Here are five things you must know for Thursday, April 4:
1. -- Stocks Mixed Amid Trade Talk Progress and Weak German Manufacturing Data
U.S. stock futures were mixed Thursday as investors assessed reports of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and weak economic data from Germany that continues to raise concerns of a worldwide manufacturing recession.
Vice Premier Liu He, China's top trade negotiator, will meet with Donald Trump later Thursday in the White House amid multiple reports that suggested the trade talks were nearing a conclusion.
Bloomberg reported that China could agree to purchases of U.S. goods worth more than $1 trillion, as well as opening its markets to further American investment, in exchange for a multi-year window in which to meet certain conditions on intellectual property and technology transfer protections. The Financial Times, meanwhile, said the two sides were close to a deal on most of the major issues, but were still negotiating ways in which China could implement them under U.S. monitoring.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, however, struck a more pragmatic tone while speaking to reporters in Washington, saying there had been "good headway" made in this week's talks before adding "we're not there yet."
"We're covering issues that have never really been covered before, including enforcement," Kudlow said. "We hope this week to get closer."
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9 points, futures for the S&P 500 slipped 0.75 points, and Nasdaq futures declined 8.75 points.
Denting sentiment was the weakest set of factory goods orders in Germany in more than two years during February, as Europe's biggest economy continues to find itself exposed to a global manufacturing slowdown and the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Constellation Brands (STZ - Get Report) reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.84 a share, higher than estimates of $1.72, but said it expects fiscal 2020 earnings of $8.50 to $8.80 a share, below forecast of $9.38. The 2020 estimate includes the impact of the sale of the wine brands.
The company announced Wednesday it reached a deal to sell about 30 wine and spirits brands to E. & J. Gallo Winery for $1.7 billion.
2. -- Tesla Slides After First-Quarter Deliveries Slump
Tesla said it delivered 63,000 vehicles, including about 50,900 Model 3s, during the quarter, down 31% from the previous quarter. The electric carmaker pinned the weak delivery volumes on its challenging expansion of sales to China and Europe, saying that it had only delivered half of the entire quarter's numbers by March 21. The carmaker said that it produced 77,100 total vehicles during the first quarter, and that "production exceeded deliveries by 22%."
Tesla warned investors that owing in part to the weak delivery volumes, net income for the quarter will disappoint.
"Because of the lower-than-expected delivery volumes and several pricing adjustments, we expect Q1 net income to be negatively impacted. Even so, we ended the quarter with sufficient cash on hand," Tesla wrote in a statement.
Outside of producing and delivering cars, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is also facing a court hearing on Thursday related to a potential violation of an earlier settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The agency is asking Federal Judge Alison Nathan to hold Musk in contempt of court over tweets posted in late February that misstated, and then clarified, production targets for 2019.
Tesla fell 9.3% in premarket trading to $264.79.
3. -- Ethiopia Says Pilots Followed Procedure in Boeing 737 MAX 8 Crash
Boeing (BA - Get Report) was up 1% in premarket trading Thursday after officials in Ethiopia said the 737 MAX 8 plane that crashed shortly after takeoff last month was airworthy and that pilots followed all proper procedures prior to the catastrophe that killed all 157 passengers on board.
In a preliminary report following the March 10 disaster, Ethiopia's Transport Ministry stopped short of blaming Boeing's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System software system, which similar probes in Indonesia have identified as the potential cause of the Lion Air crash in October that killed 189 people.
Ethiopian officials said Boeing should review the aircraft control systems and confirm their safety before MAX 8 planes return to normal service.
"The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft," Ethiopia's Transports Minister Dagmawit Moges told reporters Thursday. "Since repetitive uncommanded aircraft nose-down conditions are noticed ... it is recommend that the aircraft control system shall be reviewed by the manufacturer."
4. -- PG&E Names New CEO, Overhauls Its Board
The California energy company also appointed 10 new directors to its board.
Johnson - the chief of the Tennessee Valley Authority - was the rumored pick for the job, according to reports last month.
PG&E said that Johnson would lead "the nation's largest publicly owned utility in its mission of providing energy, environmental stewardship and economic development across a seven-state region."
Johnson has been in charge at TVA for six years, and helped it improve safety records, according to PG&E. He also cut coal usage and increased solar energy use, improving TVA's carbon emissions by about 50%. Before his work at TVA, Johnson was the chief executive of Progress Energy.
The news of Johnson's appointment comes a day after a federal judge said PG&E must use funds to help prevent future blazes in the company's home state before it pays any more dividends to shareholders, noting PG&E's tree-trimming safety program has "withered," according to multiple published reports.
PG&E sought bankruptcy protection in January due to as much as $30 billion of liabilities from massive deadly wildfires that ravaged California in 2017 and 2018, killing dozens of peoples and destroying thousands of homes.
5. -- It's National Burrito Day!
Thursday is National Burrito Day and chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG - Get Report) and Del Taco Restaurants (TACO - Get Report) will be offering up specials for the "holiday" that falls on the first Thursday of April every year.
Chipotle will offer free delivery Thursday to customers who place an order of $10 or more through the company's app or Doordash.
Del Taco customers who make a minimum purchase of $5 using the Del App will receive a free half-pound Bean & Cheese Burrito.
Want to learn about retirement planning from some of the nation's top experts? Join TheStreet's Robert "Mr. Retirement" Powell live in New York on April 6 for our Retirement Strategies Symposium. For a limited time, tickets are available for $99 for this full-day event. Check out the agenda, learn about the speakers and sign up here.