Morning Brief

Earnings may hold the key to whether the S&P can post a new high

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were higher this morning after Wall Street saw little conviction on Monday. The S&P 500 was still less 6 points away from a record high close. Meanwhile, after strong gains the previous session, oil and gold prices were under some pressure today. (CNBC)

General Motors (GM) leads a busy day on the earnings calendar. The automaker reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue that beat estimates. Operating margins were 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter. (CNBC)

BP (BP) reported quarterly earnings that dipped to a 10-year low and missed forecasts. The London-based oil giant posted a second consecutive annual loss due to weak crude prices. (CNBC)

Dow component Disney (DIS) reports earnings after the bell this afternoon. The media powerhouse is expected to have earned $1.50 per share in its fiscal first quarter on revenue of about $15 billion. (CNBC)

Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA), late Monday, beat estimates with fiscal second quarter earnings but missed on revenue. Profit was boosted by the World Series and election news coverage. (Reuters)


Hours before today's court battle between federal and state lawyers over President Donald Trump's travel and refugee ban, administration officials offered a possible compromise. (NBC News)

Trump claims the media "doesn't want to report" on terrorist attacks involving Islamic radicals. The White House provided a list of 78 attacks from September 2014 to December 2016 that officials claimed got short shrift. (NBC News)

Trump's unexpected accusation that Japan manipulates its currency doesn't appear likely to play into any negotiation leverage as the U.S. president meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week. (CNBC)

Senate Democrats intended to speak throughout the night in a final attempt to derail the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Education secretary and get a third Republican to defect. (NBC News)

Andy Puzder, the fast-food CEO nominated as Labor secretary, hired an undocumented household employee, further challenging his nomination, NBC News has confirmed.

Following Trump's order clearing the way, the U.S. Army secretary could make a decision on the final permit needed to complete the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline as soon as Friday. (Reuters)

With the election of Trump and the promise of deregulation and tax cuts, optimism in the U.S. about economic growth boosted business confidence in the fourth quarter, a survey of CEOs showed. (CNBC)

First lady Melania Trump has re-filed a libel lawsuit against the corporation that publishes the Daily Mail's website, this time in New York, seeking damages of at least $150 million. (AP)

Traces of Kanye West's support of Trump and the references to his Trump Tower meeting have all disappeared from the rapper's Twitter timeline. TMZ reports it has to do with the recent immigration order. (NBC News)


China's foreign exchange reserves unexpectedly fell below the closely watched $3 trillion level in January for the first time in nearly six years, even as authorities tried to curb outflows by tightening capital controls.

U.S. public pension funds are cutting their expectations for investment returns over the next 30 years or more. But some officials don't expect to even meet the lower targets.

There are three reports on today's economic calendar: December trade deficit data at 8:30 a.m. ET, December JOLTS, the Job Opportunities and Labor Turnover Survey, at 10 a.m. ET, and December consumer credit figures at 3 p.m. ET.


Gap (GPS) posted a January comparable store sales increase of 1 percent, slightly below estimates, but the parent of Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy did issue a rosier full-year outlook.

Micron Technology (MU) may face an uphill battle in its bid for a stake in semiconductor business of Japan's Toshiba, with Reuters reporting that the U.S. chip maker favors private equity bidders.

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) repeated assurances that its diesel vehicles are fully compliant with emission requirements. French officials are investigating the automaker for possible violations.

Major shareholder First Pacific sided with activist investor Elliott Management in a bid to shake up Arconic's (ARN) board and force the removal of CEO Klaus Kleinfeld. Arconic is standing by Kleinfeld.


The New England Patriots are taking their victory lap, with Boston throwing quarterback Tom Brady and company a parade today to mark their Super Bowl comeback against the Atlanta Falcons. (NBC News)

Despite the nail-biting finish, the Super Bowl on Fox drew 111.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen, the smallest audience for the NFL's title game in four years. The Patriots 2015 Super Bowl was the most-watched TV broadcast in U.S. history. (Reuters)