Morning Brief

Wall Street poised for strong open ahead of holiday

Key Points


U.S. stock futures and European stocks were higher this morning, a day after the breached its lowest level in two years before cutting those declines almost in half by the close. The stock market is closed Monday for Presidents Day. (CNBC)

Supporting stocks, U.S. oil prices surged about 5 percent this morning, back above $27 per barrel. Comments by an OPEC energy minister sparked hopes of a coordinated production cut. Crude fell nearly 4.5 percent Thursday. (Reuters)

The 10-year Treasury yield was bouncing this morning, after hitting an August 2012 low of 1.53 percent. Meanwhile, the dollar was steady against the yen, taking a break from its recent decline. Gold was giving up some Thursday's gains, which boosted the metal at year highs. (Reuters)

The rout in Asian stocks continued overnight, with Japan's Nikkei dropping another 4.8 percent, its seventh decline in the last eight sessions to the lowest close since October 2014. The steady yen, whose recent surge has pressured stocks, did little to derail the plunge. (CNBC)

Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, who profited from the 2007 housing meltdown, said the U.S. is not facing another financial crisis and the stock market's overreaction to fears about the economy could be a value opportunity. (CNBC)

AIG (AIG) lost $1.10 per share, a wider-than-expected loss. The insurance giant nominated Paulson and a representative of activist investor Carl Icahn to its board, increased its dividend by 14 percent, and raised its stock buyback by $5 billion. (CNBC)

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) chief Jamie Dimon recently bought 500,000 shares of the firm's stock . Banks have been hit hard recently, and shares of JPMorgan were down nearly 20 percent this as of Thursday's close. (Reuters)

Square (SQ), which went public in November, now has Visa (V) as a nearly 10 percent shareholder, making the credit card giant one of the biggest shareholders in the mobile payments company, co-founded by Jack Dorsey who's also CEO of Twitter (TWTR). (Reuters)

AT&T (T) is ready to conduct so-called 5G field trials by the end of the year, following a similar announcement from Verizon (VZ). According to AT&T, 5G promises speeds 10-100 times faster than today's average 4G LTE connections. (USA Today)

Uber has agreed to pay $28.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that took issue with the popular ride-hailing firm's company's claims that its driver background checks were "industry leading." (NY Times)

Ken Langone, GOP donor and Home Depot co-founder, has decided to back Ohio Gov. John Kasich for president now that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday dropped out of the Republican race after a poor showing in Iowa and New Hampshire. (CNBC)

Likening America to a "burning" country in turmoil, billionaire activist investor Bill Ackman in an op-end urged former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run for president. (FT)

Democrat Hillary Clinton sought to douse perceived passion of Bernie Sanders with a cool dose of realism in last night's debate featuring lengthy exchanges on foreign policy, race and Barack Obama's legacy. (NBC News)

The U.S., Russia, and other world powers have agreed to implement a "cessation of hostilities" in Syria's civil war to start in one week, in an effort to stop the carnage and allow delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged civilians. (LA Times)

Millions of Americans across the Northeast should brace for what could be the coldest temperatures in over a decade this Valentine's Day weekend. Forecasters warned of a "life-threatening" icy blast set to arrive in the region tomorrow. (NBC News)


Following two days of congressional testimony from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, investors get two key reports — January retail sales at 8:30 a.m. ET and preliminary February consumer sentiment index at 10 a.m. ET — providing insight into consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of the nation's economy.


Pandora Media (P) was under pressure in premarket trading, after missing expectations on earnings. The streaming radio provider did beat on revenue. The stock surged Thursday on a New York Times report that Pandora was exploring a sale.

CBS (CBS) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 92 cents per share, matching estimates, though revenue did exceed forecasts. Revenue benefited from higher ad sales, but the stock was moving lower in the premarket.

Activision (ATVI) were off sharply in the premarket, after missing estimates on earnings and revenue on lower than expected demand for games other than its flagship "Call of Duty" franchise. Activision also increased its dividend by 13 percent.

Groupon (GRPN) were soaring in premarket trading, after reporting earnings of 4 cents per share that exceeded calls for a breakeven quarter. The daily deals company is making some headway in its move to also become an online marketplace.

Nu Skin Enterprises (NUS) was tanking in the premarket, after missing forecasts on earnings and revenue. The health care products company also issued disappointing 2016 guidance, with weakness in China among the factors pressuring results.


Pharma bad-boy Martin Shkreli took to Twitter to offer Kanye West $10 million in exchange for exclusive access to the rapper's newest album. West unveiled "The "Life of Pablo," along with his new Adidas fashion line, at Madison Square Garden event late Thursday. (CNBC)

"Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and model Kendall Jenner is suing a skin care company for at least $10 million, saying it used her photo in ads without permission, which appearing in New York City this month ahead of Fashion Week. (CNBC)