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Morning Brief

Dow under pressure | Boeing tanks | Powell: Trump can't fire me

BY THE NUMBERS

Dow futures were lower this morning, dragged lower by aircraft manufacturer Boeing (BA). Without Boeing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 are looking at modest gains at the opening bell, as all three major averages try to break five-day losing streaks. (CNBC)

*Jim Paulsen: Bond market is flashing a major buy sign for stocks (CNBC)

Boeing (BA) was nearly 9 percent lower in premarket trading following the weekend crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8, killing all 157 people on board. The airline grounded the rest of its 737 Max 8 fleet, and the Chinese government took similar action following the crash. (CNBC)

* Boeing's top-selling plane raises safety concerns (CNBC)
* China suspends commercial operations of Boeing 737-8 planes (CNBC)

The government will release January retail sales figures this morning at 8:30 a.m. ET. At 10 a.m. ET, December business inventories are expected. There are no earnings reports of note out this morning, and only a handful will issue numbers after today's closing bell. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

President Donald Trump's budget, which is set to be released today, will project that the economy continues to grow at a 3 percent rate or higher over the next five years, despite a more pessimistic consensus from outside forecasters. (CNBC)

Trump will also seek $8.6 billion for additional barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border in his budget proposal. Congress is unlikely to approve anything that resembles the White House budget as Democrats control the House. (WSJ)

* 'Medicare-for-all' vs. public option: Health care could shape the 2020 primary (CNBC)

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told CBS' "60 Minutes" that he does not think he can be fired by Trump. "The law is clear that I have a four-year term, and I fully intend to serve it," he told the news magazine show.

'Recent court filings from special counsel Robert Mueller shed new light on a mysterious $125,000 payment to lawyers for Paul Manafort, the onetime chairman of Trump's presidential campaign. (CNBC)

Time is running out for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May to get a deal done before Britain is officially supposed to leave the EU on March 29. The lower house of Parliament is scheduled to carry out a series of votes this week. (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) will raise prices of its high-end vehicles by about 3 percent, although it will maintain the pricing of the $35,000 version of the Model 3. It will also keep more of its retail stores open than it had originally planned. (CNBC)

Gap (GPS), Tesla and Victoria's Secret are among the nearly 5,000 store closings that have already been announced for 2019. In addition, Amazon (AMZN) said it will shut all 87 of its pop-up shops inside Whole Foods, Kohl's and malls across the country. (CNBC)

Scott Gottlieb's exit as Food and Drug Administration commissioner might not be helpful to the e-cigarette industry. His successor may pursue tougher actions on e-cigarette companies, including market leader Juul. (CNBC)

* The growing push to raise the smoking age to 21 (Axios)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Deutsche Bank (DB) and Commerzbank are both seeing their shares rise in Europe, with reports resurfacing that Germany's two largest banks are exploring a possible merger.

Nvidia (NVDA) this morning announced plans to acquire fellow chipmaker Mellanox Technologies (MLNX) for about $7 billion in cash in what would be Nvidia's largest ever acquisition.

Helen of Troy (HELE) is putting its beauty unit up for sale, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing people familiar with the matter. The division, which makes products like Pert shampoo and Revlon hair dryers, is expected to bring in about $300 million if sold.

FireEye (FEYE) was upgraded to overweight from neutral at J.P. Morgan Chase in a valuation call. The firm is maintaining a price target for the cybersecurity software maker of $20 per share.

Oracle (ORCL) was downgraded to reduce from buy by Nomura/Instinet, saying the business software giant has significantly underinvested in research and development.

WATERCOOLER

The 21st installment of Disney's (DIS) Marvel Cinematic Universe, "Captain Marvel," took in an estimated $153 million in the U.S. over the weekend, making it the seventh-biggest MCU debut of all time. (CNBC)