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US stocks poised for positive week

IN THE NEWS TODAY

The major U.S. averages saw a three-day win streak come to an end on Thursday, but the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are all on pace for their first weekly gain in three weeks, and their biggest weekly percentage gains since late November.

Stock futures were lower on Friday, and the Dow and S&P 500 remain right on the edge of correction territory, each down slightly more than 10 percent from their all-time intraday highs. (CNBC)

Crude futures were also lower, but remained on pace for their first weekly gain this month.

China's top securities regulator is stepping down following a series of perceived missteps that contributed to steep stock market sell-offs, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing Chinese officials.China Securities Regulatory Commission chairman Xiao Gang is expected to be replaced by Agricultural Bank of China chairman Liu Shiyu. (WSJ)

Donald Trump praised Pope Francis at a South Carolina town hall event, taking a more conciliatory tone following a row with the pontiff sparked on Thursday when the Catholic leader said Trump is "not Christian" due to his views on immigration. (BBC/CNBC)

Sen. Bernie Sanders is closing in on Hillary Clinton in the national race, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. The survey shows Clinton with a 53 percent lead among Democratic primary voters to 42 percent for Sanders. (CNBC)

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg would get just 16 percent of the vote in a hypothetical three-way battle with Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. The poll suggests Bloomberg would take more votes from Sanders than from Trump. (WSJ)

U.S. warplanes carried out air strikes early on Friday in the western Libyan city of Sabratha, where Islamic State militants operate, killing as many as 40 people. The attacks targeted a senior militant linked to attacks in Tunisia last year, a U.S. military spokesman said. (Reuters)

Apple (AAPL) has been given more time to respond to a Department of Justice order to assist the FBI in unlocking an iPhone used by a shooter in last year's San Bernardino terror attack. Apple's response in court will now be due February 26. (CNBC)

Law firm Hagens Berman has filed a class-action lawsuit against Daimler in the United States on the part of a Mercedes BlueTEC diesel car owner. The suit alleges the Mercedes-maker programmed cars to emit illegal nitrogen oxide levels. (Reuters)

Volkswagen internal memos and emails suggest the company delayed regulators after being confronted in early 2014 with evidence its vehicles were emitting more pollutants than allowed. (NYT)

BY THE NUMBERS

The government has a single economic report on the docket today, releasing the January Consumer Price Index at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists look for a 0.1 percent decline, which would match the December performance. Consensus forecast call for the ex-food and energy rate to post a 0.2 percent increase, compared to a 0.1 percent rise in December.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester has a public appearance this morning, with a talk on the economic outlook and monetary policy set for 8:40 a.m. ET in Sarasota, Florida.

Deere & Co. (DE) leads a short list of earnings reports out this morning, along with Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG), and VF Corp. (VFC). There are no earnings reports due out after today's closing bell.


STOCKS TO WATCH

Deere & Co. (DE) earned 80 cents per share for its latest quarter, 10 cents above estimates, but revenue fell short as top line results were pressured by a strong dollar. Deere said its financial condition is strong, but it expects another "challenging" year ahead.

Applied Materials (AMAT) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 26 cents per share, 1 cent above estimates, with revenue slightly above forecasts. The semiconductor equipment manufacturer gave an upbeat forecast for the current quarter.

Boston Beer (SAM) came in 8 cents above Street forecasts with quarterly profit of $1.21 per share. The brewer of Sam Adams beer saw revenue miss estimates, and its full-year earnings outlook was below expectations.

Boeing (BA) engineers have approved a six-year contract extension, replacing a 2013 agreement that would have expired in October.

Amazon.com (AMZN) has bought the North American rights to Woody Allen's next film, due for release this summer.

WATERCOOLER

California workplace safety officials have rejected a rule that would force the state's adult film actors to wear condoms. Pornography actors argued the measure would force the industry to go underground to circumvent the rule, making workers less safe. (NBC News Los Angeles)