Morning Brief

What to watch today: Stocks to drop, US blames Iran for attacks, and Huawei delays foldable phone



U.S. stock futures were pointing to a lower Friday open, with investors monitoring attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and reacting to economic data out of China. But the indicated losses would not be enough to erase what's been a mildly positive week for stocks. Already halfway through the year, Wall Street is having its best month since January. (CNBC)

* China May industrial output up 5.0 percent, below forecasts, weakest in 17 years (Reuters)

Shares of Broadcom (AVGO) were dropping about 9% in the premarket, putting pressure on other major chipmakers as well. Broadcom late Thursday reported weaker-than-expected revenue. The company predicted a slowdown in demand stemming from the trade conflict between the U.S. and China. Broadcom also cut its revenue forecast for 2019. (CNBC)

The week concludes with several pieces of key U.S. economic data, starting with May retail sales at 8:30 a.m. ET and May industrial production at 9:15 a.m. ET. The mid-June reading on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan and the government's April business inventories report are released at 10 a.m. ET. Meanwhile, China-based mobile services company Cheetah Mobile (CMCM) releases quarterly results before the opening bell. (CNBC)

A reading of the economy from Morgan Stanley is signaling "June gloom." Morgan Stanley's Business Conditions Index, which captures turning points in the economy, saw its largest one-month decline on record and the lowest level since December 2008 during the financial crisis. (CNBC)

* Gold breaks above $1,350 level as growth woes lift safe-haven demand (Reuters)
'Bond King' Jeffrey Gundlach bets on gold as he sees rising recession chances (CNBC)


Iran denies responsibility for the attacks on two oil tankers in the Mideast, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted today, accusing the U.S. of jumping "to make allegations" against Tehran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier blamed the Islamic Republic for the explosions on the oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. (CNBC)

U.S. Central Command released a video suggesting U.S. military assets saw Iranian vessels returning to a targeted tanker to remove an unexploded mine. U.S. officials said several nations are consulting about how to respond. One option may be military escorts through the Strait of Hormuz. (Washington Post)

* 'Sporadic' attacks from Iran's increased presence is a risk to oil: US think tank (CNBC)

The International Energy Agency (IEA) slashed its estimate for global oil demand growth for the second consecutive month on today, citing intensifying trade concerns amid fears of a global recession. But a recent slide in oil prices was reversed Thursday after attacks on those two oil tankers. (CNBC)

* Oil slips as demand concerns outweigh Mideast geopolitics (Reuters)

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will leave the job at the end of the month, though it's not clear who will replace her. President Donald Trump, in tweets, said Sanders will return to her home state of Arkansas. He urged her to run for governor. (CNBC)

Huawei said today its foldable phone will launch in September, slightly later than it was reportedly set to, as it does extra tests following the debacle Samsung went through with its rival device. AT&T cancelled pre-orders for Samsung's Galaxy Fold on Thursday after several review units broke during testing. (CNBC)

Comcast (CMCSA) and Charter (CHTR), as part of their deal to carry the iPhone with their fledgling mobile plans, Apple (AAPL) has compelled the two largest U.S. cable companies to sell large numbers of other Apple devices as well. (CNBC)

A judge has set a pre-trial hearing for next week in the attempt by 10 states to block T-Mobile's $26 billion buyout deal for rival Sprint (S). The states say the deal would cost subscribers of the two services more than $4.5 billion annually. (CNBC)

Facebook (FB) has got backing from more than a dozen companies, including Visa (V), Mastercard (MA), PayPal (PYPL), and Uber (UBER), for a new cryptocurrency. That's according to the Wall Street Journal, which also said the new digital coin will be unveiled next week and launch next year.

CBS (CBS) and Viacom (VIAB) are expected to begin serious merger talks next week, sources told CNBC. Yet there's concern on the part of the CBS board about taking Viacom's management team and paying a premium for Viacom given the company's history of underperformance.

MGA Entertainment CEO Isaac Larian said Mattel (MAT) is not worth more than $6 per share right now. Bratz doll maker MGA recently had a second takeover bid rejected by Mattel as not being in the best interests of shareholders. Larian predicted Mattel would go into bankruptcy within a year or so if the status quo is maintained. (CNBC)

Chewy (CHWY) debuts on Wall Street today after pricing its initial public offering at $22 per share, above the expected range. The online business of PetSmart also sold more stock than originally planned. Chewy gets almost $900 million from the stock sale. (CNBC)

Juul said new research, which it funded, shows emissions from vaping devices are significantly less toxic than secondhand smoke from cigarettes. The small study, being presented in Poland today, found about 99% less formaldehyde and carbon monoxide in the air exhaled by e-cigarette users than by traditional smokers. (CNBC)

If you're in Orlando hoping to grab a spot on Universal's newest Harry Potter ride, be sure to wear comfy shoes, put on some sunscreens and bring a book. Within an hour of opening, the ride, which cost developers $300 million, had a 10-hour wait. (Disclosure: Comcast, the parent company of CNBC, also owns NBCUniversal.)


Volkswagen (VLKAY) is hoping to raise about $2.1 billion from an initial public offering of its Traton trucks unit later this month. The automaker plans to sell a stake of at least 10%.

Hedge fund Third Point has called on Sony (SNE) to spin off its semiconductor business as well as sell stakes in other units. The fund run by investor Daniel Loeb wants Sony to position itself as a leading global entertainment company.

An investor group in Barnes & Noble (BKS) said the bookseller's recently-struck deal to sell itself to hedge fund Elliott Management undervalues the company, and wants Barnes & Noble to seek out other offers. Elliott recently agreed to buy Barnes & Noble for $6.50 per share or $475 million in cash.

Blue Apron (APRN) announced a 1-for-15 reverse stock split, effective after today's market close. The meal kit provider said last month it was considering the split to increase the company's stock price and improve liquidity.

Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) announced positive results in a late-stage clinical trial for its experimental sickle-cell disease treatment. The FDA has already granted the treatment "accelerated approval" status due to the need for such a treatment.


The Toronto Raptors took home their first ever NBA victory in last night's Game 6 against the Golden State Warriors. If you ask Ben Cohen at the Wall Street Journal, "They are one of the strangest championship teams the NBA has ever seen."

After a shaky start in his quest for his 16th major golf championship, Tiger Woods remains in contention at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach after carding a 1-under 70 in Thursday's opening round. England's Justin Rose sits atop the leaderboard after shooting a 6-under-par 65. (USA Today)