Morning Brief

What to watch today: Stocks to drift, bitcoin surges, and Biden looks vulnerable


U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open ahead of the Monday session, as investors look ahead to a two-day Fed meeting that begins tomorrow. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq were lower in three of the past four sessions, yet they all posted two consecutive weeks of gains. Halfway through the month, June remains on track to be the best month for the Dow this year. (CNBC)

When Federal Reserve officials meet this week they are expected to clear the way for a July interest rate cut by downgrading their economic forecast, tweaking the language in their statement and reducing their interest rate forecasts. (CNBC)

* The Fed won't cut rates at its June meeting. Here's why (CNBC)

Bitcoin continued to rise this morning, after leaping across the $9,000 mark Sunday, boosted by reports that Facebook (FB) is soon set to launch its own cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is up 140% since the start of the year. But it's still more than 50% lower than its all-time high near $20,000 in December 2017. (CNBC)

On today's U.S. economic calendar, the New York Fed's Empire State manufacturing Index is out at 8:30 a.m. ET. The National Association of Home Builders is out with its June sentiment index at 10 a.m. ET. There are no companies reporting quarterly earnings today. (CNBC)

Shares of Array BioPharma (ARRY) were surging about 60% in premarket trading, after Pfizer (PFE) agreed to buy the cancer-fighting biotechnology company for about $11.4 billion. The boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction. (CNBC)


Democratic presidential candidates approach their first televised debates in a scramble for the 2020 nomination, with former Vice President Joe Biden a vulnerable front-runner, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows.

President Donald Trump is ready to proceed with tariffs on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese goods in the absence of a trade deal, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC today. "We will eventually make a deal, but if we don't, the president is perfectly happy with continuing the tariff movements."

* Wilbur Ross: It's 'complicated to negotiate with the European Union' (CNBC)

Huawei will reduce its production capacity, which could hit revenue growth, the CEO of the Chinese tech giant said today, as he revealed his plans to deal with the continued pressure from the U.S. "Our revenue will be down by about $30 billion dollars compared to forecasts, so our sales revenue due this year and next will be about $100 billion." (CNBC)

China's state news agency Xinhua said the country's investigation into FedEx (FDX) should not be seen as retaliation for trade tensions between the U.S. and China. China launched a probe over parcels intended for telecom giant Huawei delivered to the wrong address. (CNBC)

Iran said today it will surpass the internationally agreed levels of its low-enriched uranium levels in 10 days. The country would increase enrichment levels to 20%, significantly closer to bomb-grade material, for use in local reactors. (CNBC)

* Iran's elite defense force finds new funding sources as tension rises with U.S. (WSJ)

Raytheon International (RTN) CEO John Harris told CNBC today the Trump administration should not worry about the company's merger with United Technologies (UTX). "The combination has little to no overlap," Harris said. Last week, the president told CNBC he's a "little concerned" about how the deal could harm competition. (CNBC)

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg believes the safe return of its best-selling plane, the 737 Max, is the company's most important objective. "This is a different show for us, it is not about orders," Muilenburg told CNBC. The 737 Max was grounded in mid-March after two fatal crashes involving those jets.

Target (TGT) said its registers are back online after outages over the weekend that prevented shoppers from making purchases on Saturday, and some from using credit cards on Sunday. The retailer said neither problem was caused by a cyberattack. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook warned that Silicon Valley companies needed to take responsibility for the "chaos" they create, in a speech at Stanford University. He mentioned no companies by name, but made a reference to disgraced startup Theranos. (CNBC)


Alibaba (BABA) is proposing an 8-for-1 stock split, in a move designed to increase flexibility in capital raising. The proposal will be brought up at the China e-commerce giant's July 15 annual meeting.

Deutsche Bank (DB) plans to create a so-called "bad bank" to hold billions in non-core assets, according to Reuters. The move is said to be in conjunction with an overhaul of the bank's trading operations.

Goldman Sachs (GS) will combine four of its units that invest in private companies into one new operation, according to the Wall Street Journal. It will be nearly as big as KKR (KKR) and about one third the size of Blackstone (BX).

Papa John's (PZZA) dismissed KPMG as its auditor and hired Ernst & Young. Earlier this year, KPMG had said the pizza chain did not maintain effective control over its financial reporting.


"Men in Black: International" and "Shaft" slumped this weekend at the box office despite the films' strong names. While "Men in Black" took the No. 1 spot, it only made $28.5 million domestically against the reported $110 million budget. "Shaft" reported $8.3 million in ticket sales with a $30 million production budget. (USA Today)