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Wall Street takes a breather after Dow 21K run

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were flat this morning after the Dow soared 303 points Wednesday to close above the 21,000 for the first time ever. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also posted record closes, nearing the 2,400 and 6,000 levels, respectively. (CNBC)

Another voice joined the chorus of Fed officials signaling interest rates may rise as soon as mid-March. Fed Governor Lael Brainard sees an improving global economy and a solid U.S. recovery as reasons to hike soon. (Reuters)

In the biggest tech IPO since Alibaba in 2014, Snap (SNAP) priced its offering at $17 per share last night, at a valuation of nearly $24 billion. Shares of the Snapchat-parent are set to start trading on the NYSE this morning. (CNBC)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had two conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential campaign season last year that he did not disclose at his confirmation hearing in January. Democrats are demanding that Sessions resign. (AP)

In Obama's final days, some White House officials spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election, and about possible contacts between associates of Donald Trump and Russians, across the government, according to the New York Times.

A White House internal review of strategy on North Korea features the possibility of both military force as well as regime change in order to thwart Pyongyang's nuclear-weapons threat, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Darren Woods, the new chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil (XOM), tells CNBC his former boss Rex Tillerson works for the U.S. as secretary of State, not Big Oil. Woods also said the oil giant needs to be nimble in this OPEC-driven oil market.

McDonalds (MCD) plans to make $1.7 billion of capital expenditures this year, as the fast food chain continues some efforts already underway to win customers back and takes some new steps. (CNBC)

American Express (AXP) plans to significantly increase benefits on its Platinum charge card for the second time since October, a move intended to help it better compete with JPMorgan's (JPM) popular Sapphire Reserve card. (WSJ)

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), the world's largest brewer, is considering further cost savings and won't pay bonuses to its top brass following a weaker-than-expected end to the year on a slump in Brazil. (WSJ)

Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer will not get a 2016 cash bonus or a 2017 annual equity award, following an investigation into Yahoo's 2014 security breach. (Recode)

As Uber faces troubles, rival ride-hailing service Lyft has reportedly been quietly pitching investors, looking to raise at least $500 million in a new funding round at a $6 billion to $7 billion valuation. (WSJ)

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is selling the former Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to focus on the Tropicana, another iconic property on the strip that Icahn acquired. (WSJ)

BY THE NUMBERS

The economic calendar is a light one today following Wednesday's data flood. The only government economic report out today comes at 8:30 a.m. ET, when the Labor Department is out with its weekly look at initial jobless claims.

With sentiment increasing that the Fed will hike rates at its upcoming meeting, CNBC has an interview with Fed Gov. Jerome Powell at 11 a.m. ET. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester also has a public appearance in New York.

Earnings reports out this morning include the latest numbers from apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), bookseller Barnes & Noble (BKS), mining equipment maker Joy Global (JOY), and supermarket operator Kroger (KR). Today's after-the-bell schedule for earnings includes software maker Autodesk (ADSK) and warehouse retailer Costco (COST).

STOCKS TO WATCH

Shake Shack (SHAK) reported adjusted quarterly profit of nine cents per share, in line with estimates, while the restaurant chain's revenue beat forecasts. Comparable store sales were less than analysts had been expecting, but the company did raise its sales guidance for the full year.

Box (BOX) lost ten cents per share for its latest quarter, a loss that was four cents smaller than analysts had been anticipating. The cloud software provider did see revenue and billings beat estimates, and its cash flow has turned positive for the first time since it went public.

Broadcom (AVGO) came in 15 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly earnings of $3.63 per share, while the chip maker's revenue was slightly above Street projections. The company, which is a major supplier for Apple (AAPL), said it expects healthy demand for its products to continue.

Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) ended development of an experimental leukemia drug, after the treatment's toxicity led to a number of patient deaths. Juno had partnered with Celgene (CELG) in development of the treatment.

WATERCOOLER

The difference in the average loan for a new vehicle compared to the average loan for a used model is $11,000, according to Experian, which tracks how consumers are paying for the cars and trucks they're buying. (CNBC)

In response to a letter by a fifth grade student, Tesla's Elon Musk said the electric automaker plans to hold a contest for homemade advertisements. (Reuters)