Morning Brief

Stock futures point to resumption of Wall Street gains

Key Points


U.S. stock index futures were modestly higher this morning following the first negative session of 2018 for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq still have January gains well above those for all of December. (CNBC)

China's foreign exchange regulator is casting doubt on a report that China is considering slowing or halting purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds. The original report sent Treasury yields to 10-month highs. But yields were backing off this morning. (CNBC)

Bitcoin tumbled more than 12 percent after South Korea's justice minister said that a bill is being prepared to ban all cryptocurrency trading in the country. Park Sang-ki told reporters that there are "great concerns" regarding virtual currencies. (CNBC)

* Over $100 billion wiped off global cryptocurrency market following talk of South Korea trading ban (CNBC)

Delta Air Lines (DAL) rose 3 percent premarket this morning after reporting better than expected forward guidance as well as quarterly earnings and revenue. The carrier also said passenger revenue, a key metric, was up 4.2 percent in the fourth quarter.

Two economic reports of significance are out at 8:30 a.m. ET, with the release of weekly initial jobless claims as well as December Producer Price Index figures. Additionally, New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley will have a 2018 economic outlook speech in New York at 3:30 p.m. ET. (CNBC)


Canada is increasingly convinced that Trump will soon announce that the U.S. intends to pull out of the NAFTA, Reuters reports. A Canadian official told CNBC that while chances are increasing, there is no convincing information to suggest it will happen soon.

House GOP came forward with a vision of an immigration policy that clashed with President Trump's recent overtures of bipartisanship. The plan would crack down on undocumented immigration and reduce the number of legal immigrants in the U.S. (NY Times)

* More than 100 CEOs pressure Congress to pass immigration bill by Jan. 19 (CNBC)
* House closes in on plan to fix its workplace harassment system (Politico)
* Trump's DACA overture worries immigration hawks (WSJ)

During a news conference, President Trump did not dismiss the prospect of sitting down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller, saying, "we'll see what happens." In June, Trump said he'd "100 percent" testify under oath. (CNBC)

* Trump says he wishes US would use hydropower. It already does (CNBC)
* Trump is likely to keep Iran deal in place for now. Here's what could happen if he doesn't (CNBC)

Michael Wolff, the author of the apparent tell-all book about the Trump White House, said he is the reason Steve Bannon stepped down from Breitbart News. Bannon's quotes in Wolff's book were critical of Trump's family. (USA Today)

An earthquake jolted the Iran-Iraq border region today, causing some panic in Baghdad and central Iraq. Aftershocks continued to be felt in central Iraq an hour after the initial tremor, prompting residents to exit buildings in a hurry. (Reuters)

The vast majority of people under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders stayed in their homes before the deadly flash floods in Southern California. Four hundred homes were either destroyed or damanged. At least 17 people died. (AP)

Search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which vanished from radar screens in March 2014, will reportedly begin anew this month. The search is expected to start in January 2018 and is estimated to last 90 days. (The Star)

Alphabet's (GOOGL) YouTube said it will remove popular American vlogger Logan Paul from its Google Preferred platform after a suicide video post. Paul apologized in a YouTube video titled "So Sorry" last week. (Reuters)

Hyundai Motor said today it had invested in Singapore-based ride-hailing firm Grab. The Uber rival also has backers including China's Didi Chuxing and Japan's SoftBank. Grab has expanded to eight Southeast Asian countries. (Reuters)


KB Home (KBH) reported a quarterly profit of 84 cents per share, 7 cents above estimates. Revenue also beat forecasts on stronger than expected orders.

Waste Management (WM) is the latest company to announce bonuses for employees as a result of tax reform. The company will give $2,000 bonuses to all North American employees not already on a bonus or sales incentive plan.

Marriott International (MAR) issued an apology for a questionnaire issued in China that listed Tibet and Taiwan — both Chinese-claimed regions — as separate countries.

Xerox (XRX) is in talks to strike a major deal with Japan's Fujifilm, according to the Wall Street Journal. People familiar with the matter say the two companies are talking about several possible deals that may or may not include a change of control for the office equipment maker.

Ford Motor (F) plans to include automatic emergency brakes as standard equipment on two 2019 models, the Edge crossover and the Ranger pickup truck.

21st Century Fox (FOXA) is reportedly near a deal to buy about 10 TV stations from Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI), according to multiple sources. Sinclair is selling assets to win approval for its purchase of Tribune Media (TRCO).


Coca-Cola (KO) has unveiled four new flavors of Diet Coke aimed at millennials. The new flavors are Diet Coke Ginger Lime, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, Diet Coke Zesty Blood Orange and Diet Coke Twisted Mango. (Washington Post)