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Morning Brief

Stocks set for mixed open | Progress seen in trade talks | Nike's shoe mishap


Stock futures were under some pressure today, despite optimism over U.S.-China trade talks. The Nasdaq was riding an eight-session winning streak. Stocks, while off to a strong start this year, remain well below record highs after their late 2018 rout. (CNBC)

The U.S. and China have started to outline commitments in principle on the stickiest issues in their trade dispute, marking the most significant progress yet toward ending a seven-month trade war, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. (Reuters)

* China may be on the cusp of introducing 'more aggressive' stimulus measures: Economists (CNBC)

Three economic reports are out at 8:30 a.m. ET, with the Labor Department issuing its weekly report on initial jobless claims, the Commerce Department releasing its shutdown-delayed December report on durable goods orders, and the Philadelphia Fed putting out its February manufacturing index. (CNBC)

Fed's Bullard: Rate hikes, balance sheet reduction 'coming to an end' (CNBC)
* Fed signals, in latest meeting minutes, an end date for balance sheet reduction (CNBC)

Earnings reports out this morning include the latest numbers from Domino's Pizza (DPZ) and Wendy's (WEN). After-the-bell reports today include Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Intuit (INTU), Kraft Heinz (KHC), and Zillow Group (ZG). (CNBC)


Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would "swiftly" pass a measure that would block President Donald Trump's national emergency order to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, setting the stage for a fierce debate in the GOP-controlled Senate. (WSJ)

Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen is set to testify in a public hearing before lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled House next Wednesday, and the panel's chairman said Trump's business practices would be a focus of the testimony. (Reuters)

A federal judge in Washington ordered Roger Stone to appear in court today after the longtime Trump ally posted a photo on social media this weekend showing the judge next to crosshairs. Stone's lawyers apologized for the "improper photograph and comment." (Yahoo Finance)

Apple (AAPL) and Goldman Sachs (GS) plan to start issuing this spring a joint credit card paired with new iPhone features that will help users manage their money. The card will be rolled out to employees for testing in the next few weeks and officially launch later this year. (WSJ)

Samsung's new foldable smartphone is a "game-changer," but investors should not expect the new device to be a major contributor to the company's profits this year, according analysts. Samsung unveiled a flexible display prototype back in 2011. (CNBC)

Lyft plans to launch the roadshow for its initial public offering during the week of March 18, making it the first U.S. ride-hailing company to debut in the stock market. Lyft's larger rival Uber still needs several more weeks for its IPO preparations. (Reuters)

The vast majority of pedestrian crash avoidance systems in 11 small SUVs passed tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But two models had some difficulties, the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander and the 2018-19 BMW X1. (CNBC)

Johnson & Johnson has received subpoenas from the Justice Department and the SEC related to litigation involving alleged asbestos contamination in its signature Baby Powder product line. The company said it intends to "cooperate fully" and "continue to defend" itself. (Reuters)

Duke freshman Zion Williamson, presumed No. 1 pick in the NBA, suffered a knee injury, when his Nike (NKE) sneaker blew apart, less than a minute into last night's big game against the North Carolina Tar Heels, with former President Barack Obama in attendance. (USA Today)

* Puma deletes poor-taste tweet about Williamson's Nike shoe mishap (USA Today)

"Empire" star Jussie Smollett, who told Chicago police he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in January, has been charged with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. He's expected to have a bond hearing today. (USA Today)

Pope Francis denounced a "plague of sexual abuses perpetrated by men of the church to the harm of minors," and called on Catholic bishops to "listen to the cry of the little ones who plead for justice," as he opened a four-day summit on preventing clerical sex abuse. (WSJ)


Swinging back profits after 2017 losses, Barclays (BCS) reported lower-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter. But investors were cheered by a 15 percent profit in the investment bank unit. The U.K. banking giant also set aside nearly $200 million for Brexit.

Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 60 cents per share, missing forecasts by 2 cents. The restaurant chain's revenue also came up short of estimates, although its 1.9 percent increase in comparable restaurant sales was higher than estimates.

Boston Beer (SAM) beat estimates by 14 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.84 per share, though the Sam Adams brewer saw revenue come in below estimates. Boston Beer did give an upbeat outlook for 2019, projecting an eight to 13 percent increase in shipments.

Jack In The Box (JACK) reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.35 per share, 7 cents above estimates. The restaurant chain's revenue also came in above analyst projections. However, comparable restaurant sales were down 0.1 percent during the quarter.

Avis Budget (CAR) earned an adjusted 53 cents per share for its latest quarter, beating the 37 cent consensus estimate. The car rental company's revenue also came in slightly above forecasts, and also said its revenue would increase in 2019 thanks to a rise in rental days.


Apple (AAPL) has been dethroned as the world's most innovative company, according to Fast Company. The tech giant fell to No. 17 in Fast Company's 50 most innovative companies in the world for 2019, after taking the top spot last year. (CNBC)