Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to pop, crude spikes on tanker explosions, and Target starts same-day delivery



U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher Wall Street open, following two days of losses for the Dow and S&P 500. Despite those declines, the Dow was holding just above the 26,000 level, as of Wednesday's close. The June gains for the Dow and S&P 500, after a terrible May, remain the largest since January. (CNBC)

Oil prices spiked 3% higher this morning on reports of tanker explosions in the Gulf of Oman, near the coast of Iran. Two tankers sustained significant fire damage, just weeks after other cases of alleged ship sabotage in the region. U.S. Navy officials said they are seeking further details. (CNBC)

* OPEC oil output falls to 5-year low in May as group warns of weaker demand (CNBC)
* Trump still considering imposing sanctions on gas pipeline from Russia to Germany (CNBC)

On today's U.S. economic calendar, the government issues its reports on weekly initial jobless claims and May import and export prices at 8:30 a.m. ET. Meanwhile, there are no major companies reporting earnings this morning. Broadcom (AVGO) is out with quarterly numbers after the closing bell. (CNBC)

Shares of Restoration Hardware-parent RH were soaring more than 25% in premarket trading, after the luxury home furnishings retailer late Wednesday reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat estimates. RH also raised its full-year forecast, and revealed that it raised some prices to mitigate the impact of higher China tariffs.


President Donald Trump said that he would accept information on his 2020 opponent if it was offered by foreign operatives. In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Trump presented a hypothetical situation.

* Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker walks the line between business and the left (CNBC)

Former Trump aide Hope Hicks is set to provide testimony to the House Judiciary Committee next week, after having been subpoenaed last month in Democrats' efforts to investigate the president. It's a closed-door meeting, but a transcript will be released publicly. (WSJ)

* Michael Flynn hires new lawyer who urged him to withdraw guilty plea in Mueller case (CNBC)

The president lashed out against the increasing numbers of congressional investigations of him. During a meeting with his Polish counterpart, Trump said, "We have people that are totally out of control," accusing Democrats are trying to undermine his presidency. (Washington Post)

Hong Kong braced for the possibility of more violence today, as hundreds of demonstrators gathered in a park near the global trade and finance center. They're protesting proposed legal amendments that would allow people in Hong Kong to be extradited to mainland China. (CNBC)

* Hong Kong extradition law could jeopardize special economic agreement with the US (CNBC)

Alibaba (BABA) has filed confidentially for a Hong Kong initial public offering, according to multiple reports. The listing for the China e-commerce giant could happen as soon as the third quarter and could raise as much as $20 billion.

Target (TGT) is bringing its same-day delivery option to the masses, marking the latest move delivery wars with Walmart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN). Shoppers in 47 states across the country will now be able to get items from online orders delivered same day by paying a flat fee of $9.99 per order. (CNBC)

* Walmart eliminates Jet president role as it further integrates e-commerce business (CNBC)

Tyson Foods (TSN) is rolling out plant-based nuggets this summer as part of a new brand, Raised & Rooted.. The recent hot IPO Beyond Meat (BYND), a former Tyson investment, previously sold plant-based chicken strips, but pulled the product from grocery store freezers earlier this year. (CNBC)

An Irish regulator conducting nearly one dozen investigations into Facebook (FB) told CNBC that "it's all going to remain to be seen" whether co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is serious about a shift toward privacy and security on the social media platform. (CNBC)

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said today a Fiat Chrysler (FCAU)-Renault merger remained an "interesting opportunity" but added he would tell the French carmaker's chairman that strengthening the Renault-Nissan alliance was the priority. (Reuters)

T-Mobile US (TMUS) and Sprint (S) could run into yet another hurdle for their planned merger. The New York Post reports that a judge is likely to approve a temporary restraining order in the case brought by state attorneys general to prevent the deal, which would effectively set the deal back another six months.

Colorado has now generated more than $1 billion in total state revenue from the legal marijuana industry, another milestone for the state which legalized cannabis in 2014. The state already has posted some big numbers: More than $6 billion in total sales of cannabis since the birth of the new industry. (CNBC)

A former Stanford sailing coach, who allegedly took bribes from a corrupt college consultant, was ordered to six months in home confinement, a lighter punishment than the 13-month sentence prosecutors sought. He's the first person to be sentenced in this year's college admissions scandal. (NY Times)


Shares of CrowdStrike (CRWD) were higher in premarket trading after nearly doubling at one stage on Wednesday in its first day of trading. The security software vendor closed more than 70% higher than its IPO price of $34 per share.

Lululemon (LULU) reported quarterly profit of 74 cents per share, 4 cents above estimates. Revenue was also well above forecasts. Same-store sales jumped 16% compared to estimates of 11.6%. The athletic apparel maker raised its full year forecast. Shares of Lululemon were sharply higher in the premarket.

Oxford Industries (OXM) reported adjusted fiscal first quarter profit of $1.30 per share, 9 cents above estimates, with the home furnishings retailer's revenue above estimates as well. Like RH, Oxford plans to raise prices selectively to deal with the impact of China tariffs.


The St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup for the first time ever, with a 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins in a decisive Game 7. The visiting Blues not only completed a remarkable turnaround, considering they were dead last in the NHL in early January, but also ended the longest wait in league history for a championship. (Reuters)

Brooks Koepka, the two-time defending U.S. Open champion, and No. 1-ranked Dustin Johnson are the favorites to win the national championship at Pebble Beach as Round One begins today. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods is seeking his 16th major win after his victory at the Masters. (USA Today)