U.S. stock futures were pointing to some pressure at Wednesday's open on Wall Street. Concerns over Trump impeachment knocked the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 142 points Tuesday. However, the market did come back a bit when President Donald Trump said he would release the "complete, fully declassified and unredacted" transcript of the Ukraine call that mentioned Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden. Helping limit Wednesday's projected losses, Dow stock Nike looks like it will open at an all-time high, after the company beat estimates with quarterly earnings and revenue. Sales in Greater China were up 27% during the period, despite the trade war between Washington and Beijing.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, facing growing pressure from rank-and-file Democrats, finally agreed to and announced an impeachment inquiry into Trump. Concerns mounted about the president's efforts to push Ukraine to investigate Biden's family. At least 187 House members have now backed some action on impeachment. That number ballooned this week as centrist Democrats and vulnerable freshman lawmakers joined their ranks. Even if the Democrat-controlled House were to ultimately vote to impeach Trump, it's unlikely to lead to his removal from office. That's because Republicans hold a slim majority in the Senate, where an impeachment finding would need a two-thirds majority to pass.
History shows that the bull market in stocks could indeed survive and even thrive during a Trump impeachment process. During the impeachment and acquittal of former President Bill Clinton, the market gained 28% from the time the House started impeachment proceedings on Oct. 8, 1998, to February 1999, when the Senate acquitted him. Strategas analyzed how the market reacts around impeachments and found that the anticipation of impeachment is worse than the actual event.
Kevin Burns has resigned as Juul's CEO and will be replaced by former Altria executive K.C. Crosthwaite. Altria invested $12.8 billion for a 35% stake in Juul late last year, placing a huge bet on the embattled e-cigarette company which government regulators blamed for starting a teen vaping epidemic. Altria shares are down nearly 18% this year. Meanwhile, merger discussions between Altria and Philip Morris have ended. Altria spun off PMI in 2008. A deal would have reunited the two companies. Altria and Philip Morris said they would instead focus on jointly launching a heated tobacco product called IQOS in the United States.
Adam Neumann is stepping down as WeWork CEO, after a uproar over the office-sharing startup's governance structure and valuation decline forced a delay in the company's initial public offering. Vice Chairman Sebastian Gunningham, a former Amazon executive, and CFO Artie Minson, formerly of AOL and Time Warner Cable, are taking over as co-CEOs. Neumann slides into a role as nonexecutive chairman. WeWork is reportedly considering laying off up to a third of its staff, or about 5,000 employees, and close ancillary businesses such as its private grade school and computer programming school.
— Reuters contributed to this report.