Morning Brief

Tax bill worries putting brakes on Wall Street rally

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were hovering near breakeven this morning as investors wait for word on the fate of tax reform. The Dow edged higher to a record close Tuesday, but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are coming off losing sessions on concerns about a possible tax bill delay. (CNBC)

Snap (SNAP) stock, which sank 20 percent in after-hours trading on a revenue miss, sharply pared losses in premarket trading after China internet giant Tencent said it has taken a 10 percent stake in the company. (CNBC)

* Snapchat will redesign its app to be more like Facebook and Twitter (CNBC)

Earnings reports out before the opening bell include Energizer Holdings (ENR), Humana (HUM), and MGM Resorts (MGM). 21st Century Fox (FOXA) leads today's list of after-the-bell releases, accompanied by Craft Brew Alliance (BREW), e.l.f. Beauty (ELF) and more. (CNBC)

* Here's why retail earnings could surprise investors (CNBC's Trading Nation)

No government economic data is due for release today, although the Energy Department will be out at 10:30 a.m. ET with its weekly look at oil and gasoline inventories. And the Mortgage Bankers Association will release its usual Wednesday assessment of mortgage applications at 7 a.m. ET.


President Trump arrived in China today seeking help to rein in North Korea after warning the North's leader that the nuclear weapons he is developing "are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger." (Reuters)

* Trump to push China on trade, North Korea during 2-day visit (AP)
* Trump was served beef with 360 year-old soy sauce in South Korea (CNBC)

Senate Republicans are reportedly considering breaking away from the approach of the House on the tax reform plan and may delay the implementation of certain measures, including the $845 billion corporate tax cut until 2019. (Washington Post)

Democrats won a number of closely watched races, in what some called a "backlash to Trump and Trumpism." Republicans lost races for governorship in Virginia and New Jersey, as well as control of the Washington state Senate. (CNBC)

* Democrat Ralph Northam elected governor of Virginia (CNBC)
* Democrat Phil Murphy wins New Jersey governor's election (Reuters)
* Virginia elects its first openly transgender delegate to state House (USA Today)
* Democrats in Washington state win full control of the government (HuffPost)

The White House has condemned a missile attack by Yemen's Houthi militias on Saudi Arabia and said Iran "enabled" the attacks, which had threatened stability in the Middle East. Iran's UN Ambassador Gholamali Khoshrou described the allegations as "unfounded." (CNBC)

Under scrutiny, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has divested his interests in oil tanker company Diamond S Shipping and is in the process of selling off his holdings in another shipping firm, Navigator Holdings, a Trump administration official says. (Reuters)

The major futures exchanges believe in the development of cryptocurrency trading and will push on with launching exchange-traded funds that allow investors to trade in them, Cboe Global Markets says. (Reuters)

Uber signed a deal with NASA today to help develop traffic systems for its flying car project, which it hopes to start testing in 2020. The company published details of its "on demand aviation" ambitions last year, which it has called Uber Elevate. (CNBC)

Zebra Medical Vision, an artificial intelligence health start-up, has partnered with Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google to offer its algorithms on the search giant's cloud. The deal allows Google to compete with Microsoft (MSFT) and Amazon (AMZN). (CNBC)

Twitter (TWTR) users have twice as many characters to say what they want. The social network expanded tweets to 280 characters for all users from the current 140. The expanded limit had been tested for a limited number of users in September. (CNBC)

In a move toward growth, Target (TGT) has decided to close stores, and a dozen of them at that. The 12 stores, spread across states including Michigan, Florida, Illinois and Texas, will close on February 3 of next year. (CNBC)


Zillow (Z) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 19 cents per share, 2 cents above estimates, with the real estate website operator's revenue also beating forecasts. Zillow also gave strong current quarter revenue guidance as real estate agents step up spending on Zillow's information.

LendingClub (LC) matched estimates with adjusted quarterly earnings of 3 cents per share, but the online lender saw revenue fall short of Street forecasts and the company also gave weaker than expected current quarter revenue guidance.

Marriott (MAR) came in 11 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.10 per share, with the hotel operator's revenue beating forecasts as well. It also raised its full year forecast as demand from business travelers increases.

Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) gave a stronger than expected holiday season sales forecast, contrary to outlooks from videogame publishing rivals Activision Blizzard (ATVI) and Electronic Arts (EA). Take-Two is getting a boost from the popularity of its latest NBA videogame and the ongoing strength of its "Grand Theft Auto" franchise.

Match Group (MTCH) fell 3 cents shy of estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 19 cents per share, but the online dating service did see revenue beat estimates with a 19 percent year-over-year rise. The company reported that the average paying member count at its Tinder service is now more than 2.5 million, and that it is seeing stabilization for its OKCupid unit.