Morning Brief

Wall Street wavers ahead of Trump's Friday inauguration

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were drifting this morning, as the market takes breather ahead of tomorrow's inauguration of Donald Trump. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq were all trending for weekly declines. (CNBC)

Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks again this evening, after saying Wednesday afternoon the U.S. economy is getting closer to running on its own following more than a decade of aggressive easing measures. (CNBC)

Trump's pick for Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin begins his confirmation process today, as trades watch for comments on the dollar, China, and his ex-firm's foreclosures on homeowners. Meanwhile, Energy Secretary-designate Rick Perry also goes before lawmakers. (CNBC, Reuters & NY Times)

Trump has chosen former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, an advisor during the campaign, to lead the Department of Agriculture, rounding out the president-elect's Cabinet selections. (NBC News)

Transportation authorities in Washington are warning travelers to expect congestion at airports, along highways, and mass transit due crowds in town for Trump's inauguration tomorrow. (USA Today)

Netflix (NFLX) shares were surging more than 7 percent in premarket trading, after posting subscriber numbers that crushed its own guidance. The streaming video service also beat estimates on earnings and revenue. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) is running into some resistance from Indian government officials, as the U.S. tech giant asks for concessions in return for agreeing to assemble iPhones in that country. (Reuters)

Twitter (TWTR) is finally doing away with the "Buy" buttons that allowed users to purchase items from within a tweet. The shutdown comes eight months after Twitter's head of commerce left the company. (Recode)

Panasonic wants to expand its partnership with automaker Tesla (TSLA) beyond batteries. Panasonic CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga said he wants the to two companies to partner on self-driving technology as well. (Reuters)

Japanese conglomerate Toshiba fell nearly 16 percent, deepening concern about the company's future ahead of an announcement coming soon on losses in its U.S. nuclear business. (WSJ)

Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) CEO Hunter Harrison accelerated his planned departure, leaving immediately. Harrison is said to be partnering with an activist investor to target rival CSX (CSX), which was surging in the premarket. (WSJ)

The Obama administration rushed to complete a raft of investigations of big business before relinquishing power, reaching settlements worth around $20 billion in the past week alone with megabanks, automakers, drug companies and others. (WSJ)

The Defense Department and Lockheed Martin (LMT) are engaged in negotiations that could bring below $100 million for the first time ever the price per F-35 fighter jet, which recently drew Trump's ire as too costly. (Reuters)

Anonymous, the loose collective of online hackers, issued an ominous warning, tweeting a call to action to followers to expose any potential compromising information they can find on Trump. (NBC News)

Former President George H.W. Bush has been moved to an intensive-care unit at a Houston hospital with pneumonia. Ex-first lady Barbara Bush was also admitted to the same hospital as a precaution. (AP)

An earthquake-triggered avalanche slammed into a resort hotel in central Italy, leaving up to 29 hotel guests and workers either missing or dead. Rescue workers were searching the area the buried structure. (NBC News)

Dozens of firefighters were killed when a burning high-rise in Iran's capital collapsed. The fire was at Tehran's iconic Plasco building, which was attached to a multistory shopping mall. (NBC News)


U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May reassured business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos today that Britain would remain open for business after it quits the European Union. But the mayor of London said the city would be poorer.

During a Davos panel today, Bank of America (BAC) chief Brian Moynihan said he's concerned over the structural issues that Europe is facing, which he predicts could have consequences for BofA.

The European Central Bank issues its latest interest rate decision and policy statement at 7:45 a.m. ET, followed by ECB President Mario Draghi's post-meeting news conference at 8:30 a.m. ET.

It's another busy morning for U.S. economic data, with three separate reports at 8:30 a.m. ET: weekly jobless claims, December housing starts, and the January business activity index from the Philadelphia Fed.

The Energy Department is out with its weekly look at natural gas inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET, followed by the holiday-delayed report on oil and gasoline inventories at 11 a.m. ET.

More banks issue earnings this morning, including Bank of New York Mellon (BK), BB&T (BBT), KeyCorp (KEY), and M&T Bank (MTB). Union Pacific also reports this morning (UNP), while Dow stocks American Express (AXP) and IBM (IBM) hit after the bell.

Kinder Morgan (KMI) late Wednesday reported earnings that matched estimates but revenue that missed. The pipeline operator posted its ninth straight quarter of declines on its top line.


Mallinckrodt (MNK) has agreed to pay $100 million to settle allegations that a subsidiary broke U.S. antitrust law by sharply increasing the price of a multiple sclerosis drug while ensuring that no rival medicine appeared on the market.

BHP Billiton (BHP) and Vale (VALE) agreed with Brazilian prosecutors on a June 30 deadline to come to settlement deals involving billions in compensation claims over the 2015 disaster at a jointly owned iron mine.

GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) global head of pharmaceuticals Abbas Hussain is leaving. The drugmaker hired an executive from rival AstraZeneca (AZN) to replace Hussain, who had been seen as a potential future CEO.

Mondelez International (MDLZ) is selling the Vegemite brand, as well as other Australian and New Zealand grocery product brands, to Australian dairy company Bega Cheese for about $345 million.

Chinese tech giant Alibaba (BABA) has signed a 12-year partnership with the organizers of the Olympics to provide cloud and e-commerce services to the games.


Paul McCartney is suing Sony's music publishing arm in federal court, seeking to reclaim copyrights to 267 Beatles songs that pop star Michael Jackson acquired two decades before his death. (Reuters)