Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow futures modestly lower after Monday's surge



Dow futures were pointing to a modestly lower Wall Street open, following Monday's 900-plus point surge after biotech firm Moderna reported positive study results for a vaccine candidate in an early-stage human trial. (CNBC)

The S&P 500's Monday close was its highest since March 6, while the Nasdaq posted its best rally since April 29. The Dow, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are all riding 3-day win streaks, and all are now positive for the month of May following Monday's gains. (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, the government is out with April housing starts at 8:30 a.m. ET, with forecasts calling for a 26% tumble to an annual rate of 900,000 units. Housing start fell 22.3% in March.

Home Depot reported 7.1% revenue growth, but coronavirus-related expenses weighed down profits. Walmart shares rose nearly 4% after reporting that same-store sales jumped 10% and e-commerce sales spiked 74% in the first quarter. (CNBC)

Kohl's sales tank almost 44% as coronavirus slams the retailer (CNBC)


Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will testify virtually before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs at 10 a.m. ET, updating lawmakers on the economic response to the coronavirus pandemic. (CNBC)

JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon said in a memo, ahead of Tuesday's virtual annual shareholders meeting, that the coronavirus crisis should be used to build an economy that offers opportunities for "dramatically more people." Dimon detailed the steps his firm has taken to support customers and employees since the crisis began two months ago, as well as his thinking about returning employees to work sites. (CNBC)

President Donald Trump threatened to permanently cut off U.S. funding of the World Health Organization if the international health agency does not make "major substantive improvements within the next 30 days." Last month, Trump halted U.S. funding for the WHO as his administration conducted a review of the agency's response to the Covid-19 pandemic. (CNBC)

The president also said he's been taking hydroxychloroquine for over a week to prevent coronavirus infection even though the anti-malaria drug is not yet a proven treatment for Covid-19. "I happen to be taking it," Trump said during a roundtable event at the White House on Monday. "A lot of good things have come out. You'd be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the front-line workers. Before you catch it." (CNBC)

The Trump administration plans to announce Tuesday a $354 million deal with Virginia-based Phlow Corp., to bring manufacturing of generic medicines and pharmaceutical ingredients back from oversees, according to The New York Times. The initial contract is set to run for 4 years but could be extended to 10 years to $812 million.

Ivanka Trump, daughter and advisor to the president, on Tuesday holds the fifth meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. Axios said the virtual meeting will feature CEOs including Apple's Tim Cook. The White House says the discussion will center around "the need for better digital infrastructure and home connectivity."


Moderna (MRNA) priced a secondary stock offering of 17.6 million common shares priced at $76 per share, while granting the underwriters an option to buy up to 2.64 million additional shares at the same price.  The biotech firm's stock had surged 20% Monday to $80 each on those positive vaccine study results.

Walt Disney's (DIS) top streaming executive, Kevin Mayer, is leaving to become Chief Executive Officer at popular video app TikTok.  Mayer had led the successful launch of the Disney+ streaming service in late 2019.

Baidu (BIDU) reported better than expected earnings and revenue for the first quarter, while the Chinese search engine giant also gave an upbeat current quarter revenue forecast as China-based businesses reopen after strict lockdowns.

Japan's Softbank will sell a large portion of its stake in T-Mobile US (TMUS) through a secondary stock offering, according to sources who spoke to CNBC's David Faber.  Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs will underwrite the offering.

Sony (SNE) will take full control of its publicly-listed financial arm, Sony Financial Holdings, through a $3.7 billion tender offer. 

Tesla (TSLA) car registration in China fell 64% in April compared to March, according to figures from auto consulting firm LMC Automotive.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) will keep jets no more than 60% full through at least July, according to sources who spoke to Reuters.  Delta had said yesterday that it would cap first class seating at 50% and main cabin at 60% through June 30.

SmileDirectClub (SDC) sued NBCUniversal for allegedly defamatory news reports about its teeth straightening business, saying an NBC Nightly News segment and an accompanying online article were untruthful.  NBC News issued a statement saying it stood by its reporting and that the claim is meritless. NBCUniversal is the parent of CNBC. (AMZN) had listings for 36,000 job openings at the end of April, 19 percent more than a year earlier, according to a review done by analysts at Citi.  At the same time, job listings at Alphabet (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), and Netflix (NFLX) fell from a year earlier.


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants major U.S. sports leagues to return to action without fans, adding the state is willing to help. "Hockey, basketball, baseball, football, whoever can reopen we're a ready, willing and able partner," the Democrat said. "Yes, I do want to watch the Bills, but that is not subverting my role as governor," he added. (CNBC)

Correction: This story was revised to correct that Tuesday's scheduled meeting is the fifth for the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board.