Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow futures fall ahead of Trump's China news conference

BY THE NUMBERS

Dow futures were pointing to losses at Friday's open after President Donald Trump knocked the wind out Thursday's solid gains on Wall Street when he said he would hold a news conference Friday on China. JPMorgan strategist Marko Kolanovic, who called the market comeback in March, said Thursday evening he was turning more cautious. (CNBC)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.6% on Thursday after a two-session rally of nearly 4.5%, or nearly 1,100 points. Ahead of the last trading day in May, the Dow was tracking for an over 4% gain for the month. Wall Street will be scrutinizing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's comments at a Princeton University event at 11 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

Corporations raise $1 trillion in the bond market with Fed backstop, double last year's pace (CNBC)

Investors on Friday are digesting the government's April personal income and spending figures. Income rose 10.5% compared to estimates for a 5% drop. Spending sank 13.6% compared to expectations for a 12.9% decline as consumers sock away their money during the coronavirus pandemic. (CNBC)

American savings rate hits record 33% (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Twitter put a "public interest notice" on an early Friday tweet from the president, saying the post violated the platform's rules regarding the glorifying of violence. The Trump tweet in question targets the protests in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd. On Thursday, the president signed an executive order on social media "censorship," two days after Twitter put a fact-check label on other Trump tweets. (CNBC)

Clinical trials of drugs, treatments and vaccines unrelated to Covid-19 will likely face delays going forward as the agency focuses its resources on addressing the virus, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Friday.

The European Union will conduct an accelerated review of Gilead Sciences' (GILD) remdesivir as a potential treatment for Covid-19, said the European Medicines Agency. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorization for the use of remdesivir to treat Covid-19 patients earlier this month. (Reuters)

Tesla (TSLA) confirms that CEO Elon Musk, who called coronavirus lockdowns "fascist" and reopened a California assembly plant in defiance of a local order, earned the first tranche of his massive incentive payout worth about $775 million based on Thursday's close. (CNBC)

* GM to increase North American production of crossover, pickup trucks next week (Reuters)

Tyson Foods (TSN) will temporarily close its Storm Lake, Iowa, pork processing plant, after 555 employees, or nearly a quarter of the facility's workforce, tested positive for the coronavirus. Tyson said it plans to resume operations next week after additional deep cleaning and sanitizing of the plant. (Reuters)

Costco (COST) sales grew in its fiscal third quarter ending May 10, as the wholesale giant benefited from customers buying packs of toilet paper, cases of bottled water and bulk grocery items during the coronavirus pandemic. But that growth was constrained by state stay-at-home orders. (CNBC)

Big Lots (BIG) is the latest discount retailer to report a strong quarter during the pandemic, earning an adjusted $1.26 per share compared with a 40 cent estimate. Revenue exceeded forecasts as well, with same-store sales jumping 10.3% compared with a 1% estimate.

Nordstrom (JWN) lost $3.33 per share for its latest quarter, more than triple than consensus estimate of a $1.07 per share loss. The retailer's revenue also missed estimates, as nationwide lockdowns shut its stores. Overall sales were down almost 40% during the quarter.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 74 cents per share, soaring past the consensus estimate of 3 cents, while revenue was also above forecasts. The housewares retailer was helped by a surge in online sales, with household essentials in demand amid widespread sheltering at home.

Ulta Beauty (ULTA) lost $1.39 per share for its latest quarter, surprising analysts who had predicted a 48 cents per share profit. Revenue missed estimates as well, as the cosmetics retailer's comparable store sales sank 35%.

Salesforce (CRM) beat estimates by a penny with adjusted quarterly earnings of 70 cents per share, with the business software company's revenue slightly above estimates as well. However, the company cut its annual profit and revenue forecast, due in part to allowing clients to defer payments as well as paying one-time commissions to its sales team.

Dell Technologies (DELL) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.34 per share, beating the consensus estimate of 92 cents, with revenue beating forecasts as well. Dell benefited from workstation purchases by companies moving more employees to home-based work.

Eli Lilly (LLY) won FDA approval for its radioactive agent that can detect a key marker for Alzheimer's disease. AstraZeneca (AZN) reported success in a phase 3 trial involving the use of its Tagrisso lung cancer drug to treat in EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) mutated lung cancer.