Morning Brief

Stocks are set to open higher, but whether that continues depends on key inflation data

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were higher this morning ahead of a key inflation report. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq, all on three-day win streaks, have recovered roughly half their losses from the bottom of the recent sell-off. (CNBC)

* This is the most important level to watch on the S&P: Equity strategist (CNBC)

The most watched economic indicator of the morning is the January consumer price index at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect CPI to rise by 0.4 percent after December's 0.1 percent increase, while core CPI is seen rising 0.2 percent after December's 0.3 percent jump. (CNBC)

* Market on its toes for an inflation report that could change everything (CNBC)
* Stock jitters, higher rates drive weekly mortgage apps down 4.1% (CNBC)

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) shares soared 11 percent premarket after the burrito company named Taco Bell chief Brian Niccol as its new CEO, replacing founder Steve Ells. Niccol had worked at the Yum Brands (YUM) unit since 2011. (CNBC)

Earnings out this morning include Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS), Groupon (GRPN), Hilton Worldwide (HLT), Molson Coors (TAP) and SodaStream (SODA). After-the-bell reports include Agilent (A), Applied Materials (AMAT), Chemours (CC), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Hyatt Hotels (H), International Flavors (IFF), Marathon Oil (MRO), Marriott (MAR), and NetApp (NTAP). (CNBC)


President Trump will reportedly veto any bill by Congress that doesn't advance his "common-sense immigration reforms." As negotiations for DACA are underway, Trump also warned on Twitter that it would be Congress' "last chance" to do a deal. (Axios)

* Trump wants to cut back on food stamps and substitute food deliveries (CNBC)

AT&T (T) is considering calling the Justice Department's antitrust chief and Trump nominee Makan Delrahim to testify in a trial due to start in March, according to the Wall Street Journal. Delrahim made the decision to challenge AT&T's proposed buyout of Time Warner (TWX).

Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, told The New York Times he had paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star who claimed to have had an affair with Trump. He said The Trump Organization and Trump campaign were not involved.

The White House imposed a ban on new interim security clearances last fall for any employees in the executive office of the president, Politico reports. Staffers who had already been granted clearances can hold to them while background probes were finished.

* White House let Rob Porter keep his job after FBI report (NY Times)

South Korea has agreed to foot the bill for North Korea's Winter Olympic expenses that total about $2.6 million. The South's funds will pay for members of an art troupe that performed during the games, a cheer squad and lower level delegation members. (USA Today)

Shaun White claimed his third gold medal in the men's halfpipe and won the United States its 100th all-time gold medal at the Winter Olympics. With the win, White is now the first snowboarder to win three gold medals. (NBC Olympics)

* Here's the Olympic medal standing (2018 Winter Olympics)

Online fashion retailer Farfetch plans to interview bankers in upcoming weeks to help lead its New York-based initial public offering, sources told CNBC. The company is aiming for a valuation as high as $5 billlion, some of the people told CNBC.

* Uber's loss jumped 61 percent to $4.5 billion in 2017 (The Information)

During a shareholder meeting, Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook talked up the company's ambitions in the health-care sector, hinting it will go beyond wellness apps and devices. He admitted the sector is complex but reassured his view that Apple will have a great position. (CNBC)

* How we can fix our broken health-care system: Former Celgene chief (CNBC)

A five-year agreement with Ryan Murphy, the producer behind "Glee" and "American Horror Story," leaves Disney (DIS) and Amazon (AMZN) in the lurch. His Netflix (NFLX) deal is said to be worth up to $300 million. (NY Times)


MetLife (MET) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 64 cents per share, in line with forecasts, but the insurer's revenue missed estimates. MetLife also took a $70 million after-tax charge related to fixing its ongoing pension issue, after failing to pay pensions to potentially tens of thousands of retirees.

Aflac (AFL) announced a two for one stock split, with the disability insurer's stockholders receiving a 100 percent stock dividend payable on March 16.

Twilio (TWLO) lost three cents per share for its latest quarter, half of what analysts had been forecasting, while the cloud communications company's revenue beat estimates. CEO Jeff Lawson said the company has "fabulous momentum" for 2018.

Baidu (BIDU) beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines for its latest quarter. The China-based internet company also said it was considering a possible U.S. IPO for its iQiyi video unit, and that it is making a push into areas like artificial intelligence and autonomous driving.

Fossil (FOSL) came in 24 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 64 cents per share, and the watch maker's revenue easily surpassed estimates. Fossil said profit margins will increase this year as it enhances its focus on wearable technology.


If you don't have a date for Valentine's Day tonight, you might want to check out your credit score first. According to research by Discover and Match Media Group, 58 percent of online daters say a good credit score in a potential partner is more attractive than driving a nice car. (CNBC)

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