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Morning Brief

Dow futures lower | BB&T to buy SunTrust | Trump tax returns in focus


U.S. stock futures were lower this morning after small losses for the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq and the end of a five-day win streak for the S&P 500. The major averages do remain on track for a positive week, with the Dow and Nasdaq both aiming for a seventh straight weekly gain. (CNBC)

* Cramer: Charts suggest investors 'can afford to be cautiously optimistic' (CNBC)

BB&T (BBT) said this morning it will buy rival SunTrust Banks (STI) in an all-stock deal valuing the combined company at $66 billion, creating the sixth-largest U.S. bank based on assets and deposits. The deal, billed as a merger of equals, is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Shares of SunTrust were up about 5 percent. BB&T was also higher. (Reuters)

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) was 10 percent higher in premarket after beating on earnings. Comparable restaurant sales were up 6.1 percent, compared to the 4.5 percent increase that analysts had been expecting. It benefited from increased traffic and a spike in online orders. (CNBC)

Twitter (TWTR) is among the most widely watched reports on a busy morning for quarterly earnings. Other reports include Philip Morris International (PM) and T-Mobile US (TMUS). Today's after-the-bell earnings include the latest numbers from Expedia (EXPE) and more. (CNBC)

Twitter earnings: 31 cents a share, vs 25 cents EPS expected (CNBC)

On the data front this morning, the Labor Department releases its weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, with economists expecting 225,000 new claims for the week ending Feb. 2. That would be down from the prior week's 253,000. (CNBC)

Fed Vice Chairman Randal Quarles, Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan, and St Louis Fed President James Bullard all have public appearances today. Bullard is a voting member of the FOMC for 2019, while Kaplan is not. As a Fed governor and vice chairman, Quarles is always a voting member. (CNBC)

* Janet Yellen: Possible next Fed move is a cut if global growth continues to slow (CNBC)


Democratic leadership is under growing pressure to request President Donald Trump's tax returns. A key branch of the powerful House Ways and Means committee is today slated to hold a hearing on presidential tax returns. (CNBC)

President Trump is already starting to turn an extremely rare medical procedure into a key component of his re-election bid. The president hopes to force Democrats to confront their support for so-called late-term abortions. (CNBC)

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitted that he wore blackface to dress up like a rapper at a college party in 1980, throwing even more political chaos into a state whose governor is ensnared in his own blackface scandal. (CNBC)

* Gucci apologizes for sweater resembling blackface, stops selling balaclava jumper (USA Today)

New York City's health department ordered restaurants to stop adding CBD to food and drinks. Bars, cafes and restaurants across the city are lacing cocktails, coffee and more with CBD, short for cannabidiol. (CNBC)

* Drugmakers to testify to Congress about drug prices. Here's what they're saying (CNBC)

J.C. Penney (JCP) is getting out of the appliance business, starting at the end of this month, marking the first major change by new CEO Jill Soltau since she joined the struggling department store chain late last year. (CNBC)

General Motors (GM) repeated its commitment to make its entire vehicle lineup "all-electric," but provided investors with few details about those plans on a conference call after GM reported earnings that beat expectations. (CNBC)

* GM's incentive plan for Cruise chief points to IPO: SEC filing (Reuters)

Many major companies are recording every tap and swipe you make on their iPhone apps, TechCrunch reported. In most cases you won't even realize it, they said. And they don't need to ask for permission.


iRobot (IRBT) reported quarterly earnings of 88 cents per share, well above the consensus estimate of 50 cents. The maker of Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners also saw revenue top Wall Street forecasts, and issued better than expected guidance.

GoPro (GPRO) beat estimates by 4 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 30 cents per share, while the high definition camera maker saw revenue beat estimates as well. GoPro was helped by cost cutting as well as strong demand for its least expensive cameras.

Sonos (SONO) reported quarterly earnings of 55 cents per share, 14 cents above consensus estimates. The maker of wireless speakers also saw revenue beat forecasts, but it also said it is seeing higher inventory levels than it prefers. Separately, Sonos said CFO Michael Gianetto will retire later this year.

FireEye (FEYE) topped Wall Street forecasts by a penny with adjusted quarterly profit of six cents per share, and the cybersecurity software maker also saw revenue beat estimates. However, FireEye also warned that it expected a loss for the current quarter, surprising analysts who had been forecasting a profit.

Sanofi (SNY) posted better than expected profit for its latest quarter, and said new drug launches would help push profits higher over the full year.

Prudential Financial (PRU) reported lower than expected quarterly earnings, driven by losses in its life insurance unit and a drop in asset management income. Prudential earned $2.44 per share for the fourth quarter, compared to a consensus estimate of $2.78.

MetLife (MET) earned an adjusted $1.35 per share for the fourth quarter, 7 cents above estimates, but the insurer's revenue came in below Wall Street forecasts on weakness in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.


HBO has released a set of 14 intriguing new photos of the eighth and final season of "Game of Thrones." Premiering April 14, the photo set depicts several main characters gazing pensively into the distance. (Variety)