Morning Brief

US stocks are set to rip higher at the open, even as more economic data looms

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were sharply higher Thursday, but this morning's inflation numbers could turn a positive futures session on its ear, as it did Wednesday. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq, on a four-day win streak, have recovered nearly 60 percent of their recent sell-off losses.

However, ahead of today's trading, the Dow was still down 4.8 percent for the month. It hasn't posted a February drop since 2009. (CNBC)

The January Producer Price Index is out at 8:30 a.m. ET, with consensus forecasts calling for a 0.4 percent jump following December's 0.1 percent decline, while the core PPI is expected to rise by 0.2 percent after December's 0.1 percent drop.

Three other economic numbers are out at 8:30 a.m. ET: initial jobless claims for the week ending February 10, the Empire State Manufacturing Index and the monthly Philly Fed Index, expected to decline to 20.4 from the January reading of 22.2. (CNBC)

Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) shares jumped 6 percent pre-market after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) reported a $358 million stake. At the same time, Berkshire cut its holdings of IBM (IBM) by 94 percent, to just more than 2 million shares. (CNBC)

* Berkshire Hathaway doubles down on Apple stock (CNBC)
* Berkshire's Charlie Munger calls bitcoin 'noxious poison' (CNBC)

Earnings reports out this morning include Avon Products (AVP), Omnicom (OMC), Shopify (SHOP), US Foods (USFD), Waste Management (WM) and Zoetis (ZTS). Today's after-the-bell reports include CBS (CBS), Shake Shack (SHAK), Sleep Number (SNBR), TrueCar (TRUE) and Con Edison (ED).


At least 17 people are dead after a gunman opened fire at a Parkland, Florida, high school on Wednesday. Broward County Sheriff's Office identified the shooter as Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former student of the school who had been expelled for disciplinary reasons. (CNBC)

* School shooting suspect's social media posts being dissected (AP)
* Romney delays announcement on Utah Senate after shooting (WSJ)
* 18 school shootings in 45 days. Florida massacre is one of many tragedies in 2018 (CNBC)

A bipartisan group of senators reached an agreement on a rewrite of the nation's immigration law and resolve the fate of the so-called Dreamers. President Donald Trump, however, has suggested he would veto any plans that don't uphold his hard-line approach. (NY Times)

Trump is calling for a 25-cent hike to the federal gas tax in order to help pay for his infrastructure plan, according to multiple reports. Trump communicated to staff that he's open to raising the tax for weeks, ever since the Chamber of Commerce proposed it, CNBC can confirm.

* Trump pushes faster permits in infrastructure plan (CNBC)

The president's plan for a military parade could cost between $10 million and $30 million, the White House's budget director said. Mick Mulvaney said the administration would need to seek an appropriation from Congress or redirect existing funds to finance the parade. (AP)

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is reportedly pushing Chief of Staff John Kelly to brief the press directly and clear up any issues revolving Rob Porter, President Trump's former staff secretary who resigned amid allegations of abuse. (Politico)

* Trump: 'I am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind' (CNBC) (AMZN) is partnering with Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC) for its lending program, which launched in 2011, according to sources who spoke to CNBC. The program is aimed at small businesses that sell on Amazon's websites.

* Amazon surpasses Microsoft in market value for the first time (CNBC)

Consuming more highly processed foods, like chicken nuggets, proportionately increases the risk of cancer, a study in the British Medical Journal shows. The study prompted health experts to urge caution at the findings, while also stressing a healthy diet. (CNBC)

American Mikaela Shiffrin won her first gold of the Winter Olympics in the women's giant slalom, and more medals might be on deck. The 22-year-old trailed after the first run, but powered through a course filled with ruts to quickly make up time. (NBC Olympics)

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


Cisco Systems (CSCO) beat estimates by four cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 63 cents per share, with the networking equipment and software company's revenue also slightly above forecasts, with its first year-over-year rise in revenue in more than two years. Cisco also announced a $25 billion addition to its stock buyback program.

Applied Materials (AMAT) reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.06 per share, compared to the consensus estimate of 98 cents, while revenue was above estimates as well. The maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment also gave strong guidance for the current quarter, doubled its quarterly dividend to 20 cents per share, and announced a $6 billion share buyback.

Marriott (MAR) reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.12 per share, 12 cents above estimates, with revenue also beating forecasts. Like rival Hilton (HLT), which reported earlier in the day, Marriott saw increased booking volume at higher prices.

TripAdvisor (TRIP) fell eight cents shy of forecasts with adjusted quarterly profit of six cents per share, although the travel website operator did see revenue come in above estimates. However, the company did announce a $250 million stock buyback and also gave a more upbeat forecast for the current year than analysts were expecting.


An extremely rare 70-pound meteorite, referred to as a Canyon Diablo, sold for a record $237,500 through Christie's auction house, the highest price for a meteorite sold through an online Christie's auction. Only about 2 percent of all meteorites are made largely of iron. (CNBC)

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