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Morning Brief

Stock futures flat | Casualties of Sears' get day in court | Patriots win Super Bowl

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were flat this morning, following six straight weeks of gains for both the Dow and Nasdaq and three straight positive sessions for the S&P 500. The Dow and S&P 500 closed Friday at their highest since Dec. 3. (CNBC)

* Oil hits 2019 high near $64 (Reuters)
* Jobs report removes some fear, but market still in 'tug of war' over how much growth is slowing (CNBC)

Sears Holdings unsecured creditors will head to bankruptcy court in White Plains, New York today to protest Eddie Lampert's $5.2 billion bid to save the company, which owns both Sears department stores and Kmart. (CNBC)

Consumer products maker Clorox (CLX) and food distributor Sysco (SYY) are among the earnings reports of note this morning, while Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) captures today's after-the-bell earnings spotlight. (CNBC)

The government will release its shutdown-delayed report on November factory orders this morning at 10 a.m. ET, with consensus forecasts calling for a 0.1 percent increase following October's 0.2 percent decline. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

The Pentagon announced a deployment of about 3,750 troops to the U.S. border with Mexico, as President Donald Trump continues to press the need for stronger border security amid a surge in migrants from Central America. (CNBC)

Trump plans to keep troops in Iraq to monitor and maintain pressure on neighboring Iran even as he moves to withdraw forces from Syria and Afghanistan. "I want to be able to watch Iran," he told CBS's "Face the Nation."

* Trump won't commit to making Mueller report public (NY Times)

A White House source has leaked to Axios nearly every day of Trump's apparent private schedule for the past three months. It showed Trump has spent around 60 percent of his scheduled time in unstructured "Executive Time."

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam met with top aides last night amid mounting calls from fellow Democrats to resign over a racist photograph, the Wall Street Journal reported. No announcements were expected after the meeting.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov played down the possibility of renewed Cold War-era hostilities after the breakdown of an arms control treaty between Washington and Moscow. (CNBC)

The New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 last night in the lowest scoring Super Bowl played to capture the National Football League championship for a record-tying sixth time. (Reuters)

Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos used to hate spending money on ads, but told employees he "changed his mind," according to a recording shared with CNBC. The company reportedly bought up more than $1.8 billion worth of ads.

A former Apple (AAPL) engineer sent in hundreds of samples from his skin, nose and stool to various companies that claim to analyze the microbiome for insights about human health. Here's what he's learned. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Goldman Sachs (GS) may withhold millions of dollars in compensation for former CEO Lloyd Blankfein and his successor David Solomon because of the 1MDB scandal. Goldman's board of directors will make a final decision on those payouts pending the result of an investigation of the controversial Malaysian investment bank.

General Motors (GM) is in talks to possibly invest $2.7 billion in Brazil from 2020 to 2024. GM said it is currently examining the feasibility of such an investment, with the automaker having warned last month that new investments would depend on a return to profit. Separately, the Detroit News is reporting that GM will begin the process of laying off about 4,250 workers today.

Activist investor Starboard Value has taken a stake in drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), according to a Bloomberg report which added that Starboard's intentions could not be learned. The news comes a month after Bristol-Myer agreed to acquire Celgene (CELG) in a record $74 billion transaction.

Spotify (SPOT) is in talks to buy podcasting specialist Gimlet Media, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The paper said talks are still taking place and it is possible that a deal will not be finalized.

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) sparked controversy with a Super Bowl ad promoting the idea that its Bud Light brand does not use corn syrup, while its competitors do. The ad was criticized by the National Corn Growers Association, which said its members were "disappointed" by the ad and it thanked the brand's rivals for "supporting our industry."

ConocoPhillips (COP) was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Goldman Sachs, which notes the energy giant's improvement in free cash flow.

Match Group (MTCH) was rated "sell" in new coverage at Goldman Sachs, with a price target of $45 per share.

WATERCOOLER

Marvel unveiled new footage of its upcoming superhero adventure "Captain Marvel" during the Super Bowl. It didn't reveal much, but it did give fans a glimpse of the action that will unfold. (Variety)