Business News

Another big drop in oil pressures Wall Street

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were under pressure this morning, succumbing once again to oil weakness after Tuesday's declines gave back much of Monday's gains. The Dow slipped back into a correction, while the S&P 500 closed right at the correction threshold. (CNBC)

Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said last night central bankers don't know what they're going to do at their March meeting, because it's too early to assess the impact of market volatility. Fischer also said the Fed is looking at negative rates but has no plans to use them. (CNBC)

Oil prices were falling sharply this morning, extending Tuesday's 4.5 percent decline, after Saudi Arabia ruled out production cuts and industry data showed further U.S. crude stockpile build-ups. The government's inventory report is out at 10:30 a.m. ET. (Reuters)

Silver Run Acquisition Corporation (SRAQU), an investment vehicle aimed at buying oil and gas companies, raised $450 million in what could be the biggest IPO this year. It's expected to start trading today on the Nasdaq. (Reuters)

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump was projected to win the Nevada caucus by a wide-margin, his third straight victory with Super Tuesday contests less than a week away. Marco Rubio was seen edging out Ted Cruz for second place in Nevada. (CNBC)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has flatly rejected any person President Barack Obama nominates to the Supreme Court following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, saying the voters should decide. (NBC News)

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) was ordered by a Missouri state jury to pay $72 million of damages to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her use of the company's talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for several decades. (Reuters)

The Justice Department is demanding Apple (AAPL) help unlock at least nine iPhones in other cases, in addition to device used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists, a request that's erupted into a war of words between the tech giant and the government. (NY Times)

Alphabet's Google (GOOGL) and Yahoo (YHOO) have accused ad-blocking software Shine of destroying the relationship between advertisers and consumers, after a Shine executive called their solution a "nuclear weapon" threatening the industry. (CNBC)

A parliamentary committee in the UK said Google's $183 million tax settlement seems disproportionately small given the size of the American firm's operations in Britain, which is in the process of revising its international tax rules. (AP)

Yahoo shareholder Canyon Capital the company to proceed quickly with the auction of its core business, citing concern the Internet firm's management team does not share the sense of urgency held by the board of directors. (Reuters)

Philip Knight, co-founder and chairman of Nike (NKE), has pledged to give Stanford University $400 million to recruit graduate students around the globe to address society's most intractable problems. (NY Times)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was being readied for launch from Florida today, on a mission to thrust a European satellite toward orbit, and then attempt a return touchdown on an ocean platform. (Reuters)

Volvo plans to start selling cars without physical keys beginning in 2017. In effect, the Sweden-based automaker is saying Bluetooth-enabled devices would become digital keys. (USA Today)


This morning's economic reports include February flash services PMI out at 9:45 a.m. ET and January new home sales at 10 a.m. ET.

A very slight gain in interest rates caused more than a slight drop in mortgage volume. Total home loan applications fell 4.3 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refis declined 8 percent.

Three Fed officials are speaking today: Richmond Fed President Jeff Lacker at 8 a.m. ET, Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan at 1:15 p.m. ET, and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard at 7 p.m. ET.

After the closing bell this afternoon, HP Incorporated (HPQ), which separated from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) in November, reports earnings. (CMG) and Victoria's Secret parent L Brands (LB) also issue results.

This morning, Lowe's (LOW) reported earnings that matched estimates and revenue that was slightly higher than expected. On Tuesday, Home Depot (HD) beat on the top and bottom lines.

Avis (CAR) swung to a fourth-quarter loss and posted revenue that missed consensus. The rental car company's forward guidance also disappointed and the stock was sharply lower in premarket trading.

Dreamworks (DWA) reported an increase in quarterly revenue, as higher licensing fees and the TV release of its movie "Home" helped bolster results. The stock surged in the premarket.

Etsy (ETSY) posted earnings and revenue that beat forecasts. The craft marketplace site also unveiled a three-year outlook for growth and expenses, which help give a big boost to its stock in premarket trading.


Viacom (VIAB) is considering selling a "significant" minority stake in Paramount Pictures, according to CEO Philippe Dauman. Major investors have been urging the sale of all or part of the movie studio.

Honeywell (HON) has confirmed it held deal talks with United Technologies (UTX) over the past year. But the aerospace component supplier said it did not see the regulatory hurdles that UTX said it saw.

BlackBerry (BBRY) is buying UK cybersecurity consultancy Encription, moving the struggling Canadian firm deeper into the services business, as part of its ongoing turnaround efforts.

Chinese mobile company Xiaomi launched its Mi5 smartphone today, using its first ever European launch event to take on Samsung and Apple (AAPL) handsets and build up its brand beyond its current markets.

Monster Beverage (MNST) has agreed to buy flavor supplier and long-time business partner, American Fruits & Flavors, for $690 million, securing ownership of unique intellectual property created with AFF.


In honor of Black History Month, American Girl debuted its new historic doll, Melody Ellison, an African-American character who grew up in Detroit during the civil rights movement. (Huffington Post)

A portrait of "President Frank Underwood," Kevin Spacey's character in "House of Cards," will be displayed at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery starting Wednesday as a part of the show's new season premiering on Netflix (NFLX) March 4. (USA Today)