Morning Brief

Stocks to fall | Chinese retailers cut iPhone prices | Shutdown enters Day 21

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were slightly lower this morning after the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all saw their fifth straight positive session. It was the first time for the Dow since October and the first for the S&P since September. (CNBC)

The U.S. premarket trading moves come as investors digest comments from Jerome Powell. Speaking at the Economic Club of Washington on Thursday, the Fed chairman said policymakers were prepared to wait before hiking rates again. (CNBC)

* Fed Chairman Powell says he is 'very worried' about growing amount of US debt (CNBC)

The British pound rose sharply this morning after U.K. Cabinet misters revealed that a delay to the official Brexit date looks increasingly likely. A newspaper said that key lawmakers believed a delay on the departure date was probable. (CNBC)

* A crunch Brexit vote is coming that could trigger even more political chaos (CNBC)

On the data front, investors are likely to closely monitor the latest CPI figures as well as core CPI data for December at around 8:30 a.m. ET. Separately, there are no earnings reports of note this morning or after the bell. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

President Donald Trump teased the possibility of declaring a national emergency to build a wall without congressional approval. He argued he has an "absolute right" to do so, but the move would likely face a challenge in the courts. (CNBC)

* Trump cancels trip to Davos amid standoff over shutdown (CNBC)

Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer for Trump, agreed to testify publicly before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in February — a month before beginning to serve a three-year prison sentence. (CNBC)

The U.S. has begun withdrawing its troops from Syria today, a first step in Trump's plan to remove American forces from one of the Middle East's most complex battlefields. (NY Times)

Sen. Bernie Sanders apologized to women who were "harassed or mistreated" while working on his 2016 presidential campaign, after a series of sexual harassment allegations against top male campaign staffers. (CNBC)

* Bernie Sanders introduces bill aimed at prescription drug costs (CNBC)

Retailers in China are cutting iPhone prices there as Chinese consumers say the devices aren't worth the cost. That comes as the top-of-the-line Apple (AAPL) smartphones have posted poor China sales on what experts say are too-high. (CNBC)

* Apple plans new LCD iPhone this year despite XR's stumble (WSJ)

Polish authorities charged the sales director of Huawei Technologies' local office, a Chinese national, for allegedly conducting high-level espionage on behalf of a Chinese spy agency. (WSJ)

IMDb, the film and TV website owned by Amazon (AMZN), is launching a free streaming video channel that will be available in the U.S. on its website and Amazon Fire TV devices. (CNBC)

Slack Technologies, which operates a popular workplace instant-messaging and collaboration app, is planning to go public through a direct listing, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter.

STOCKS TO WATCH

UBS upgraded Netflix (NFLX) to buy from neutral and raised its price target to $410. It said that after six months of under-performing, the investment bank thinks that the stock will rise as subscriber numbers grow.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) raised U.S. prices on around two dozen prescription drugs, Reuters reported, including the psoriasis treatment Stelara, prostate cancer drug Zytiga and blood thinner Xarelto, all among its top-selling products.

Cowen upgraded shares of Humana (HUM) to outperform from market perform. The firm said the recent pullback has presented an attractive entry point, considering its recently revised higher expected Medicare Advantage enrollment.

Urban Outfitters (URBN) announced an increase in sales for the past two months of 2018 compared to 2017. The company said that its net sales increased 5 percent in 2018′s last two months compared to 2017′s.

WATERCOOLER

Several concepts displayed at the 2019 CES event this week provided a glimpse of what the future could look like. One concept was an Uber copter, which could possibly hit the sky as soon as the mid 2020s. (NBC News)