Morning Brief

What to watch today: Stock records, impeachment goes to Senate and Warren calls Sanders a 'liar'



Although stocks finished off session highs Wednesday, gains after the signing of the U.S.-China "phase one" trade deal were still good enough for record Dow and S&P 500 closes as well as the Dow's first-ever close above 29,000. U.S. stock futures were pointing to further gains at this morning's open that could result in record intraday highs for the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq. (CNBC)

It's an extremely busy day for economic data, beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET with weekly first-time jobless claims, the Philadelphia Fed's January manufacturing index, and December retail sales and import prices. At 10 a.m. ET, the government releases November business inventories and the National Association of Home Builders issues its monthly housing market index for January. (CNBC)

Before-the-bell this morning, Morgan Stanley (MS), Bank of New York Mellon (BK) and Charles Schwab (SCHW) continue this week's flood of earnings from financial companies. This afternoon, Dow transport CSX (CSX) reports quarterly numbers after the bell.

XPO Logistics (XPO) shares were surging about 17% in the premarket. CEO Bradley Jacobs told CNBC's Jim Cramer that  the warehousing and last-mile delivery provider is open to selling off up to four business units. Such a move would reverse its recent strategy, which saw the company make 17 acquisitions from 2011 to 2015. (CNBC)


China agreed to purchase an additional $200 billion in U.S. goods over the next two years as part of the phase one trade deal. Combined with the new incremental agreement, U.S. exports to China should in theory climb to $263 billion in 2020 and $309 billion in 2021. Either amount would mark a record-breaking acceleration for U.S. exports to China. (CNBC)

* China says trade deal good for all, media discourages 'nitpicking' (Reuters)
* US-China phase one deal brings some market relief, but experts warn uncertainty remains (CNBC)

The House passed articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on to the Senate, paving way for the trial to begin as early as next week. Pelosi also selected seven House Democrats to serve as impeachment managers, essentially acting as prosecutors during the Senate trial. (CNBC)

Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani who has been implicated in an alleged attempt to pressure the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on former VP Joe Biden and his son, says, "President Trump knew exactly what was going on." "I wouldn't do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president," Parnas said last night. (NBC News)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused Sen. Bernie Sanders of calling her a liar during the latest Democratic presidential debate, according to audio released by CNN from the tense post-debate exchange seen on stage. Tom Steyer, who was standing behind the two, can be heard saying, "I don't want to get in the middle. I just want to say hi Bernie."

Russia's ruling party today unanimously backed President Vladimir Putin's surprise choice for prime minister, Mikhail Mishustin, a man with almost no political profile. Mishustin's elevation is part of a sweeping shake-up of the political system, which led to the resignation of Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister along with his government. (Reuters)

* What's Putin up to? Here's what Russia's political upheaval could mean (CNBC)

One of the Japanese lawyers for former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has stepped down from that job after his client fled the country. Junichiro Hironaka had been representing Ghosn in his defense against financial misconduct charges. His move, announced today, was widely expected after Ghosn escaped to Lebanon late last month. (AP)

Tesla (TSLA) saw vehicle registrations in California cut nearly in half during the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to a year earlier. Separately, Tesla was downgraded to underweight from equal-weight at Morgan Stanley, which pointed to the recent stock run-up as well as long term risks to the automaker's China business. (CNBC)

Tesla sales employees petition for higher base pay after commission cuts in 2019 (CNBC)
* Tesla is once again the most shorted American stock (Bloomberg)

Comcast's NBCUniversal, CNBC's parent company, will unveil Peacock, its new video streaming service, during the company's investor day today. Peacock is the last of the major media companies' streaming offerings to set a launch date, joining other recent entrants such as Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max and Quibi. (CNBC)


American Outdoor Brands (AOBC) said CEO James Debney left the parent of Smith & Wesson firearms after he was found to have engaged in behavior "inconsistent with a non-financial company policy." The company did not provide more details.

Nike's (NKE) Vaporfly shoe is reportedly set to be banned by World Athletics, amid allegations that it gives an unfair advantage to runners.

A GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) executive said the drug maker has not given much thought to an IPO of its consumer health care joint venture with Pfizer (PFE). The comments come after Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said such a move could happen within three to four years.

Spirit Airlines (SAVE) updated its fourth-quarter guidance, saying a decline in revenue per available seat mile would decline less than previously expected.

Alcoa (AA) lost an adjusted 31 cents per share for the fourth quarter, wider than the 22 cent loss that analysts had been expecting. The aluminum producer's revenue also came in below estimates, due in large part to lower prices. Alcoa did say it expected aluminum demand to pick up this year.


PepsiCo said it will give everyone in the U.S. a free Pepsi Zero Sugar if the final score of either of this year's Super Bowl teams ends in a zero. If no teams score, Pepsi will refund the price of the drink, up to $2.50, to anyone in the U.S. who made the purchase from Feb. 2-4. (CNBC)