Morning Brief

US stock futures are mixed as Wall Street continues to consider Fed minutes

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were mixed this morning after investor reaction to the latest Fed minutes turned on a proverbial dime Wednesday afternoon. The Dow and S&P 500 have fallen for the past two sessions, the Nasdaq for the past three days. (CNBC)

* A major misconception about the market exposed in one chart (CNBC)

The Fed minutes revealed officials see increased economic growth and an uptick in inflation as justification to continue to raise interest rates gradually. The news sent U.S. government debt yields rising sharply, with Wall Street reversing gains. (CNBC)

* Bullard: Too many hikes may lead to restrictive policy (CNBC)
* Goldman Sachs sees a greater than 95% chance of a Fed rate hike in March (CNBC)

Pandora (P) stock was 6 percent higher premarket after the streaming music service saw revenue top estimates as it added more subscribers. However, it lost an adjusted 21 cents per share for its latest quarter, wider than the 7 cent loss expected by Wall Street. (CNBC)

Meanwhile, Roku (ROKU) shares were under pressure, down 21 percent premarket, with weaker than expected revenue guidance for the current quarter and a larger than expected loss for the full year. The maker of streaming video devices earnings came in above estimates. (CNBC)

* 'Angry Birds' maker Rovio pummeled after profit warning (Reuters)

The Labor Department will issue its weekly look at initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Conference Board is out with its January Index of Leading Economic Indicators at 10 a.m. Additionally, the Energy Department issues its weekly look at natural gas inventories at 10:30 a.m. (CNBC)


President Trump said he is "open" to banning all guns for some people, while also showing support for arming teachers to prevent school shootings. That came after he spoke with students, parents and family members affected by last week's Florida high school massacre. (CNBC)

* Shooting town hall: Rubio on the defensive on gun control (AP)
* Florida school massacre survivors push lawmakers for assault gun ban (Reuters)

Former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates are facing new charges in special counsel Robert Mueller's case, according to multiple outlets. Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering, lying to federal investigators and acting as unregistered foreign agents.

* Bernie blames Hillary for allowing Russian interference (Politico)
* Mueller investigating whether Manafort offered banker a job in Trump White House in exchange for loans (CNBC)

Pushing back against criticism, the Trump administration is considering new sanctions against Russia in response to election meddling and a cyberattack last year. Both Republicans and Democrats have criticized Trump for not pushing Moscow. (Reuters)

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a former private-equity investor, has emerged as the point man for promoting commercial space projects amid rising pressure. Ross told the Wall Street Journal that "we need an adaptive and relatively permissive" environment.

Ford Motor (F) North American President Raj Nair has left the automaker, following an investigation into his behavior. The automaker said the behavior was "inconsistent with the company's code of conduct" but did not give any further details.

New Jersey-based retailer Toys R Us is at risk of breaching the covenant on one of its loans, sources tell CNBC. The toy retailer secured a $3.1 billion loan from a group of lenders led by J.P. Morgan Chase prior to filing for bankruptcy protection.

Walmart (WMT) announced the launch of a new online home shopping experience, that will tailor what the user sees to their style preferences. It's part of an overall redesign of that will be unveiled later this year. (CNBC)


General Electric (GE) is the subject of two negative stories this morning, one by the Wall Street Journal, the other by Reuters. The WSJ story said former CEO Jeff Immelt's disdain for bad news led to over optimistic forecasts and botched strategies, while Reuters details how GE's gamble on fossil fuel power was a losing bet.

Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) agreed to sell Chicago and New York television stations owned by Tribune Media (TRCO) in order to win approval for its $3.8 billion deal to acquire Tribune. That news comes from a joint filing by the two companies with the FCC.

Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) matched analyst estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 53 cents per share, but the restaurant chain's revenue missed forecasts and its comparable restaurant sales fell 0.9 percent.

Wendy's (WEN) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 11 cents per share, matching Street forecasts, but its revenue fell short of estimates. Wendy's did see same-restaurant sales in North America rise 1.3 percent, but that was smaller than expected, and fewer customers visited Wendy's amid rising competition.


The U.S. women's ice hockey team beat Canada, 3-2, in a jaw-dropping shootout to win a gold medal at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games. The last time the U.S. won gold was in 1998. Here's the medal count. (NBC Olympics)

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