Morning Brief

Dow under pressure | US grounds Boeing 737 Max jets | Beto O'Rourke enters 2020 race



U.S. stock futures were mixed this morning after three straight days of gains sent the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to multimonth closing highs. The S&P's close on Wednesday was its highest since Nov. 7, the Nasdaq's since Oct. 16. The Dow gained its second positive session in three. (CNBC)

General Electric (GE) shares fell in premarket this morning after it told shareholders it expects 2019 earnings to be below what Wall Street analysts anticipated. This was the first outlook from GE Chairman and CEO Larry Culp, who was appointed in October. (CNBC)

Boeing (BA) shares were flat in premarket trading after the FAA grounded its fleet of 737 Max jets while it investigates the causes of two overseas crashes involving the jet. Shares did rise Wednesday after falling for seven straight sessions. (CNBC)

* Boeing tries to limit fallout after US grounds 737 Max (WSJ)
* Cathay Pacific says it's 'very happy' with its Boeing fleet, despite recent 737 Max crash (CNBC)

The Labor Department is out with its weekly look at initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. Also at 8:30 a.m. ET: February import and export prices. At 10 a.m. ET, a report on new home sales for January, another data set delayed by the government shutdown. (CNBC)

Dollar General (DG), FTD (FTD), and Genesco (GCO) are among the handful of companies out with quarterly earnings this morning, while Adobe (ADBE), Ascena Retail (ASNA), Broadcom (AVGO), Jabil Circuit (JBL), Oracle (ORCL), Ulta Beauty (ULTA), and Zumiez (ZUMZ) will be out with their numbers after today's closing bell. (CNBC)


President Donald Trump faces a rare defeat today in the GOP-controlled Senate when lawmakers decide whether to uphold his national emergency declaration to build his proposed border wall, or knock it down. (USA Today)

Beto O'Rourke, a rising star in the Democratic Party, is running for president of the United States. The announcement today ends months of speculation that began during the 2018 midterm campaign. (CNBC)

New York state prosecutors announced criminal charges against Trump's former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, only minutes after his sentencing in a federal case. His combined prison time in the Mueller cases totals more than seven years. (CNBC)

Former White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn lashed out at some of his former colleagues, charging in an interview that the U.S. is losing the trade war as administration officials pursue a strategy that hasn't worked. (CNBC)

U.K. lawmakers have rejected the idea of leaving the European Union without a Brexit deal in place, setting up another vote for today on whether its official departure date should be extended. (CNBC)

A cancer victim who had used Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) talcum powder-based products was awarded $29 million by a California jury. J&J faces more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits. The company has denied allegations. (Reuters)

Facebook's (FB) data deals are the subject of a criminal probe by prosecutors, according to The New York Times. The Times said a grand jury subpoenaed records from at least two well-known makers of smartphones and other devices.

* Facebook has been down for hours, Instagram and WhatsApp also affected (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) will introduce its Model Y SUV today at an event near Los Angeles. Production is expected to begin in 2020. Elon Musk said it would cost 10 percent more than Tesla's Model 3 sedan. (CNBC)

Walmart (WMT), the country's biggest seller of groceries, is facing pressure to push forward in delivery because Amazon (AMZN) is making inroads in grocery sales. Walmart has been mainly relying on a patchwork of independent companies. (WSJ)


MongoDB (MDB) lost an adjusted 17 cents per share for its latest quarter, less than half the 38 cent loss that analysts had expected. The software company's revenue also beat forecasts, and it gave stronger than expected guidance for both the current quarter and the full year.

Tailored Brands (TLRD) reported a quarterly loss of 28 cents per share, 1 cent smaller than anticipated, and the apparel retailer's revenue also fell short of Street forecasts. The parent of the Jos. A. Bank and Men's Wearhouse chains gave weaker than expected current quarter guidance, saying comparable store sales had dropped during the fourth quarter and that the trend had continued into 2019.

Wells Fargo (WFC) CEO Tim Sloan received a 5 percent pay raise for 2018, according to an SEC filing. That news comes a day after Sloan faced criticism at a congressional hearing over the bank's efforts to rebound from the 2016 customer account scandal.

Pandora Media (P) has begun selling ads that play only on smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home. The streaming radio service has also been selling other specialized ad streams targeted at gaming consoles and smart TVs.

Verizon (VZ) plans to charge an extra $10 per month for customers of 5G mobile service. It will be available only to unlimited data plan subscribers with compatible devices. Verizon is the first major U.S. mobile carrier to reveal 5G pricing.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) has increased its stake in Delta Air Lines (DAL), according to an SEC filing. A Berkshire subsidiary bought 6,500 additional Delta shares, increasing Berkshire's total Delta holding to just under 71 million shares.

Cloudera (CLDR) reported a quarterly loss of 15 cents per share, 4 cents wider than analysts had anticipated. The cloud software company did see revenue exceed Street forecasts, but its 2019 outlook is weaker than expected.


Marvel Studios has found Destin Daniel Cretton to direct "Shang-Chi," its first superhero movie with an Asian protagonist. In the comics, the superhero uses numerous unarmed and weaponry-based wushu styles. (Variety)