Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to sink, Kobe Bryant remembered and Wuhan virus spreads


With the coronavirus spreading, world stocks are tumbling and perceived safer investments are rising. U.S. stock futures are sliding early Monday following Wall Street's worst day of 2020 on Friday. The Dow already has a four-day losing streak in place, its longest since August, and is coming off its largest weekly loss in five months. The S&P 500's weekly decline last week was its largest in nearly four months. (CNBC)

* Treasury yields move lower as coronavirus fears escalate (CNBC)
* Gold climbs to 2-week high as virus fears spark safety buying (Reuters)
* International oil prices drop below $60 as China virus drives demand concern (Reuters)

More than 2,800 people in China are now infected by the fast-spreading Wuhan coronavirus while more countries have reported their first confirmed cases. Chinese officials have said there are 2,862 confirmed cases, with the death toll rising to 81. On Sunday, the United States on Sunday reported its fifth confirmed case in Arizona. (CNBC)

Travel-related stocks are likely to be hit once again as coronavirus cases mount, including major airlines like United (UAL), Delta (DAL), American (AAL) and Southwest (LUV), and cruise line operators like Royal Caribbean (RCL), Norwegian (NCLH), and Carnival (CCL). Starbucks (SBUX) and McDonald's have temporarily closed near the Chinese city of Wuhan.

On today's U.S. economic calendar, the government will release its December report on new home sales at 10 a.m. ET. Arconic (ARNC), DR Horton (DH) and Sprint (S) are among the companies issuing quarterly earnings this morning, while Whirlpool (WHR), Juniper Networks (JNPR) and Rambus (RMBS) report after the bell.


Federal safety investigators launched a probe into a helicopter crash in the LA area that killed basketball legend Kobe Bryant and eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. The cause of the crash has not yet been determined. NBA athletes, officials and fans mourned Bryant's death in messages and memorials across social media. (CNBC)

* 'Terrible,' 'heartbreaking,' 'devastated' — World leaders and athletes mourn the death of Kobe Bryant (CNBC)
* Athletes pay tribute to Kobe Bryant. 'He was like a little brother to me' Michael Jordan says (CNBC)

A passenger plane crashed in central Afghanistan, senior Afghan officials said today. According to local media, the plane went down in territory under Taliban control. It was initially reported to be a jet from state-owned Ariana Afghan Airlines. However, the airline's acting CEO has denied that one of their planes has crashed. (CNBC)

President Donald Trump is expected to disclose details of his long-delayed Mideast peace proposal to Israeli leaders today. Trump will hold separate, back-to-back meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, head of the centrist Blue and White Party. Gantz is Netanyahu's rival in March 2 elections. (Reuters)

Trump's impeachment trial enters a pivotal week as his defense team resumes its case and senators face a critical vote on whether to hear witnesses or proceed directly to a vote that is widely expected to end in his acquittal. The articles of impeachment charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. (AP)

Democrats stepped up their calls for former national security advisor John Bolton to testify at the trial after an explosive report alleged that in his unpublished book, he said Trump personally tied Ukraine aid to an investigation of the Bidens, an account that conflicts with the president's. (NBC News)

Trump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations (The Hill)

Sen. Bernie Sanders holds an edge in the 2020 New Hampshire Democratic primary as the key presidential nominating contest nears, according to an NBC News/Marist poll. The Vermont senator garners the support of 22% of likely Democratic primary voters in the Granite State, the survey found. Ex-Mayor Pete Buttigieg trails at 17%. (CNBC)

* Sen. Elizabeth Warren seeks spark in final Iowa push after getting Des Moines Register endorsement (AP)

U.S. state attorneys general will meet Justice Department attorneys next week to share information on their investigations into Google (GOOGL), Reuters reported. The probes revolve around monopolistic behavior that may harm consumers through Google's control of online advertising markets and search traffic.


AbbVie (ABBV) sold a number of assets to Nestle and AstraZeneca (AZN), as it seeks to win regulatory approval for its $63 billion acquisition of drug maker Allergan.

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) filed court motions Friday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by rival automaker General Motors (GM). Fiat Chrysler said GM does not have sufficient grounds to bring a racketeering case that alleges bribery of union officials.

Kraft Heinz (KHC) Chief Executive Officer Miguel Patricio told the Wall Street Journal that he wants the food maker to make fewer but bigger bets on new products, as its older brands suffer a sales decline.

Winnebago Industries (WGO) was rated "overweight" in new coverage at KeyBanc, which sees recreational vehicle shipments stronger than consensus for 2020 and is also optimistic on the increasing benefits of Winnebago's 2016 acquisition of towable vehicle maker Grand Design.


The 62nd Grammy Awards were dominated by 18-year-old Billie Eilish. The first-time Grammy nominee secured five awards including record of the year, album of the year, song of the year, best new artist and best pop vocal album. (CNBC)

The Grammy awards took place at the Staples Center where Kobe Bryant played for the Lakers. Alicia Keys and Boys II Men sang "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" in tribute to the basketball star. (CNBC)