Morning Brief

Stocks set to open higher as Wall Street attempts to avoid first back-to-back losses of 2018

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were modestly higher this morning, after a mixed session that saw the Dow recover enough to set another record close. That performance helped avoid the first back-to-back losses for any of the major averages in 2018. (CNBC)

Dow components 3M (MMM) and Caterpillar (CAT) highlight this morning's corporate earnings reports, accompanied by Biogen (BIIB), Celgene (CELG) and more. After-the-bell reports include Dow component Intel (INTC) and Starbucks (SBUX). (CNBC)

The Labor Department is out with its weekly look at initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. The government issues December new home sales at 10 a.m. The Energy Department will be out with its weekly look at natural gas inventories at 10:30 a.m. (CNBC)


President Donald Trump arrived at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, this morning where he is expected to deliver his "America First" message. He will be meeting with business executives and other world leaders during his two-day stay. (CNBC)

* As Trump arrives at Davos, analysts predict what he'll tell global leaders (CNBC)
* In Davos, Trump faces the powerful 'establishment' he's repeatedly shredded (CNBC)

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said today he spends little time thinking about dollar weakness after his previous comments sent the currency reeling. At the forum, he added: "In the longer term, we fundamentally believe in the strength of the dollar." (CNBC)

During a panel discussion, former Vice President Al Gore defended Trump's decision to impose tariffs on imported washing machines and solar cells. Gore said he doesn't make a habit of defending Trump but says the issue "really did not start with him." (CNBC)

* GOP lawmakers condemn Trump's tariff decision (Washington Post)


President Trump said he is willing and eager to be interviewed by Rober Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. Trump also suggested his past comments have been misinterpreted. (NY Times)

Trump said undocumented young people in the U.S. shouldn't worry about being deported because Congress will strike a deal on DACA. He also said his plan would include a path to citizenship in 10 or 12 years. (CNBC)

* Budget talks progress, as Senate Dems drop Dreamer demand (Politico)

The federal deficit could rise by $154 billion over the next eight years if five states adopt measures to protect residents from the impact of the new tax law, a report shows. The law caps at $10,000 the amount of state and local taxes filers can deduct. (Bloomberg & CNBC)

North Korea called for unity with South Korea as its hockey players begin training for next month's Winter Olympics. The joint team will wear unity jerseys and march under a unified peninsula flag at the Games' opening ceremony. (Reuters)

* Seoul is 'going overboard' to accommodate North Korea, critics say (CNBC)

Hollywood executives have called on artists and employees to wear a white rose at the Grammys this Sunday. The move is in support of the #MeToo movement as Hollywood has been rocked with several public allegations of sexual misconduct. (AP)

* David Copperfield accused of drugging, assaulting model when she was 17 (USA Today)

Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon has resigned after former MSU doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced up to 175 years for criminal sexual conduct. The abuse involved more than 100 girls and women over more than two decades. (ESPN)

Supermarket operator Kroger (KR) and China-based online commerce giant Alibaba (BABA) held early stage discussions about working together, according to sources, although the specifics could not be determined. (Reuters)

Billionaire investors Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway lost more than $700 million after airline stocks plunged on Wednesday. Buffett's firm is among the largest shareholders in the four biggest U.S. airlines. (CNBC)


Ford Motor (F) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 39 cents per share, falling three cents short of estimates, though revenue did beat forecasts. Ford said North America was its only profitable region last quarter, with overall results hurt by rising commodity costs and unfavorable currency exchange rates.

Las Vegas Sands (LVS) beat estimates by 11 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 88 cents per share, and the casino operator's revenue came in above estimates as well. The company was helped by the continuing recover in the Macau market.

Whirlpool (WHR) earned an adjusted $4.10 per share for its latest quarter, compared to consensus estimates of $3.99. The appliance maker's revenue did miss, however, as did its full-year forecast despite higher washing machine prices resulting from recently imposed tariffs on foreign washing machine makers.

STMicroelectronics (STM) reported better than expected profit and revenue for its latest quarter, helped by auto and industrial demand for its chips, as well as a boost helped by the release of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone X. The quarter's performance concluded STMicro's best year since 2010.

Qualcomm (QCOM) signed memorandums of understanding to sell at least $2 billion in electronic components to Chinese firms Lenovo, Guangdong, Vivo and Xiaomi.


A hotel valet allegedly gave away the keys to one man's $300,000 yellow 2014 Ferrari to the wrong person, according to a filed lawsuit against Marriott International. Another man claimed the car was his and said he had left his ticket inside the car. (USA Today)

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