Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to rise, impeachment next steps and Tesla's all-time high



A late pullback left only the Nasdaq in record territory Wednesday, but U.S. stock futures were indicating a resumption of gains. Investors continue to shrug off developments in Washington, with the House voting to approve articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump last night. The Dow and S&P 500 saw five-day win streaks end yesterday, but the Nasdaq was up for six days in a row and a gain today would give it its longest win streak since February. (CNBC)

Stocks rally through Trump's impeachment process as investors bet on a Clinton-like outcome (CNBC)

China today unveiled a new list of import tariff exemptions for six chemical and oil products from the U.S., days after the world's two largest economies announced a phase one trade deal. The exemptions will be for one year from Dec. 26. (Reuters)

On today's U.S. economic calendar, the Labor Department issues its weekly look at initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. At the same time, the Philadelphia Fed releases its December manufacturing index. The National Association of Realtors is out with existing home sales for November at 10 a.m. ET, along with the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators. (CNBC)

Accenture (ACN), Conagra Brands (CAG), Darden Restaurants (DRI), FactSet (FDS), Rite Aid (RAD) and Sanderson Farms (SAFM) issue quarterly earnings this morning. Dow component Nike (NKE) takes center stage this afternoon as it issues quarterly earnings after the closing bell.

Digital brand holding company IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC) has agreed to spin off all of its shares of online dating company Match Group. Shares of Match jumped more than 5% in premarket trading on the news. IAC, founded by media mogul Barry Diller, owns about 80% of Match. (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) stock was mildly positive in the premarket, after closing Wednesday at an all-time high. The electric auto maker's shares finished the day up 3.74%, reaching a record closing price of $393.15. That level surpasses the intraday highs reached when CEO Elon Musk sent his infamous "funding secured" tweet in August 2018. (CNBC)


The Democratic-controlled House voted last night to impeach Trump, making him only the third president to be charged with high crimes and misdemeanors. He now faces a trial in the GOP-led Senate. But it's highly unlikely that he'll be removed from office, especially since it would take a two-thirds majority vote. No Senate Republicans have signaled that they would vote to convict Trump. (CNBC)

* Trump, at a campaign rally during the vote, gives a withering review of impeachment (Reuters)
* Chief Justice John Roberts will play a key role in Trump's impeachment trial (CNBC)

Following the House vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she wanted to see if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would lay out the trial before she sent over the impeachment articles. It could be her jockeying for more power before relinquishing control of the process to Republicans. (CNBC)

Just seven Democrats take the stage in Los Angeles for the latest round of presidential debates tonight. By far, the most open hostility between any two candidates in the race at the moment exists between Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Political strategists are waiting to see if that contention unfolds on stage. (Reuters)

* Joe Biden holds lead over Democratic rivals in 2020 presidential primary race: NBC/WSJ poll (CNBC)
* Andrew Yang says Democrats should focus on 'putting cash into people's hands' (CNBC)
* Tulsi Gabbard is the only 2020 Democratic contender to criticize House's impeachment of Trump (CNBC)

A U.S. appeals court ruled that the individual mandate component of the Obamacare law is unconstitutional, but dodged a major ruling by stopping short of declaring that the rest of the landmark 2010 health care statute must also be struck down. The provision had already been gutted by Republican-backed legislation passed in Congress. (Reuters)

Freddie Mac has offered early retirement to around 25% of its staff as the Trump administration pushes to reform the housing finance giant, Reuters reported. The company has offered the packages to 1,650 eligible employees, although it expects around one quarter or just over 6% of its workforce to take the buyout.

Uber (UBER) has agreed to pay $4.4 million to resolve an Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner's 2017 charge of sex discrimination. The settlement ends an investigation launched in the wake of reports alleging Uber's leadership allowed for discrimination and harassment in the workplace under co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick. (CNBC)

Broadcom (AVGO) is reportedly trying to sell one of its wireless-chip units, a move that would help shift the company away from its roots as a semiconductor maker. The company is working with Credit Suisse (CS) to find a buyer for its radio-frequency unit that brought in $2.2 billion in revenue in fiscal 2019. (WSJ)

Facebook (FB) is headed to the Super Bowl for the first time, featuring an ad during the big game in February to promote the social network's effort to get people talking about Facebook Groups. The Facebook ad will have cameo appearances from Chris Rock and Sylvester Stallone. (CNBC)


Micron Technology (MU) reported better-than-expected adjusted quarterly earnings and revenue. Micron also said the current quarter would represent the bottom of what's been a difficult period for the memory chip market.

Boeing's (BA) debt rating was cut one notch by Moody's, as the grounding of the jet maker's 737 Max aircraft continues. Moody's said it sees long term risk to Boeing's reputation following its move to suspend production of the jet in January.

Seattle Genetics (SGEN) and Japan's Astellas Pharma won U.S. approval for their experimental drug to treat advanced bladder cancer, the first such drug to win FDA approval.

TiVo (TIVO) is near a deal to merge with technology licensor Xperi Corp., Bloomberg reported. The deal would value the digital video recorder maker at a 21% premium to its Wednesday close of $7.89 per share.

Green Dot (GDOT) announced the retirement of Chief Executive Officer and founder Steve Streit as well as Chief Financial Officer Mark Shifke. The financial technology company's chairman, William Jacobs, will serve as interim CEO.


The final installment in the most recent Star Wars trilogy, the bookend of a nine-part saga, seems to have fallen short of expectations as director J.J. Abrams attempted to appease fans. "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," which arrives in theaters Friday, currently holds a 57% "Rotten" score on review site Rotten Tomatoes. (CNBC)