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Morning Brief: Zuckerberg faces another round of grilling

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

What to watch today

Wednesday will be busy. In the morning, the latest data on inflation is set to cross the tape while investors will also pay close attention to mid-morning testimony from Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The March reading on inflation will cross the tape at 8:30 a.m. ET, with expectations that “core” inflation — which excludes the cost of food and energy is more closely aligned with inflation measures Fed officials pay attention to — will rise 2.1% over the prior year in March. Core inflation is expected to pick up in the spring as the negative effects of unlimited data plan run off annual comparisons.

Zuckerberg will spend a second day on Wednesday facing questions from lawmakers after enduring several hours of questioning before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on Tuesday. Among the highlights from Zuckerberg’s testimony Tuesday was a tough line of questioning from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who pressed Zuckerberg on whether Facebook’s platform is neutral or has an anti-conservative bias, and Zuckerberg’s contention that Facebook is not a monopoly.

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Top news

Zuckerberg may have signaled a paid version of Facebook is comingRumors that Facebook (FB) would launch a paid version of its service have engulfed the company since its inception. And CEO Mark Zuckerberg has shut down these claims on many an occasion. During a hearing before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees on Tuesday, Republican Utah Senator Orrin Hatch asked Zuckerberg how he could sustain a business model where users don’t pay for the service. [Yahoo Finance]

Sprint-T-Mobile merger talks back on: Sprint Corp. (S) has restarted talks to merge with T-Mobile US Inc. (TMUS), people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, the latest effort to bring together the fourth and third largest U.S. wireless carriers. The combined company would have more than 127 million customers and could create more formidable competition for the No. 1 and No. 2 wireless players, Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and AT&T Inc. (T), amid a race to expand offerings in 5G, the next generation of wireless technology.

Theranos lays off most of its staff: Embattled blood-testing company Theranos Inc. laid off most of its remaining workforce to preserve cash and avert or at least delay bankruptcy for a few more months, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The layoffs take the company’s head count from about 125 employees to two dozen or fewer, the Journal reported. [Reuters]

Fed proposes new capital rules for Wall St.: The Federal Reserve on Tuesday proposed new rules that could allow some large banks to reduce the amount of capital they must hold as a cushion against a future economic shock. The proposal may clear the way for some large banks to reduce their capital levels in the future but the largest firms on Wall Street are not likely to get such relief, the Fed said. [Reuters]

For more of the latest news, go to Yahoo Finance

100 life-sized cutouts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sit on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol on April 10. in Washington, DC. The advocacy group Avaaz placed the cutouts on the lawn to bring attention to the alleged hundreds of millions of fake accounts still spreading disinformation on Facebook ahead of Zuckerberg’s hearing before the Senate comittees. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

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The Morning Brief provides a quick rundown on what to watch in the markets, top news stories, and the best of Yahoo Finance Originals.