Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow set to open higher after end of 3-day win streak


Dow futures were indicating a strong open, after the blue chips gave up nearly 400 points at Tuesday's close to finish down 1.59%. A report raising concerns about coronavirus vaccine data from Moderna (MRNA) helped fuel the sell-off. Tuesday's losses put an end to a three-session win streak for markets, and sent the Dow back into negative territory for the month of May. (CNBC)

Weekly mortgage applications to buy a home jumped 6% last week and purchase volume was just 1.5% lower than a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The purchase volume marks a stunning recovery from just six weeks ago, when it was down 35% annually. (CNBC)

Target (TGT) and Lowe's (LOW) issued quarterly earnings this morning, with the companies posting 10.8% and 11.2% same-store sales growth, respectively, as the pandemic upended retail. Target's stock was up around 1% in premarket trading, while shares of Lowe's were up nearly 6%.  (CNBC)

There are no economic reports due from the government today, but the Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its most recent policy meeting at 2 p.m. ET this afternoon. (CNBC)


The Treasury Department is bringing back the 20-year bond, which will debut in a $20 billion auction at 1 p.m. ET today. The note was last issued in 1986. The return of the 20-year will extend the length of time the U.S. government has to pay off its record debt, strategists say. (CNBC)

The Congressional Budget Office released its economic outlook Tuesday, projecting that second quarter U.S. GDP will plummet 38% on an annualized basis. The CBO said it expects jobs growth to "materially" improve in the third quarter, but cautioned that the continuance of social distancing "will keep economic activity and labor market conditions suppressed for some time." (CNBC)

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) will stop selling its talc-based baby powder in the U.S. and Canada as demand weakened in light of lawsuits that said it caused cancer. J&J has denied the allegations. Johnson's Baby Powder is responsible for roughly 0.5% of the company's total U.S. sales in its consumer unit, according to the company. (CNBC)

The U.S. plans to send 200 ventilators to Russia after President Vladimir Putin called President Donald Trump to ask for help, the U.S. State Department said. Russia's coronavirus outbreak has intensified in recent weeks, and confirmed cases of Covid-19 surpassed 300,000 today. (CNBC) 

Tom Hanks' upcoming World War II battleship drama is headed to AppleTV+, the first time Hanks has foregone the big screen and went straight to streaming. Apple paid Sony about $70 million for 15 years of streaming rights to the film; Sony retains distribution rights in China. CNBC's Julia Boorstin reports that the coronavirus crisis motivated Sony sell the film to Apple. The tech giant's acquisition of "Greyhound" is largest ever for a movie.

Some of the shops and restaurants at the Disney Springs shopping area in Orlando, Florida, will reopen today. However, Disney has not set a restart date for any of its four theme parks in the area. Shanghai Disneyland in China reopened to a limited number of visitors on May 11. (Reuters)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he's not worried about Tesla CEO Elon Musk moving the electric vehicle maker's operations out of the state "anytime soon." Musk recently threatened to do so during a dispute with local public officials over their Covid-19 business restrictions. Newsom, a Democrat, told CNBC on Tuesday that he's known Musk for decades and has "great respect and admiration for his innovative spirit." (CNBC) 


Urban Outfitters (URBN) lost $1.41 per share for its latest quarter, wider than the 29 cent loss that Wall Street was expecting. Revenue fell below forecasts as well, amid a 28% drop in comparable store sales, and the company expects a 60% decline in same-store sales for the current quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect results.

CVS Health (CVS) returned $43.3 million it had received from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. The drug store operator said it did not solicit those funds, receiving them as part of an automatic distribution by the Department of Health and Human Services, and said it would not participate in subsequent disbursements.

Moderna (MRNA) is on watch once again today, after the biotech firm's shares fell yesterday on concerns about its Monday announcement regarding a Covid-19 vaccine candidate. Some experts say Moderna did not provide data critical to assessing whether its vaccine candidate could be successful.

United Airlines (UAL) announced a partnership with Clorox (CLX) and the Cleveland Clinic called "United CleanPlus," to put guidelines and procedures in place for enhanced cleaning, safety, and social distancing. Scott Kirby also takes over as CEO today

McKesson (MCK) came in 17 cents a share above estimates, with quarterly earnings of $4.27 per share. Revenue also exceeded estimates as well. However, McKesson's full-year forecast came in short of analysts' consensus. The drug distributor said it anticipates headwinds stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.


The Belmont Stakes is set for June 20, making it the first leg of horse racing's Triple Crown this year. The race, which will be run without fans, usually takes place after the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. The three Triple Crown races will be run out of their traditional order for the first time since 1931. (AP)