Morning Brief

Can the Dow hang on and complete a 7-in-a-row record run?

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were lower this morning after a five-session run of record closes ended for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. The Dow, however, extended its streak of new highs to six in a row. (CNBC)

The $3.4 billion Catalyst Hedged Futures Strategy Fund, employing derivatives, experienced a five-day, 15 percent plunge as bearish bets were undone by the S&P 500's latest run to records. (Dow Jones)

U.S.-based Kraft Heinz (KHC) has proposed a merger with Unilever (UL) in what would be one of the biggest deals ever. But the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant has declined. (Reuters)

President Donald Trump visits a Boeing (BA) plant in South Carolina today, a day after his combative news conference. Trump then heads to an airport rally in Florida on Saturday. (USA Today)

The White House plans to unveil a revised executive order on immigration and rescind the initial travel ban. The president said, during Thursday's news conference, to expect it "next week sometime." (The Hill)

Trump also defended ex-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn during his news conference. The president also blasted the media, expressed anger over leaks, and claimed he "inherited a mess." (NBC News)

Retired Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward has turned down an offer to replace Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, and become Trump's national security advisor, according to a White House official. (NBC News)

Trump has signed a measure to cancel an Obama rule that would have prohibited surface mining within 100 feet of streams and would have tightened requirements for conducting environmental studies. (CNBC)

An Oklahoma County District Court judge has ordered Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Trump's nominee to lead the EPA, to turn over thousands of emails to a watchdog group. (CNBC)

House Speaker Paul Ryan said GOP lawmakers plan to introduce legislation as early as Tuesday to dismantle Obamacare, as Democrats grilled Trump's pick to head the agency tasked with carrying out their solution. (CNBC)

Tens of thousands of people across the U.S. are expected to skip work and attend rallies and marches today as part of what organizers call a "general strike [to] get our democracy back." (NBC News)

Facebook's (FB) Mark Zuckerberg released a long letter on his page, lamenting the rise of isolationism and the backlash against globalization in the era of Trump. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) reportedly plans in the coming months to start assembling its lower-priced iPhone SE models at a contract manufacturer's plant in the southern Indian technology hub of Bengaluru. (Reuters)

AT&T (T) opened its unlimited wireless data plan to all customers, a few days after a similar move by Verizon (VZ). Previously, AT&T had only offered such plans to customers of its DirecTV service. (USA Today)

Amazon (AMZN) was awarded a patent earlier this week for a system in which a package would be "forcefully" propelled from a drone, and would be helped to land by measures including a parachute. (CNBC)

A Florida man, a registered sex offender on probation for multiple felonies, has been charged in an alleged plot to blow up Target (TGT) stores in order to tank the retailer's stock price. (NBC News)

A major storm, likely the strongest in at least six years, is poised to bring drenching rain, heavy mountain snow, and howling winds to Southern California today and tomorrow. (USA Today)

Members of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team have been questioned about former team doctor Larry Nassar after the initial allegations of sex abuse languished for at least 10 months. (WSJ)


Ahead of the three-day Presidents' Day weekend, the Conference Board releases its index of leading economic indicators at 10 a.m. ET. Forecasts call for a January increase of 0.5 percent, matching the December gain.

Earnings reports out this morning include Campbell Soup (CPB), Deere & Co. (DE), J.M. Smucker (SJM), Moody's (MCO), and VF Corp. (VFC). There are no reports scheduled after this afternoon's closing bell.

TrueCar (TRUE), late Thursday, reported a smaller than expected quarterly loss and better than expected revenue. The car-buying website operator also issued a rosier current quarter outlook.

Nu Skin (NUS) missed expectations with quarterly earnings and revenue. The beauty and nutritional care products maker warned on guidance and said it would name a new CFO within a few weeks.


Mantle Ridge said it's willing to adjust its demands regarding CSX (CSX). The activist group owns about 4.9 percent and wants to install former Canadian Pacific Railway CEO Hunter Harrison as CSX chief executive.

General Motors (GM) chief Mary Barra visited Opel's German headquarters and gave assurances the GM unit would remain independent if a potential deal with Peugeot parent PSA Group were to come to pass.

The Justice Department has joined a 2011 lawsuit accusing UnitedHealth (UNH) of overcharging Medicare by hundreds of millions of dollars. The insurer rejects the charges and plans to contest them vigorously.

WebMD (WBMD) is exploring strategic alternatives, which could lead to the sale of the company. No timetable was given. Separately, the medical website operator beat estimates on quarterly earnings and revenue.

Mattel (MAT) struck a partnership with China-based parenting website Babytree. The U.S. toymaker plans to create an online learning platform aimed at early childhood development.

Brookdale Senior Living (BKD) is in talks to be bought by health care facility operator Ventas (VTR), according to the Wall Street Journal. Private equity giant Blackstone (BX) had been considering a purchase.

Cree (CREE) canceled its deal to sell its Wolfspeed Power division to German chipmaker Infineon (IFX) after the U.S. government expressed security concerns relating to the $850 million transaction.


Even with two dozen of the best basketball players in New Orleans during Mardi Gras season for three days of NBA All-Star Weekend festivities, ticket prices are at a record low. (USA Today)