Morning Brief

After a near miss, investors put Dow 20K in their sights

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were under some pressure this morning, after the Dow traded within a fraction of 20,000 on Friday, before closing off its highs and remaining about 36 points away. The Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq all hit intraday records Friday. (CNBC)

Oil prices were sharply lower this morning, as Iran upped exports and U.S. drillers increased activity again, moves undermining efforts by international producers to curb global oversupply. U.S. crude logged its four straight week of gains. (Reuters)

The British pound was tumbling to two-month lows this morning after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said in her first interview of the year that she was not interested in keeping "bits of membership" of the European Union in the execution of Brexit. (Reuters)

Donald Trump responded on Twitter this morning to Meryl Streep's stinging indictment without mentioning his name at last night's Golden Globes awards show. Trump called Streep "one of the most overrated actresses" and a "Hillary flunky." (NBC News)

Confirmation hearings for Trump's Cabinet picks begin this week, with lawmakers tomorrow questioning Attorney General-designate Sen. Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary-designate retired Gen. John Kelly. (NBC News)

State-run Chinese tabloid Global Times warned Trump China would take "take revenge" if he reneged on the one-China policy, only hours after Taiwan's president made a controversial stopover in Houston and met with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. (Reuters)

China's Anbang Insurance is said to be in talks to invest in a project to redevelop a flagship New York City building owned by Kushner Companies, the family real estate business run Jared Kushner. (NY Times)

Top Trump advisors, including Kushner, met this weekend in New York City with Boris Johnson, leading Brexit proponent and U.K. Foreign Secretary. Johnson is set to meet with Republican leaders in Washington today. (BBC)

Democrats led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren plan to introduce legislation today that would require Trump to divest his business holdings in order to avoid conflicts of interest while serving in the White House. (HuffPost)

General Motors (GM) has no plans to change where the automaker produces small cars because of Trump's Twitter threat of a border tax, CEO Mary Barra said last night at a Detroit Auto Show event. (AP)

With Trump on the war path with GM and Ford (F), the U.S. arm of automaker Fiat-Chrysler (FCAU) plans to invest a total $1 billion in plants in Michigan and Ohio, adding 2000 new jobs in America. (CNBC)

Japanese automaker Toyota (TM) reveals a redesigned version of its Camry midsize sedan at the Detroit Auto Show today. The Camry remains the nation's best-selling car. (USA Today)

The FBI has arrested a Volkswagen executive who faces charges of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., marking an escalation of the criminal investigation into the automaker's diesel emissions cheating. (NY Times)

Waymo, the Alphabet (GOOGL) unit formerly known as the Google Self Driving Car Project, is poised to offer its autonomous-drive technology in millions of vehicles made by others. Waymo CEO John Krafcik joins "Squawk Box" at 8:10 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) celebrates the 10th anniversary of the iPhone today, as fans and investors continue to wonder about the specs of the next iteration, even with the iPhone 7 only four months old. Check out our slideshow. (Mashable & CNBC)

McDonald's (MCD) is selling a controlling stake in its China and Hong Kong operations to the Carlyle Group (CG) and state-backed fund Citic for about $2.1 billion. McDonald's is keeping a 20 percent stake. (AP)

Yum China (YUMC), spun off by its U.S. parent last year, is relaunching the Taco Bell brand in the country, after a near-decade-long absence, opening the first store in Shanghai today. (PR Newswire)


Earnings season for Q4 ramps up Friday, when JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo report. Financial stocks have gained more than 30 percent since Election Day.

Earnings for the S&P 500 are expected to increase by 6.1 percent in Q4, with the S&P financial sector see having the biggest gains, up 15.7 percent, according to Thomson Reuters.

Friday also brings the heaviest day for economic reports, including retail sales, producer prices and consumer sentiment. This afternoon, the government issues consumer credit for November.

Two Fed officials make public appearances today, with Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren speaking at 9 a.m. ET. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart in Atlanta speaking at 12:40 p.m. ET.


UnitedHealth's (UNH) Optum unit has agreed to buy Surgical Care Affiliates (SCAI) for about $2.3 billion, creating an ambulatory care services platform — including primary care, urgent care, and surgical care services.

French drugmaker Ipsen is buying for up to $1 billion some assets from U.S. rival Merrimack (MACK), including a pancreatic cancer treatment. Merrimack shares were soaring about 40 percent in premarket trading.

Vertex (VRTX) expects full-year revenue from its cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi of between $1.1 and $1.3 billion, though that appears to be below forecasts and the stock was falling about 5 percent in the premarket.


The Streep-Trump drama aside, the Golden Globes were also marked by a record seven wins for "La La Land." But the show last night got off to a bumpy start, when host Jimmy Fallon danced around a teleprompter failure. (Reuters)

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" opened to a fairly tepid $31 million at the Chinese box office this weekend, according to comScore. The spinoff was No. 1 in North America for the fourth straight week. (CNBC & AP)