Morning Brief

Stocks are set to open lower, but whether that continues could depend on the Fed

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were lower this morning, but where the markets end the day may well depend on the latest Fed meeting minutes. The Dow and S&P 500 saw six-day win streaks end Tuesday, with the Dow posting 2018's fifth decline of 1 percent or more. (CNBC)

* Market sell-offs 'tend to happen in three waves' (CNBC)

The Fed minutes are out at 2 p.m. ET, with investors focused on gleaning any further insights on inflation. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker speak today. (CNBC)

Mortgage interest rates jumped again last week, causing mortgage applications to fall 6.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week. Refis fell 7 percent. Meanwhile, January existing home sales figures are out at 10 a.m. ET. (CNBC)


President Donald Trump said he has recommended that "bump stocks," devices that let semi-automatic weapons fire hundreds of rounds per minute," be banned. His announcement came six days after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida. (CNBC)

* Guns, 'Me Too' may drown out tax cuts as midterm issue (CNBC)
* Colorado congressman booed as people demand action on guns (AP)
* Two-thirds of voters support tougher gun control after Florida: Poll (CNBC)

An attorney who is the son-in-law of a Russian oligarch pleaded guilty to lying to federal authorities investigating alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia. Alex van der Zwaan admitted to making false or misleading statements regarding email communications with Richard Gates and Paul Manafort. (CNBC)

* Here are all the people charged in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe (CNBC)

North Korea reportedly backed out of a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence during the Winter Games. Pence was reportedly prepared to meet the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but North Korean officials balked at the last minute. (USA Today)

Donald Trump Jr. dismissed any suggestion that his family has profited from his father's presidency, calling it "nonsense." President Trump's eldest son made his remark in India while promoting Trump branded real estate deals. (Washington Post)

* Trump son-in-law unaffected by security clearance crackdown: White House (USA Today)

The final version of a landmark deal aimed at cutting trade barriers in some of the Asia-Pacific's fastest-growing economies was released today, signalling the pact was a step closer to reality even without the U.S. (Reuters)

The FCC is expected to publish tomorrow its December order overturning the landmark Obama-era net neutrality rule, sources tell Reuters. That means state attorneys and advocacy groups will be able to sue in a bid to block the order.

* White House considers allowing more Americans to erase student debt (WSJ)

The Dallas Mavericks are investigating sexual misconduct claims detailed in a scathing Sports Illustrated story about ex-team president and CEO Terdema Ussery. The allegations against Ussery include making requests for sex and touching women's legs during meetings.

E-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN) quietly launched an exclusive line of over-the-counter health products that include products ranging from ibuprofen to hair regrowth treatment. The line is a possible challenge to pharmacy retail chains. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) is in talks to buy cobalt supplies for its iPhone batteries directly from miners, according to a Bloomberg report. Cobalt prices have been surging due to increasing demand for the lithium ion batteries used in electric vehicles.

Tesla's (TSLA) cloud system was hijacked by hackers who used it to mine cryptocurrency, researchers say. Cryptocurrency mining is a process whereby miners solve complex mathematical problems to validate a transaction and add it to the underlying network. (CNBC)

Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall became the first U.S. cross-country skiers to gain a gold medal by winning the women's team sprint during the Winter Games, ending a 42-year Olympic medal drought for America. Here's the medal count. (NBC Olympics)


JPMorgan (JPM) announced today, in conjunction with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, plans to build a new 2.5 million square foot headquarters at its 270 Park Avenue location in New York City.

General Motors (GM) has proposed a $2.8 billion investment into its South Korean operations over the next decade. The automaker recently announced plans to close one of its four South Korea plants and evaluate the future of the other three.

Japan will buy at least 20 more of Lockheed Martin's (LMT) F-35A stealth fighters over the next six years, according to sources quoted by Reuters.

Dish Network's (DISH) fourth-quarter profit surged due to a roughly $1.2 billion benefit related to U.S. tax law reforms. Revenue of 3.48 billion fell short of estimates and nearly 8 percent from a year ago.

Foot Locker (FL) increased its quarterly dividend by 11 percent, and the athletic apparel and footwear retailer also announced a new $230 million capital expenditure program for 2018.

LendingClub (LC) reported adjusted quarterly profit of a penny per share, missing the consensus estimate of 2 cents. The online lender also saw revenue come in below estimates amid increased loan origination and servicing expenses.

Boyd Gaming (BYD) came in 5 cents shy of estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 22 cents per share, and the casino operator's revenue also came up short of forecasts. That was primarily due to a shortfall in the Las Vegas market.


Billionaire innovator and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is set to appear as himself on the popular comedy "The Big Bang Theory" next month. This won't be the first sitcom-guest role for Gates. He previously appeared in a 2001 episode of "Frasier." (CNN)