U.S. markets were able to hold on to gains this time around, with all three major indices closing the day in positive territory.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 0.99%, or 239 points to 24,323, while the Nasdaq gained 1.64%, or 115 points to 7,119, and the S&P 500 gained 1.05%, or 28 points to 2,667.
Wells Fargo's 401(k) Unit the Subject Of Labor Department Investigation
Wells Fargo's 401(k) unit is the subject of a U.S. Labor Department investigation, sources told the Wall Street Journal, adding another potential headache for the beleaguered bank.
The investigation centers on whether the bank is encouraging people to switch from lower-cost 401(k) plans to more costly individual retirement accounts.
The bank recently paid a record $1 billion fine for forcing customers to buy insurance they did not need. That fine followed the revelation that the bank created millions of fraudulent bank accounts without the consent of its customers.
Wells Fargo shares were down 1.6% Thursday afternoon.
Huawei Cancels Bond Sale in Response to U.S. Criminal Probe
Huawei announced that it is canceling a planned bond sale a day after the Wall Street Journal reported that the Chinese smartphone maker was the subject of a federal investigation into whether it violated sanctions against Iran.
The company pulled out of what would have been its first euro-denominated bond sale after it attracted investor demand for a 500 million euro offering.
Huawei did not give an official reason for the cancellation, but the timing of the announcement is curious in light of the U.S. investigation.
"We appreciate investors' support throughout the process and will provide a further update in due course," a spokesperson said, according to the Journal.
Deutsche Bank to Cut Jobs as Bank Moves Away From Wall Street
Deutsche Bank's (DB) bottom link shrunk by 79% last quarter and the company is now saying that it will make "painful" job cuts in its investment bank segment as it looks to increase profitability.
"These actions will involve cost reductions," said CEO Christian Sewing in a statement. "These cutbacks will be painful, but they are unfortunately unavoidable if we want to be sustainably profitable in the best interests of our bank, our clients and our investors."
The bank ousted former CEO John Cryan earlier this month. Deutsche Bank has been in the midst of a restructuring that has resulted in the closure of hundreds of bank branches and the elimination of thousands of jobs in recent years.
Deutsche Bank shares were down nearly 2% Thursday afternoon.
Snap Brings Back Specs Nobody Bought For Another Run
Snap Inc. SNAP is reissuing its Spectacles, the video-recording sunglasses that didn't sell enough to be continued the first time they were issued, for $150 beginning Thursday.
The reissue comes just 18 months after the devices were first introduced as the social media company attempted to diversify its revenue streams to include hardware.
The company produced one million units of the previous version of the device, sources told the Wall Street Journal, though the company has never provided official production numbers. The company did say that it sold 220,000 devices.
Late last year the company said that it recorded nearly $40 million in charges primarily due to excess Spectacles inventory.
U.S. Durable Goods Bolstered by Strong Demand in March
Orders for U.S. durable goods -- manufactured products intended to last at least three years -- increased to a seasonally adjusted 2.6% in March month to month.
Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal were expecting a 1.8% increase for the month. Excluding defense goods, orders rose 2.8%.
Overall orders have risen in four of the last five months, including an unexpectedly large increase of 3.5% in February. Orders increased 8.7% in first quarter 2018 compared to last year.
Deutsche Bank to Reduce U.S. Exposure Amid Falling Profit
A 79% reduction in first-quarter net income is resulting in Germany's Deutsche Bank (DB) pulling back in certain trading and lending activities in the U.S. and Asia.
Net income for the quarter fell to $145.9 million amid a 5% decline in overall revenue and a 13% decline in investment bank revenue. Fixed-income trading revenues were down 16% and equities sales trading revenues declined 21%.
Deutsche Bank was down 2.2% in morning trading Thursday.
MetLife Reduces CEO, CFO Compensation
MetLife (MET) CEO Steven A. Kandarian's compensation fell by 3.6% last year to $14.7 million in 2017 from $15.3 million in 2016, according to the company's security filing.
The compensation of chief financial officer John C.R. Hele fell 6.4% to $5.3 million in 2017. Both executives saw a 25% reduction in the cash portion of their incentive pay to $3 million for Kandarian and $1.5 million for Hele.
The reductions came at a time when MetLife's stock price has declined along with total shareholder returns.
In February, the insurer said it bolstered reserves by $510 million pretax to adjust for improper releases in earlier years.
Southwest Bookings Negatively Affected Following Fatal Accident
Southwest (LUV) is paying the price for the engine explosion that killed a passenger last week, saying that bookings have fallen since the incident.
The largest U.S. carrier said that revenue per available seat mile, a key industry metric, would fall by 1% to 3% in the second quarter, with most of that decline attributed to soft bookings following the April 17 accident.
A woman was killed when an engine exploded mid-flight and a piece of debris shattered a window and struck the passenger. The plane had to make an emergency landing during its flight from New York to Dallas.
Southwest has been cancelling flights in order to inspect its fleet. As of Thursday, cancellations were still running over 1% of the company's 4,000 daily flights.
Ford to Cut $11.5 Billion In Expenses
Ford (F) plans to cut another $11.5 billion from its spending plans, eliminating several U.S. brands including the Fusion and Taurus.
The company expects to save $25.5 billion by 2022, CFO Bob Shanks said during the company's first-quarter earnings results.
"We're going to feed the healthy part of our business and deal decisively with areas that destroy value," CEO Jim Hackett said on an earnings call Wednesday. "We aren't just exploring partnerships; we've now done them. We aren't just talking about ideas; we've made decisions."
Ronny Jackson Withdraws From VA Head Consideration
White House doctor Ronny Jackson has officially withdrawn as a nominee for Veteran Affairs Secretary amid allegations of alcohol abuse and fostering a toxic work environment.
President Trump backed his nominee Wednesday but suggested during a White House news conference that Jackson may want to withdraw due to the level of scrutiny he faced.
Democrats on the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs interviewed nearly two dozen current and former colleagues of Jackson. The people interviewed "raised serious concerns about Jackson's temperament and ethics, and cast doubt on his ability to lead the second-largest agency in government," according to a government summary of those interviews.
To combat that report the White House released handwritten notes from Trump and former President Obama praising the doctor.
Obama wrote in one report, "Promote to Rear Admiral now," while Trump wrote last year that Jackson is "A GREAT DOCTOR + LEADER - '2 STAR MATERIAL.'"
Tesla's Autopilot Leader Leaves for Intel
Keller took over the company's autopilot program in 2017 after former head of software Chris Lattner left just six months after taking the job.
"Today is Jim Keller's last day at Tesla, where he has overseen low-voltage hardware, Autopilot software and infotainment. Prior to joining Tesla, Jim's core passion was microprocessor engineering and he's now joining a company where he'll be able to once again focus on this exclusively. We appreciate his contributions to Tesla and wish him the best," Tesla said in a statement.
U.S. futures were pointing in the right direction after spending some time in negative territory Thursday morning as the Dow looks to build momentum after breaking a 5-day losing streak.
Dow futures were rising 0.13%, indicating an open 32 points higher, while Nasdaq futures rose 0.57%, indicating an open 38 points higher and S&P futures rose 0.2%, indicating an open 6 points higher.
Asian markets were mixed with the Nikkei being the lone major index to rise, gaining 0.47%, while the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng fell 1.38% and 1.06% respectively.
In Europe, the CAC 40 was leading the way, rising 0.48% while the Dax gained 0.19% and the FTSE 100 rose 0.11% with about four hours left in trading.