Morning Brief

Can the Dow build on 20K, with heavy earnings and economic data?

Key Points


The Dow appeared on track to extend its rally this morning, after closing on Wednesday above the 20,000 mark for the first time ever. The reemergence of the Trump rally comes after a few weeks of treading water. (CNBC)

In this morning's earnings flood, Dow component Caterpillar (CAT) reported quarterly profit that beat estimates but revenue that fell short. (CNBC)

Comcast (CMCSA) beat estimates on earnings and revenue. The parent of NBCUniversal and CNBC also announced a 15 percent dividend hike and a 2-for-1 stock split.

Ford Motor reported fourth-quarter earnings that matched Wall Street estimates and revenue that beat. Ford affirms 2017 outlook is generally lower than 2016. (CNBC)

Ford CEO Mark Fields, after meeting Monday with President Donald Trump, told CNBC the automaker has the right amount of assembly plants around the U.S.


President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and British Prime Minister Theresa May are set to address congressional Republicans today at the three-day GOP strategy retreat in Philadelphia. (USA Today)

Republican leaders on Capitol Hill laid out plans for repealing Obamacare by spring, followed by funding the building of a border wall and reforming the tax code by late summer. (Reuters)

Hours after Trump signed executive orders to curb illegal immigration, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto promised last night to protect Mexicans in the United States. (NBC News)


The Dutch market regulator mistakenly published the details of hundreds of previously private short selling trades by international hedge funds, including bets by billionaire George Soros. (FT)

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has reached an agreement to buy European biotech company Actelion for $30 billion, after weeks of talks. The deal includes spinning off Actelion's R&D pipeline. (Reuters)

Heinz ketchup maker Kraft Heinz (KHC) and media mogul Oprah Winfrey are forming a joint venture to develop a new line of food products in the U.S., called Mealtime Stories. (Reuters)

Whole Foods (WFM) is shutting down its three commercial kitchens, which manufacture ready-to-eat meals for stores. Whole Foods is going to outsource food preparation. (WSJ)

A federal judge has refused to force Wal-Mart (WMT) to pay $80 million in penalties in a lawsuit alleging the retail giant failed to pay hundreds of truck drivers in California the minimum wage for certain tasks. (AP)

MoneyGram (MGI) is close to being purchased by Alibaba (BABA) unit Ant Financial Services, in a deal valuing the U.S. money-transfer company at more than $640 million. (WSJ)

U.S. software firm Microsoft (MSFT) will continue to invest over $1 billion annually on cyber security research and development in the coming years, a senior executive said. (Reuters)

Facebook (FB) will soon test showing some users News Feed-style carousel ads inside its standalone Messenger app. The social network over the summer said it was looking for new ad placements. (Recode)


It's a busy morning for economic reports, beginning with weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. December new home sales and the index of leading economic indicators for last month are both out at 10 a.m. ET.

The after-the-bell earnings include results from Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL), as well as Dow components Intel (INTC) and Microsoft (MSFT). PayPal (PYPL) and Starbucks (SBUX) were also on the docket.


AT&T (T) matched estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 66 cents per share, but missing on the top line as the telecom giant continued to lose phone and video customers.

Diageo (DEO) posted better than expected quarterly sales, as the world's largest spirits maker saw improvements in its U.S. business. CEO Ivan Menezes told CNBC he's confident of achieving targets.

Mattel (MAT) fell 19 cents shy of estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 52 cents per share, while the toy maker's revenue missed as well. The company cited big discounting just before Christmas.

Las Vegas Sands (LVS) missed estimates by 4 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 62 cents per share, with the casino operator's revenue falling slightly short of forecasts as well.

Qualcomm (QCOM) earned $1.19 per share, a penny above estimates, but the chipmaker's revenue fell below forecasts. Investors, however, remain concerned about patent lawsuits.

EBay (EBAY) posted quarterly results in-line with forecasts at an adjusted 54 cents per share, while revenue was also matched estimates. The online marketplace warned about outlook.

McKesson (MCK) posted better than expected quarter earnings, and the drug distributor also announced a deal to buy privately held software maker CoverMyMeds For about $1.1 billion.


Tiger Woods, who played just one tournament in 17months as he recovered from two back surgeries, makes his return to the PGATour today in the Farmers Insurance Open at his beloved Torrey Pines GolfCourse in San Diego. (USA Today)