What's moving markets today: March 13, 2019

9:06 a.m. ET, March 13, 2019

Nelson Peltz joins cannabis firm Aurora as adviser

Shares of Aurora Cannabis (ACB) soared more than 10% in early trading Wednesday after the company announced that high profile activist investor Nelson Peltz was joining the company as a strategic adviser.

Peltz is a billionaire who runs Trian Fund Management, an investing firm with stakes in Procter & Gamble (PG), Oreo maker Mondelez (MDLZ), General Electric (GE) and Wendy's (WEN). Peltz is currently the non-executive chairman of Wendy's as well.

So what attracted Peltz to Aurora? He said in a release that he looks forward to working with the company on "operational and strategic opportunities, including potential engagement with mature players in consumer and other market segments."

Translation: Peltz may be looking for deals similar to the ones that Aurora rivals Canopy Growth (CGC) and Cronos (CRON) have. Canopy is backed by Corona owner Constellation Brands (STZ) and just added Martha Stewart as an adviser while cigarette giant Altria (MO) recently took a big stake in Cronos.

Peltz stands to gain big bucks if his work with Aurora pans out. The company granted him options to purchase nearly 20 million shares at a price of $10.34 Canadian dollars ($7.75 US) a share. The stock was trading just under $9 US Wednesday morning.

9:31 a.m. ET, March 13, 2019

Ronaldo's hat trick sends his team's stock soaring

A hat trick from Cristiano Ronaldo not only bolstered his team's hopes of capturing a Champions League title, but it also boosted Juventus' stock.

Shares soared as high as 30% on Italy's stock market before retreating slightly.

Ronaldo scored all three goals in a 3-0 win against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, which secured Juventus' quarterfinals placement in the coveted tournament.

Juventus' stock has grown roughly 60% since the Italian team signed Ronaldo last July.

9:37 a.m. ET, March 13, 2019

Boeing's stock finally moves higher after worst two-day stretch in a decade

  • Boeing (BA) shares are up 1% in early trading.
  • The stock closed down 6% on Tuesday and 5% lower on Monday, its first back-to-back declines of more than 5% in nearly a decade.
  • Troubles continue to mount for Boeing as more countries and airlines are choosing to ground the its 737 Max 8 aircraft, including Egypt, India and New Zealand.
  • But not the United States: The Federal Aviation Authority said Tuesday it has conducted a review of the plane and found "no basis" to ground the aircraft.
  • Follow CNN's live coverage here.

This post has been updated.

7:21 a.m. ET, March 13, 2019

Rite Aid cleans out C-suite, cuts 400 jobs and sends stock soaring

Rite Aid (RAD) is undergoing spring cleaning of its C-suite: It's ousting its CEO, CFO, COO and eliminating 400 corporate jobs in a bid to save $55 million.

Current CEO John Standley will remain in the position until his successor his named, while the CFO and COO positions were replaced with internal employees.

Walgreen's bought approximately half of Rite Aid's stores in 2017. One year later, Rite Aid investors blocked the company's plan to sell to Albertsons. It has 2,500 stores — fewer than its rivals.

Rite Aid's Board of Directors is committed to more closely aligning the structure and leadership of the Company with our present scale," the company said in a statement.

Shares are up 20% in premarket trading.

7:01 a.m. ET, March 13, 2019

T-Mobile and Sprint head to Congress for the second day

T-Mobile (TMUS) CEO John Legere and Sprint (S) CEO Michel Combes will testify before the US House Judiciary subcommittee on Wednesday. They'll answer questions about their companies' planned merger.

On Tuesday, House Democrats grilled Legere for staying at the Trump International Hotel

The companies have claimed that they need to merge to remain competitive with larger rivals Verizon (VZ) and AT&T as the wireless market shifts to 5G. AT&T (T) owns CNN's parent company, WarnerMedia.

7:28 a.m. ET, March 13, 2019

Huawei CEO tells CNN: US tactics will scare off investors

Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei says the US government's campaign against the Chinese tech company risks damaging America's international reputation.

"If this US administration always treats other countries, companies or individuals in a ferocious way, then no one would dare invest in the United States," Ren said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday.

Huawei has denied any of its products pose a security risk. It has called on the Trump administration to provide evidence to back up claims that the company is dangerous.

It filed a lawsuit against the US government last week challenging a recent law barring federal agencies from using Huawei products.

Ren said his company, the world's biggest telecommunications equipment maker, was being treated unfairly.

"We chose to have our voice heard at this moment because the US government considers us a threat to national security," said Ren.

"They have to have evidence. Everybody in the world is talking about cybersecurity and they are singling out Huawei."

"What about Ericsson? What about Cisco? Don't they have cybersecurity issues?" he asked, referring to top Western makers of networking equipment.

"Why is Huawei being singled out?"

7:01 a.m. ET, March 13, 2019

Markets check before the bell

  • US stock futures are mixed.
  • Earnings: Tailored Brands (TLRD) will report after the close.
  • Stocks in Asia struggled to find direction
  • European markets opened mostly higher. 
  • The British pound jumped 0.5% higher against the dollar as investors found reasons to believe the risk of the UK leaving the EU without a Brexit deal on March 29 has decreased.
  • UK lawmakers will vote today on whether Britain should crash out of the bloc without a deal. Analysts expect that idea to be rejected. Follow live updates here.