Morning Brief

Stocks to open lower | Mattel shares soar | Bezos accuses Enquirer of extortion


Futures were lower this morning, pointing to a third straight day of losses for the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq. If that occurs, it would be the first time in 2019 that any of the major averages have fallen for three straight days. (CNBC)

* Cramer: Don't rush to buy this dip—there are legitimate reasons to sell (CNBC)

Mattel (MAT) shares were surging 16 percent in premarket trading after the toy maker's fourth-quarter numbers beat Wall Street forecasts. Mattel's Barbie line ended 2018 with its highest sales in five years, as sales jumped 12 percent during the quarter. (CNBC)

Arconic (ARNC), Coty (COTY), Goodyear Tire (GT), Hasbro (HAS), and Phillips 66 (PSX) will issue their quarterly numbers this morning ahead of Wall Street's open. There are no quarterly earnings reports scheduled after today's closing bell. (CNBC)

There are no economic reports on today's calendar. (CNBC)


President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order next week that would ban Chinese telecommunication equipment from U.S. wireless networks, Politico reported late last night, citing three sources.

* Trump says he will not meet Chinese President Xi before March trade deal deadline (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos accused the National Enquirer of extortion. He claimed a lawyer for tabloid emailed his counsel with a threat to post sexual pictures he had sent via text to his girlfriend, including a so-called "dick pic." (CNBC)

* Bezos fell prey to stolen text messages — here's how to keep yours private (CNBC)

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican negotiator on a conference committee trying to keep government running past Feb. 15, said that he expects a deal on border security funding by Monday. (CNBC)

The U.S. Supreme Court stopped a Louisiana law imposing strict regulations on abortion clinics from going into effect. It was its first major test on abortion since the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy last summer. (Reuters)

John Dingell, a gruff Michigan Democrat who entered the House of Representatives in 1955 and became the longest-serving member of Congress at 59 years, died on Thursday. He was 92. (Reuters)

Sears Holdings was granted a new lifeline as its sale to Chairman Eddie Lampert, through an affiliate of his hedge fund ESL Investments, was approved by a federal bankruptcy court judge. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) threatened to remove applications from the App Store if they record users' actions without their explicit permission. Expedia, Air Canada and Hollister were named as apps that infringed on Apple's guidelines. (CNBC)

Delta Air Lines' (DAL) new Airbus A220 jets have finally taken off, the carrier's latest offensive in the battle for business travelers. Delta is the first U.S. operator to offer the roomier, fuel-efficient planes. (CNBC)


Expedia (EXPE) reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.24 per share, 16 cents above estimates, while the travel website operator also saw revenue beat Wall Street forecasts. Both gross bookings and hotel room nights jumped 11 percent during the quarter, and airline-related revenue was up 18 percent.

Skechers (SKX) beat estimates by eight cents with quarterly profit of 31 cents per share, though revenue came in slightly below forecasts. The footwear maker did have sales of $1.08 billion during the quarter, its highest ever.

Sony (SNE) announced its first-ever share buyback of $910 million, sending the stock surging. It was the second major Japanese company this week to announce a large buyback, with SoftBank having made a similar announcement earlier this week.

Visa (V) boosted its takeover bid for British payment company Earthport to just under $320 million, topping a bid by rival MasterCard (MA). Earthport had initially backed the MasterCard bid, but is now recommending the Visa offer. MasterCard said it is now considering its options.

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) paid $77 million in penalties for failing to meet 2016 model year fuel economy standards, according to Reuters. The automaker is among those who have been lobbying the White House to relax fuel economy requirements.

Gannett (GCI) is the target of a proxy fight, with hedge fund-backed newspaper owner Digital First Media seeking to replace a majority of the USA Today publisher's board members. Digital First owns about 7.5 percent of Gannett shares, and its action comes after its takeover bid was rejected by Gannett.

IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC) reported a quarterly profit of $2.04 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $1.67. Revenue also topped forecasts, with the company's stakes in Match Group (MTCH) and ANGI Homeservices (ANGI) helping boost its top line.

Wells Fargo (WFC) said most of its ATMs and online and mobile services are working once again, after a widespread outage yesterday.

AutoZone (AZO) and O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY) were both downgraded to "perform" from "outperform" at Oppenheimer, pointing to concerns about a cyclical slowdown for the auto parts retailers after a period of outperformance.


"The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" is expected to climb to the top of the domestic box office with a $50 million to $55 million debut. The new CG animated movie opens five years after "The Lego Movie." (Hollywood Reporter)