BY THE NUMBERS
U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, similar to what investors saw Tuesday. The small gain eked out by the S&P 500 gave it its 12th advance in 13 trading days, while the Nasdaq's 0.3% rise allowed it to close above the 8,000 mark for the first time since October 3. (CNBC)
Qualcomm (QCOM) shares have jumped more than 6% in pre-market trading after the chipmaker and Apple (AAPL) reached a settlement in their long-standing patent dispute which will result in Apple once again using Qualcomm chips in iPhones. (CNBC)
* Intel says it's getting out of the 5G smartphone market (CNBC)
Netflix (NFLX) is about 1% lower after the video streaming service gave a weaker than expected forecast amid worries about increasing competition from Walt Disney (DIS) and others. It did beat on earnings and revenue for the quarter. (CNBC)
Morgan Stanley (MS) and PepsiCo (PEP) are the marquee names among this morning's earnings reports. Today's after-the-bell reports include Alcoa (AA), E*Trade (ETFC), Kinder Morgan (KMI), Las Vegas Sands (LVS), Pier 1 Imports (PIR), Sleep Number (SNBR), and United Rentals (URI). (CNBC)
* PepsiCo beats on earnings, revenue (CNBC)
The government is out with February trade deficit figures at 8:30 a.m. ET. At 10 a.m. ET, February wholesale inventories are expected. Separately, the Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book — the region-by-region assessment of the U.S. economy — at 2 p.m. ET. (CNBC)
* Goldman Sachs CEO: The US economy 'is chugging along pretty well' (CNBC)
* China says its first-quarter GDP grew by 6.4 percent, topping expectations (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
Tim Cook said Apple (AAPL) will help rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after it was severely damaged in a fire this week. French companies including L'Oreal and luxury groups LVMH and Kering have pledged millions of euros toward the reconstruction. (CNBC)
* Donations to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral near $1 billion (USA Today)
* Notre Dame attic was known as 'the Forest.' And it burned like one (NY Times)
Wall Street and finance executives placed their early 2020 bets on a variety of Democratic presidential candidates, from Pete Buttigieg to Kamala Harris, even as the contenders try to distance themselves from big-money donors. (CNBC)
T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S) have been told by Justice Department staffers that their proposed $26 billion merger is unlikely to be approved in its current form, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
* White House will not turn over documents on AT&T-Time Warner merger (Reuters)
UnitedHealth Group (UNH) CEO David Wichmann warned investors that "Medicare for All" proposals pushed by Democratic lawmakers and presidential candidates would "destabilize the nation's health system." (CNBC)
* Bernie Sanders gets strong support for 'Medicare for All' at Fox News town hall (CNBC)
The Federal Aviation Administration released its initial review of Boeing's (BA) update to its 737 Max anti-stall software suspected of contributing to two fatal plane crashes, calling it "operationally suitable." (CNBC)
Lincoln unveiled a new small sport utility vehicle called the Corsair at the New York International Auto Show today, in a bid to keep revitalizing its brand and recreate some of the success it has seen with larger vehicles such as the Navigator. (CNBC)
A pair of technology unicorns will launch themselves into the public markets tomorrow. Online image board Pinterest and videoconferencing company, Zoom Video Communications, will price their shares later this evening. (WSJ)
STOCKS TO WATCH
IBM (IBM) beat Wall Street forecasts by three cents with adjusted quarterly profit of $2.25 per share, but revenue fell slightly short of analyst forecasts. IBM also forecast 2019 revenue below expectations, with pressure coming from weaker mainframe computer demand and a stronger dollar.
United Continental (UAL) came in 20 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.15 per share, though the airline's revenue came in below forecasts. United also trimmed its planned flight capacity forecast for the year, due in part to the grounding of Boeing's (BA) 737 MAX aircraft.
CSX (CSX) reported quarterly profit of $1.02 per share, 11 cents above estimates, while the rail operator's revenue was essentially in line with forecasts. Results were helped by higher prices and lower labor and fuel costs.
Ericsson (ERIC) reported better than expected profit and sales for the first quarter, with the telecom equipment maker seeing particularly strong growth in the North American market.
Boeing (BA) is being pushed by proxy advisory firms ISS and Glass Lewis to separate the roles of chairman and CEO, following two fatal crashes involving the company's 737 MAX aircraft.
Tiffany (TIF) was rated "outperform" in new coverage at Bernstein, which is encouraged by the direction taken by the luxury goods retailer's new CEO and senior management team.
The fossil of a baby T-Rex is being sold on eBay for almost $3 million, sparking outrage among the scientific community. The listing claims the artifact is "most likely the only baby T-rex in the world." (CNBC)