Morning Brief

Wall Street set for higher open as Dow nears 25,000

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, after the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all saw fresh record highs in yesterday's session. The S&P 500 closed above 2,700 for the first time, having its fourth positive session in five. The Dow was nearing 25,000. (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) shares were lower in premarket after the electric carmaker released delivery numbers for the fourth quarter of 2017 that fell short of expectations. It will once again push back production targets on its highly-anticipated Model 3 sedan. (CNBC)

Ethereum, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market value, broke a fresh record high on Wednesday. The digital currency was seen moving close to the $1,000 mark. (CNBC)

The ADP national employment report is set to come out at 8:15 a.m. ET, followed by jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. Services purchasing managers' index (PMI) data will then come out at 9:45 a.m., all before the all-important nonfarm payrolls data Friday. (CNBC)

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is set to deliver a keynote address at Meltzer's Contributions to Monetary Economics and Public Policy in Philadelphia later today. (CNBC)


A rare type of winter storm will undergo bombogenesis off the Eastern Seaboard today, bringing heavy snow, near-blizzard conditions and damaging winds. The National Weather Service had blizzard warnings in effect from Virginia to Maine. (The Weather Channel & Reuters)

Sharp tremors lasting several seconds struck Oakland, California, early this morning, according to Reuters. There were no signs of earthquake damage in the immediate vicinity. The United States Geological Survey said the quake was of magnitude 4.4.

Trump's lawyer is threatening legal action against former WH Chief Strategist Steve Bannon for "disparaging" and "outright defamatory" statements in a book. Bannon was quoted as saying a 2016 meeting between Donald Jr. and a Russian lawyer was "treasonous." (CNBC)

* New York Daily News puts out another shocking Trump cover (CNBC)
* White House denies Trump Jr. committed treason (CNBC)
* Trump attacks Bannon: 'He not only lost his job, he lost his mind' (CNBC)

Trump has signed an executive order disbanding his voter fraud commission. A White House statement by spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders blamed the decision on some states that refused to provide voter information. (AP)

* Former British Prime Minister denies Trump spying claim (USA Today)

Congress and the Trump administration are reportedly inching forward in budget talks after closed-door talks Wednesday. The groups have less than three weeks before another government funding deadline. (Politico)

One of North Korea's test ballistic missiles last year reportedly crashed in a city not far from Pyongyang. The impact likely damaged a complex of buildings in Tokchon and may have resulted in a few casualties. (The Diplomat)

The strength of protests shaking Iran was unclear today after a week of unrest that killed at least 21 people, with fewer reports of demonstrations as government supporters again took to the streets. Thousands rallied earlier in support of the government. (AP)

Merrill Lynch financial advisors cannot buy bitcoin-related investments for their clients, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter. A Merrill Lynch spokesperson confirmed the decision to the Journal.


AT&T (T), America's second-largest wireless carrier, has announced it will roll out next-generation 5G mobile internet in a dozen U.S. cities by late 2018. The company did not disclose which areas would receive 5G first.

Intel (INTC) CEO Brian Krzanich sold a large chunk of his stake in the company after the chipmaker was made aware of serious security flaws, according to multiple reports.

Rite Aid (RAD) beat third-quarter estimates for earnings and revenue, after adjusting to account for discontinued operations. Rite Aid reported a drop in year-over-year same-store sales.


No-one won the Powerball jackpot worth an estimated $460 million Wednesday, the seventh-largest prize in the game's history. Lottery players have another chance Saturday, with the Powerball jackpot ballooning to an estimated $550 million. (Reuters)