Morning Brief

Stocks set to rise | Optimism for US-China trade deal | Another Democrat enters 2020 race


U.S. stock futures were set to extend Friday's gains on optimism that the Trump administration can come to terms on a China trade deal. The Dow broke a three-day losing streak Friday, but that advance was not enough to extend its weekly gains to 10 in a row. (CNBC)

* China offers offering to lower tariffs on US farm, chemical and auto products as trade deal gets closer (WSJ)
* Goldman Sachs takes a look at what a US-China trade deal might look like (CNBC)

The Nasdaq continues to be the star performer on Wall Street, posting 10 straight weekly gains in its longest weekly win streak since 1999, and closing Friday at its highest level since mid-October, a month that started the late 2018 market slide. (CNBC)

* Two-month hot start to 2019 could mean more gains ahead, history shows (CNBC)

Another government shutdown-delayed economic report is out this morning, with the Commerce Department's December construction spending at 10 a.m. ET. There are no major earnings reports this morning, but Salesforce (CRM) highlights a short list of after-the-bell releases. (CNBC)

* Cramer's game plan: Why this Friday's jobs report is more important than usual (CNBC)


Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, 66, announced this morning that he's running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, joining an already-crowded field. The former brewpub owner and Denver mayor hopes his two terms leading a swing state shows he can unite the nation. (AP)

President Donald Trump over the weekend renewed his criticism of the Fed, calling out Chairman Jerome Powell, in a veiled reference, for raising interest rates. "We have a gentleman that likes a very strong dollar in the Fed," Trump added. (CNBC)

* Trump trails a generic Democratic rival in the early stages of the 2020 race: NBC/WSJ poll
* Sen. Rand Paul opposes Trump's emergency border declaration, likely providing decisive vote (NY Times)

Roger Stone suggests that he's been "framed" by special counsel Robert Mueller in an Instagram post that appeared to run afoul of a judge's barely week-old gag order barring Trump's longtime friend from criticizing the prosecutors in the criminal case against him. (CNBC)

AT&T (T) plans to overhaul CNN's digital operation. John Stankey, head of AT&T's WarnerMedia, feels the network's online business is not reaching its potential. Stankey's reorganization of WarnerMedia resulted last week in the resignation of longtime HBO chief executive. (WSJ)

Tesla (TSLA) plans to unveil its Model Y SUV on March 14. CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the vehicle will cost about 10 percent more than the Model 3 and have slightly less range. Separately, Tesla paid off a $920 million convertible bond in cash late Friday. (CNBC)

The third winter storm in several days has come and gone on the East Coast, but not before dumping close to a foot of snow on parts of the New York City-area overnight, making for a difficult Monday morning commute and prompting widespread school closures and delays. (NBC News)

Rescuers in Alabama sifted through the rubble looking for survivors this morning after two back-to-back tornadoes touched in a county just over the border from Columbus, Georgia Sunday, killing at least 23 people. More than 50 people were injured, with the death toll expected to rise. (Reuters)


Children's Place (PLCE) bought the rights to the Gymboree brand name in a court auction, following the bankruptcy of the children's clothing retailer, while Gap (GPS) bought Gymboree's Janie and Jack chain in the same auction.

Foot Locker (FL) was upgraded to buy from hold at Pivotal Research, after the athletic footwear and apparel retailer's upbeat fourth quarter earnings on Friday sent the stock soaring 6 percent. Pivotal also increased its price target to $73 per share from $64.

CVS Health (CVS) could benefit from changes in the way the government pays for kidney disease treatment, lowering costs on home treatment which could present risks to dialysis clinic operators DaVita (DVA) and Fresenius Medical Care (FMS).

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Biogen (BIIB) announced the purchase of London's gene therapy firm Nightstar Therapeutics (NITE) for about $800 million, which works out to $25.50 per share, a 68 percent premium to Nightstar's Friday close of $15.16 per share.


No one hit all the numbers Saturday night, so the Powerball jackpot is now an estimated $381 million for Wednesday. However, tickets in Delaware and Ohio won the $1 million prize. On Friday, a single ticket sold in New Jersey won the $267 million Mega Millions jackpot. (CNBC)