOW). Retailers L Brands (LB) and Shoe Carnival (SCVL) get in on the action after the closing bell. (CNBC)

* Target shares jump 7% as e-commerce gains fuel earnings beat (CNBC)
* Lowe's tumbles on lower outlook, mixed earnings (CNBC)

Nordstrom (JWN) late Tuesday reported quarterly profit of 23 cents per share, missing estimates by 20 cents. Revenue also missed. The retailer also cut its full-year forecast, and the stock was slumping about 10% in the premarket. (CNBC)

* Department store earnings show they still haven't figured out how to get shoppers excited (CNBC)

Urban Outfitters (URBN) beat estimates by 6 cents with quarterly earnings of 31 cents per share. Revenue also beat. But concerns about plans to launch an $88-per-month clothing rental service were hitting the stock. (CNBC)

Today's economic calendar contains no government data, but it does feature the minutes of the most recent meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers. The minutes of the two-day meeting on April 30 and May 1 are released at 2 p.m. ET. (CNBC)

* Potential Fed nominee Judy Shelton wants a change in the way interest rates are set (CNBC)
* Mortgage refinances surge 8%, as rates fall to the lowest level since January 2018 (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Citigroup Global Markets is out with another shocking bear-case scenario for Tesla (TSLA), saying it sees increasing probability that shares plummet more than 80% to just $36. Morgan Stanley put a $10 worst-case on the stock Tuesday. (CNBC)

Qualcomm (QCOM) shares were sinking about 8% in the premarket, after a federal judge ruled the company unlawfully suppressed competition in the smartphone chip market and used its dominance to impose excessive licensing fees. (CNBC)

Boeing (BA) received requests from Air China and China Southern Airlines for compensation related to the grounding of the 737 Max jet. That follows a similar request Tuesday from China Eastern Airlines. (Reuters)

* US aviation officials think a bird strike was factor in 737 Max crash (CNBC)

The Trump administration might seek to limit Hikvision, a Chinese video surveillance giant, from buying U.S. technology, the New York Times reported. The move, following the Huawei actions, is the latest attempt to counter Beijing's economic ambitions.

* Chinese social media users are rallying behind Huawei. Some say they're switching from Apple (CNBC)
* Major Chinese automaker postpones its US launch as trade war drags on (CNBC)

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard expressed optimism that the U.S. and China will reach a deal to end their trade war, despite recent negotiating setbacks. "My base case continues to be that we'll get an agreement on trade." (CNBC)

* American businesses in China: Tariffs are hurting us (CNBC)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) called for a "special caucus meeting" set for today to address concerns about Trump's impeachment. House Democrats are increasingly calling for impeachment proceedings. (Axios)

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) subpoenaed former White House officials Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson to testify and provide documents related to a sweeping probe of figures in Trump's orbit. (CNBC)

The Internal Revenue Service has to honor congressional requests for Trump's tax returns, unless he invokes executive privilege. The Washington Post cited a memo that would undercut Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's reasoning for refusing to comply with the requests.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Avon Products (AVP) is being bought by Brazilian makeup brand Natura Cosmeticos, according to media reports. The all-stock deal values the group at more than $2 billion. Avon has a market cap of $1.42 billion.

Sony (SNE) CEO Kenichiro Yoshida rejected calls from some investors to sell the company's smartphone business, calling it indispensable to its brand portfolio.

Wynn Resorts (WYNN) ended talks to sell its Encore Boston Harbor casino to MGM Resorts (MGM). The $2.6 billion casino is expected to open in June.

Amgen (AMGN) struck a deal to buy Danish biotech company Nuevolution for about $167 million, to boost its position in drug discovery.

Pure Storage (PSTG) lost 11 cents per share for the first quarter, 3 cents more than Wall Street had been anticipating, with revenue also missing estimates. The data storage company also lowered its revenue outlook for the full year.

Toll Brothers (TOL) came in 12 cents ahead of estimates with quarterly profit of 87 cents per share, with the luxury home builder also scoring a revenue beat. It did say, however, that it expected profit margin pressures.

WATERCOOLER

Some might remember Coca-Cola's New Coke as a flop, but the company is hoping that some nostalgia could change that. The beverage company is partnering with Netflix to promote the third season of "Stranger Things," which starts streaming July 4. This season is taking place in 1985, the same year that the beverage giant launched the new formula of its flagship soda. (CNBC)