Morning Brief

Stocks are on track for their biggest February declines since 2009

Key Points


Futures were higher this morning, but stocks remain on track for their biggest February declines since 2009. The Dow hasn't posted a February loss since that last month before the post-financial crisis rebound began. (CNBC)

* Cramer's charts reveal that investors' euphoria caused the stock market meltdown (CNBC)

Stocks sold off on Tuesday after new Fed Chair Jerome Powell suggested the possibility of four interest rate rises this year, rather than three, in an effort to keep the economy from overheating, sparking anxiety among equity traders and sending U.S. Treasury yields higher. (CNBC)

* Rep. to Powell: 'Do you know when you sneeze, Wall Street crumbles?' (CNBC)
* Powell: Fed members will be taking another look at rate projections (CNBC)

The government issues its second look at economic growth for the fourth quarter of 2017 at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index is out at 9:45 a.m. ET. Additionally, the National Association of Realtors is out with January pending home sales at 10 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

Lowe's (LOW) shares fell around 7 percent in premarket trading after it reported earnings per share of 74 cents, 13 cents shy of what Wall Street was expecting. However, revenue and same-store sales topped expectations for the quarter. (CNBC)

* Lowe's to become the exclusive retailer for Sherwin-Williams' paint products (CNBC)

Analog Devices (ADI), Chico's FAS (CHS), Crocs (CROX) and Office Depot (ODP) also report earnings this morning. After-the-bell reports today include (CRM), Monster Beverage (MNST), Mylan (MYL), L Brands (LB), Box (BOX) and Churchill Downs (CHDN). (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) is buying smart doorbell-maker Ring for more than $1 billion, CNBC has confirmed. The deal would allow the e-commerce giant to expand its home security and in-house delivery services. It previously invested in Ring through the Alexa Fund.


One of the nation's largest sports retailers, Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), said this morning it was immediately ending sales of all assault-style rifles in its stores. The retailer also said that it would no longer sell high-capacity magazines and that it would not sell any gun to anyone under 21 years of age, regardless of local laws. (NY Times)

For the first time since a gunman killed 17 people at a Florida high school two weeks ago, students and teachers return to the classroom this morning. This week's shortened school schedule will focus on healing. (WSJ)

* Trump to meet with bipartisan lawmakers on gun background checks (WSJ)

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and advisor, and other White House aides have had their security clearances downgraded. It is Chief of Staff John Kelly's decision whether Kushner will get a permanent security clearance. (Politico)

Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to probe Russia meddling in the 2016 campaign, reportedly moved to dismiss more than 20 charges against former Trump campaign official Rick Gates after Gates pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy and lying. (Axios)

* Facebook: Trump paid more than Clinton to reach its users during election (CNBC)

The U.S. intelligence community has substantial evidence that state websites or voter registration systems in seven states were penetrated by covert Russian operatives prior to the 2016 presidential election, according to NBC News, citing multiple U.S. officials.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new Justice Department opioid epidemic task force, which will target drug manufacturers and distributors whose overselling of prescription painkillers have fueled the opioid crisis. (CNBC)

Puerto Rico's governor is asking Congress for help after the U.S. Treasury delayed a $4.7 billion post-hurricane loan to the island and reduced the amount by more than half. Congress approved the loan in October after several Hurricanes devastated the island. (Reuters)


Etsy (ETSY) came in 6 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 15 cents per share, with revenue above estimates as well. The online crafts marketplace also posted more than $1 billion in gross merchandise sales for the first time. The stock was up about 15 percent in premarket trading.

Weight Watchers (WTW) came in 6 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 37 cents per share, with the weight loss company's revenue also coming in above forecasts. Weight Watchers is also predicting better than expected full-year profit. The stock was up about 10 percent in the premarket.

Papa John's (PZZA) missed estimates by 13 cents with quarterly profit of 54 cents per share, although the pizza chain's revenue did beat forecasts. U.S. same-store sales declined a bigger than expected 3.9 percent. Papa John's also announced the end of its relationship with the National Football League.

E.L.F. Beauty (ELF) topped consensus forecasts by 9 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 9 cents per share, although the cosmetics seller's revenue missed forecasts. The company's revenue outlook also fell short of Street forecasts, pressuring the shares by about 8 percent in the premarket.

Booking Holdings (BKNG) reported adjusted quarterly profit of $16.86 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $14.12. The company formerly known as Priceline also posted better than expected revenue, as gross bookings rose 19 percent versus the year before for both the fourth quarter and the full year. The stock was up about 7 percent in the premarket.

Square (SQ) beat consensus estimates by a penny with adjusted quarterly profit of eight cents per share, while the payment processor's revenue also beat forecasts. Square saw service and subscription revenue nearly double from a year earlier. Square CEO Jack Dorsey is also CEO of Twitter.

Express Scripts (ESRX) reported adjusted quarterly profit of $2.16 per share, 7 cents above estimates, with revenue also beating forecasts. The pharmacy benefit manager's profit was 62 percent higher than a year earlier, and it also announced employee bonuses in the wake of the new tax law.


Viewers will get a sneak peek of actor and comedian Alec Baldwin's new talk show on ABC shortly after the network's broadcast of the Oscars on Sunday. Baldwin, who won an Emmy for his portrayal of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, will have conversations with "the most interesting people from American pop culture." (USA Today)