Morning Brief

Stocks look to build on the best January for the Dow and S&P 500 since the 1990s

Key Points


Futures were mixed after the Dow and the S&P 500 had their best January since the 1990s. Moving on, stocks have performed well in February. The Dow hasn't fallen in February since 2009, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have only one negative February in that stretch. (CNBC)

* Cramer's rigorous guide for investing during market volatility (CNBC)

Investors hope the old Wall Street adage, "so goes January, so goes the year," holds true in 2018. When the S&P 500 finishes January in the green, the next 11 months move higher 12.2 percent on average, according to LPL Financial Research. (TheStreet)

Facebook's (FB) stock was 2 percent higher premarket after whipsawing after hours Wednesday. The company crushed quarterly earnings expectations. However, it also said users have cut the time they spend on the social media giant's platform. (CNBC)

Lowe's (LOW) announced employee bonuses of up to $1,000 due to the beneficial effects of tax reform. An internal memo reviewed by CNBC said the bonuses would be based on length of service with the home improvement retailer.

It's another busy morning for earnings, with Alibaba (BABA), Cigna (CI), UPS (UPS) and more. Some big names are out after the bell, including Alphabet (GOOGL), (AMZN), and Apple (AAPL). Also out: Amgen (AMGN), Mattel (MAT), and Visa (V). (CNBC)

Initial jobless claims and fourth quarter productivity will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. At 10 a.m., the government will issue December construction spending figures. At the same time, the Institute For Supply Management issues its January Manufacturing Index. (CNBC)


The Republican memo alleging anti-Trump bias at the FBI and Justice Department is likely to be released today. Officials said they had "graver concerns" about the accuracy of the House memo, challenging President Trump's pledge to release it. (Reuters & CNBC)

* FBI knew of new Clinton emails weeks before alerting Congress (WSJ)
* FBI condemns push to release secret Republican memo (NY Times)

Former Trump team legal spokesman Mark Corallo reportedly will tell special counsel Robert Mueller about a call last July during which White House advisor Hope Hicks told Trump that emails written by his son would "never get out." (NY Times)

One person died after a chartered train carrying dozens of GOP lawmakers to a retreat in West Virginia crashed into a truck south of Charlottesville, Virginia. Rep. Jason Lewis of Minnesota was released from hospital after an exam for a concussion. (CNBC)

The Defense Department may ban the use of personal cell phones and other devices by civilian and military personnel at the Pentagon amid security concerns. An official said that no decision has been made on whether to go ahead with the ban. (CNBC)

* How the US is using terrorists' smartphones and laptops to defeat them (USA Today)

Trump's State of the Union address averaged 45.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen, down about 2 million from a speech he gave last year. It also fell below similar speeches by former President Obama in his first two years. (USA Today)

* Trump's address underscores fractures within the GOP, too (CNBC)
* Trump called for unity while sidestepping the divide over Russia (CNBC)

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has resigned on the heels of a bombshell report that she had purchased stock in a tobacco company soon after taking her job, despite overseeing CDC's smoking-cessation programs. (CNBC)

Thousands of San Francisco residents convicted of marijuana offenses since 1975 will see those convictions dismissed or reduced. California, which legalized recreational pot use, allowed people to ask court to reduce or dismiss prior convictions. (Reuters)

Billionaire Elon Musk's The Boring Company sold all 20,000 of its flamethrowers in just five days after he announced the firm would sell the devices on Sunday. That means Musk's infrastructure firm has now sold $10 million worth of flamethrowers. (CNBC)


Microsoft (MSFT) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 96 cents per share, 10 cents above estimates, while revenue also beat forecasts. Microsoft's results were helped by a $5.3 billion boost in cloud computing revenue.

Qualcomm (QCOM) came in seven cents above estimates with quarterly profit of 98 cents per share, while revenue also beat forecasts. The chip maker did say its results were hurt by its ongoing patent dispute with Apple, and it gave weaker than expected earnings and revenue guidance for the current quarter.

AT&T (T) beat estimates by 13 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 78 cents per share, with revenue also above forecasts. AT&T's results were helped by tax cuts and a boost in wireless subscribers. AT&T also expressed confidence that it will complete its acquisition of Time Warner (TWX).

PayPal (PYPL) shares are coming under pressure after eBay (EBAY) announced that PayPal would no longer be its primary payments processing partner. Separately, PayPal reported adjusted quarterly profit of 55 cents per share, three cents above estimates, with revenue above forecasts as well. The payment services provider said payment volume was up by nearly one-third from a year ago, and volume at its Venmo mobile payment unit was up 86 percent from a year earlier.

Mondelez International (MDLZ) beat estimates by a penny with adjusted quarterly profit of 57 cents per share, while the snack maker's revenue was in line with forecasts. Mondelez noted strong growth in emerging markets and strong demand for Cadbury and Oreo products in Europe.


The sixth and final season of Netflix's (NFLX) "House of Cards" has resumed production without Kevin Spacey. Robin Wright, the co-star of the show, will be at the center of the final season. Academy Award nominees Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear will join the cast. (NY Times)