Trump rally stalls as 5 Dow stocks report earnings

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were drifting this morning, with evidence the Trump rally in the Dow and S&P 500 actually stalled in mid-December. But since Election Day, the Dow and S&P were still strongly higher. (CNBC)

Five Dow components report earnings this morning, including quarter results from 3M (MMM), DuPont (DD), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Travelers (TRV), and Verizon (VZ). (CNBC)

Verizon reported a weaker-than-expected profit. Meanwhile, Yahoo (YHOO) delayed the second quarter the estimated close of its sale of core internet assets to Verizon. The $4.8 billion deal has faced hurdles due to hacks at Yahoo. (CNBC)

The British currency was down against the dollar and the euro, after the U.K. Supreme Court ruled the government there must get parliamentary approval before starting the Brexit process. (CNBC)

Also keeping a lid on the dollar, Treasury Secretary-nominee Steven Mnuchin, in written answers to senators, reportedly said he favors a weaker U.S. currency. (Bloomberg)


TRUMP'S FIRST 100 DAYS

President Donald Trump is having breakfast this morning with the chief executives of General Motors (GM), Ford (F), and Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), as he pressures automakers to boost American employment. (Reuters)

Senate committee votes are scheduled today for the nominations of Wilbur Ross as Commerce secretary, Jeff Sessions as attorney general, Ben Carson as HUD secretary, and Elaine Chao as Transportation secretary.

HHS Secretary-nominee Tom Price faces a second hearing today, with other confirmation proceedings set for Trump's pick for UN ambassador Nikki Haley, Linda McMahon for SBA, and Mick Mulvaney for OMB.

The full Senate has confirmed Mike Pompeo as CIA chief. Meanwhile, Secretary of State-nominee Rex Tillerson has won committee approval. He's expected to be confirmed by the full Senate. (NBC News)

Trump has elevated Ajit Pai to chairman of the FCC, giving control over the agency to a reliable conservative who's been opposed to pretty much every big action the commission has taken in recent years. (The Verge)

The president has resigned from the Trump Organization more than 400 affiliated entities, leaving his sons Don and Eric, as well as CFO Allen Weisselberg in charge. (NBC News)

CORPORATE NEWS

China's Alibaba (BABA) this morning posted a 54 percent rise in quarterly revenue, helped by higher sales during its Single's Day shopping event and increased earnings in its cloud and digital media ventures. (Reuters)

Amazon (AMZN) sold 3.1 million Echo speakers in the U.S. during the fourth quarter, according to estimates from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. Amazon does not release Echo figures on its own.

Apple (AAPL) stock was downgraded at Barclays, which doesn't see significant upside potential. Separately, Qualcomm (QCOM) may sue Apple, in response to Apple's patent lawsuit. (Recode)

Samsung's profits jumped 50 percent in the fourth-quarter, as a diverse business portfolio helped cushion the fallout from a massive product recall of its Galaxy Note 7 handset. (CNBC)

Shares of BT were getting crushed after the U.K. telecom giant cut revenue, earnings, and cash flow forecasts for the next two years due to deeper than previously thought improper accounting at its Italian business. (Reuters)

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the standalone company founded by Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan tasked with giving away the couple's billions, is making its first acquisition, Artificial intelligence startup Meta. (Recode)

BY THE NUMBERS

The National Association of Realtors issues its December existing home sales report at 10 a.m. ET. Forecasts call for a decline of 1.8 percent to an annual rate of 5.51 million units, following a 0.7 percent increase in November.

After-the-bell reports this afternoon include CA Technologies (CA), Capital One (COF), Discover Financial (DFS), Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), Stryker (SYK), and Texas Instruments (TXN).

STOCKS TO WATCH

Volkswagen's (VLKAY) $1.2 billion diesel emissions settlement was approved by a U.S. district judge, calling it "fair, reasonable, and adequate." Dealers will receive an average of $1.85 million each.

Avis Budget (CAR) put a "poison pill" in place aimed at keeping its largest shareholder from gaining more control. Hedge fund SRS has a 9.7 percent stake in Avis common, and another 18.8 percent with no voting power.

Ford (F) is launching a new auto parts brand called Omnicraft, which will sell parts to both Ford dealers and independent repair shops.

SAP (SAP) raised its earnings outlook, as results from the business software company's cloud-based business continue to improve. New bookings for the cloud business rose by 40 percent in the most recent quarter.

Royal Philips (PHG) returned to profitability in the fourth quarter, but the health technology and consumer products maker warned that it is seeing "elevated uncertainty" in its target markets.

Rio Tinto (RIO) sold its Australian coal unit to Yancoal Australia for up to $2.45 billion in cash. Yancoal is an entity controlled by the Chinese government.

U.S. Foods (USFD) launched a secondary offering of 30 million common shares. Those shares are currently held by private equity firms Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR).

WATERCOOLER

Here are the 50 best jobs in America for 2017, according to a ranking released this morning by recruiting website Glassdoor. The tech industry dominates the top three, with median base salaries over $100,000.