Morning Brief

What to watch today: Wall Street records, China's GDP really slows and Alphabet hits $1 trillion


U.S. stock futures were pointing to more records at Wall Street's open this morning after the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed Thursday at record highs. Even before today's indicated gains, the Dow was already tracking for its largest weekly gain in nearly five months. (CNBC)

The 18-month U.S.-China trade war, which saw some deescalation this week with the signing of a "phase one" deal, has taken its toll on the Chinese economy. Gross domestic product there grew in 2019 by the slowest rate in nearly 30 years. (CNBC)

On the U.S. economic calendar, the government is out with December housing starts at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Fed issues at 9:15 a.m. ET December industrial production. At 10 a.m. ET, the University of Michigan releases its preliminary January consumer sentiment index and the government delivers November JOLTS, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. (CNBC)

After floating their names in July, President Donald Trump will nominate economists Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller to serve on the Federal Reserve Board. Shelton and Waller must be approved by the Senate. (Reuters)

The torrid pace of earnings slows down today, with Schlumberger (SLB), Kansas City Southern (KSU) and JB Hunt Transport (JBHT) out before the bell. There are no major companies scheduled to release quarterly results after today's closing bell. (CNBC)


Google parent-company Alphabet (GOOGL) hit $1 trillion in stock market value, the fourth American company to hit the milestone. Apple in 2018 was the first. Amazon and Microsoft followed. However, Amazon has since fallen below the $1 trillion level. (CNBC)

* Big Tech is worth over $5 trillion (CNBC)

Following the unveiling of an ambitious green plan, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told CNBC's Jim Cramer that capitalism "will fundamentally be in jeopardy" if business does not act to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. (CNBC)

* Nadella credits predecessor Steve Ballmer for pushing Microsoft into the cloud (CNBC)

Comcast (CMCSA) unveiled details of its Peacock streaming service, with plans to offer a free option as well as $5 per month and $10 per month plans. Comcast is the parent of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

Several Wall Street analysts now expect Boeing, which reports full-year and fourth-quarter earnings in less than two weeks, to take additional, massive charges related to the grounded 737 Max. (CNBC)

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls Trump a "clown" who merely pretends to support Iranian citizens but would push a "poisonous dagger" into their backs. (CNBC)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell laid out the next steps in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. The Kentucky Republican gave the House until Saturday and the White House counsel until Monday to deliver briefs outlining their arguments. (CNBC)

The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor who joined the race late, has already surpassed Trump's Google ad spending for the 2020 election. (CNBC)


Gap (GPS) abandoned its plan to spin off its Old Navy unit into a separate publicly traded company. Sales for the Old Navy business have slowed in recent months, casting some doubts on its value as a separate entity.

Eli Lilly (LLY) is aiming to make acquisitions of $1-billion-to-$5-billion during every quarter this year, according to the CFO. The drugmaker is focusing on earlier-stage opportunities in oncology, immunology and neurology.

CSX (CSX) reported quarterly earnings of 99 cents per share, 3 cents above estimates. The railroad operator's revenue was slightly below forecasts. CSX expects another challenging year in 2020.

Progress Software (PRGS) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 79 cents per share, beating forecasts by 4 cents. Revenue also beat estimates. Progress also issued a better-than-expected outlook.


The midlife crisis is alive and well, and it hits especially hard after age 47, according to new research. However, the good news about the study is that it confirms our happiness levels do eventually go back up. (CNBC's Make it)