Morning Brief

Dow futures under pressure after Apple's high fueled records

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were under pressure ahead of Fed chair Janet Yellen's testimony on Capitol Hill today and tomorrow. Meanwhile, Apple's record high close on Monday helped lift the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq to new highs as well. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) was slightly higher in premarket trading, after eclipsing on Monday its record closing high, which was set in February 2015. To pass its April 2015 all-time intraday high, Apple would have to break above $134.54 per share. (CNBC)

Fed Chair Yellen's testimony before the Senate Banking Committee is set to begin at 10 a.m ET, as investors look for signs of whether the first of three projected interest rate hikes for 2017 might be on the table at next month's policy meeting. (CNBC)

Aetna (AET) and Humana (HUM) have agreed to end their merger agreement, following an adverse court ruling. Humana is entitled to a $1 billion breakup fee. Aetna has also ended its agreement to sell certain Medicare Advantage assets to Molina Healthcare (MOH). (CNBC)

General Motors and Peugeot-owner PSA Group are said to be in advanced discussions to combine the French automaker with GM's European Opel business. (Reuters)

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has resigned after intense scrutiny over his discussions with Russia prior to Trump's inauguration. Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg stepped in as acting national security adviser. (CNBC)

The Senate voted to confirm Steven Mnuchin, Goldman Sachs alum and former movie financier, as Treasury secretary last night, capping another partisan slog over a President Donald Trump Cabinet nominee. (CNBC)

A congressional tax oversight committee will not seek Trump's tax returns despite calls from Democrats for a review to determine possible business ties to foreign countries. (Reuters)

A group of retail CEOs, including those from Target (TGT) and Best Buy (BBY), are set to meet tomorrow with GOP leaders on Capitol to argue that a border tax would lead to an increase in consumer prices and a drag on business. (Reuters)

IBM (IBM) chief Ginni Rometty sent a memo to employees defending her decision to advise Trump, the latest example of a major business leader grappling with concerns over how to engage with the new administration. (WSJ)

Officials in California were racing against the weather today, struggling to shore up the Oroville Dam's emergency spillway before more rain hits the area and place the structure under even greater stress. (NBC News)

California's Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, last night requested federal assistance to deal with the Oroville Dam crisis as mandatory evacuations remained in effect for about 188,000 residents downstream. (CNBC)

Credit Suisse (CS) plans to cut up to 6,500 jobs this year after reporting a $2.4 billion full-year loss for 2016, the second straight annual loss. The Swiss bank felt the impact of a $5.28 billion U.S. Justice Department fine. (CNBC)

Toshiba's problems deepened as the electronics giant flagged a $6.3 billion writedown, postponed its earnings report, saw its shares slump and said its chairman was resigning. Shares slumped 8 percent in Tokyo overnight. (WSJ)

Videos can play an important role in Apple's growing music subscription business, according to Eddy Cue, senior VP of Internet Software and Services. Apple Music has grown beyond 20 million users. (CNBC)

One way Apple is introducing videos to Apple Music is through the upcoming launch of its reality TV show, "Planet of the Apps," which is part "Shark Tank" and part "The Voice." (Recode)

Wal-Mart (WMT) plans to eliminate duplication of efforts by consolidating product purchases for its stores and its website. Currently, in-store and online buying teams operate independently of each other. (Reuters)

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (PLKI) shares were lower in the premarket after soaring 7 percent on Monday on reports the parent company of the Tim Hortons and Burger King approached the fried chicken chain about a possible acquisition. (Reuters)


The stock market today may not be feeling the love. S&P's Howard Silverblatt said the S&P 500 has risen only 40.9 percent of the time on Valentine's Day, compared to a historical daily rate of 52.1 percent.

Ahead of Yellen's testimony, the government is out with January producer prices at 8:30 a.m. ET, with forecasts calling for an increase of 0.3 percent overall and an advance of 0.2 percent for core rate excluding the food and energy sectors.

Yellen isn't the only Fed speaker today. Richmond Fed President Jeff Lacker, Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan, and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart all hold public appearances today.

Earnings out this morning include Discovery (DISCA), Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS), Molson Coors (TAP), and T-Mobile US (TMUS). After-the-bell releases today include Caesars (CZR), Express Scripts (ESRX), Fossil (FOSL), and LendingClub (LC).


Syngenta (SYT) received another information request from U.S. regulators about its proposed $43 billion purchase by ChemChina. However, the Swiss agrichemical maker still expects the deal to close during the second quarter.

Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) is cutting production at the world's second-largest copper mine in Indonesia following new restrictions on copper concentrate exports imposed by that country.

Gilead Sciences (GILD) reported strong clinical trial results for an experimental HIV drug. Analysts said the treatment could challenge a similar successful drug made by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Swiss drugmaker Actelion reported a 27 percent jump in annual income for its latest fiscal year, helped by growing sales for its newer hypertension drugs. Actelion is soon to be acquired by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

Hibbett Sports (HIBB), faced with a tough holiday shopping season, issued a profit warning for its fiscal fourth quarter. The sporting good store operate also warn on guidance for the coming year.

Rent-A-Center (RCII) posted a bigger than expected fourth-quarter loss and saw revenue come in below Street estimates. The rent-to-own firm cited increased promotional activity and historically high delinquencies.


Walt Disney (DIS) has cut ties with YouTube sensation Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg after he incorporated anti-Semitic jokes and Nazi references into several of his videos. (The Verge)

After a year of keeping its magazine models clad, Playboy has decided au naturel is the way to go, after all. Beginning in its March/April issue, nude women will once again be back. (CNBC)