Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to bounce, coronavirus cases spike and Boeing secures financing



U.S. stock futures were higher after the worst day of 2020 for stocks on concerns about the widening outbreak of coronavirus in China. But the projected rebound will only make a small dent in Monday's losses. The Dow and S&P 500 had their worst day since October, the Nasdaq since August, and the Dow went negative for 2020 with Monday's slide. (CNBC)

Dow components 3M (MMM), Pfizer (PFE), and United Technologies (UTX) lead this morning's earnings reports. Harley-Davidson (HOG), Lockheed Martin (LMT), McCormick (MKC), PulteGroup (PHM) and Xerox (XRX) also report. (CNBC)

3M to cut 1,500 jobs as profit sinks 28% (Reuters)
Pfizer posts 9% fall in fourth-quarter revenue (Reuters)

Apple (AAPL), also a Dow stock, highlights today's after-the-bell earnings reports, with other quarterly numbers coming from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), eBay (EBAY), Starbucks (SBUX), Stryker (SYK) and Xilinx (XLNX). (CNBC)

China and Apple's TV service will be under the spotlight when the tech giant reports earnings (CNBC)

It's a busy morning for economic numbers, beginning with December durable goods orders at 8:30 a.m. ET. The S&P/Case-Shiller report on home prices is out at 9 a.m. At 10 a.m. ET, the Conference Board issues its January Consumer Confidence Index. Fed policymakers begin a two-day meeting today, with an interest rate decision and policy statement coming at 2 p.m. ET tomorrow.

Treasury yields turn lower ahead of Fed meeting (CNBC)


Chinese health authorities said today that the coronavirus outbreak has killed 106 people and infected 4,515. The new numbers represent a sharp increase from yesterday. The U.S. State Department raised its travel advisory for China from Level 2 to Level 3, asking Americans to "reconsider travel to China" because of the fast-spreading virus. (CNBC)

* CDC is monitoring 110 possible coronavirus cases across 26 states in US (CNBC)
* Coronavirus prompts automakers to evacuate workers, weigh production delays (CNBC)
Coronavirus vs. SARS: Health experts on the key differences (CNBC)

Hong Kong's leader has announced that all rail links to mainland China will be cut starting Friday as fears grow about the spread of a new virus. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said today that both the high-speed rail station and the regular train station would be closed in a containment effort.

President Donald Trump's lawyers are set to finish their opening statements today, after laying out a multi-pronged defense in Day 2 at the Senate impeachment trial on Monday. Key GOP senators said that reports about former national security advisor John Bolton shifts the tide in favor of calling him as a witness. (CNBC)

Trump to hold a rally today with congressman who recently switched to be a Republican (USA Today)

Trump is set to unveil his administration's much-anticipated Mideast peace plan today, the latest American attempt to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The president is expected to present the proposal alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AP)

Afghan forces and Taliban fighters clashed in a central region where a U.S. military aircraft crashed, officials said today, as the government tried to reach the wreckage site in a Taliban stronghold. On Monday, the U.S. military said an E-11A aircraft crashed in the province of Ghazni, but disputed Taliban claims to have brought it down. (Reuters)

Boeing (BA) has secured commitments of more than $12 billion in financing from more than a dozen banks, as the industrial giant shores up its balance sheet from the nearly yearlong grounding of the 737 Max. Boeing is expected to detail its financing strategy when it reports earnings before the market opens tomorrow. (CNBC)

The Supreme Court said it will allow the Trump administration's "public charge" rule to take effect after the immigration policy had been blocked by lower courts. The rule will make it more difficult for immigrants to obtain permanent residency, or green cards, if they have used or are likely to use public benefits like food stamps and Medicaid. (CNBC)

Federal antitrust regulators are probing a possible deal between a major U.S. dairy cooperative and Dean Foods, the bankrupt milk-processing giant, as the dairy industry realigns after decades of declining milk consumption. Federal officials are asking farmers and retailers to weigh in, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The pilot of the helicopter that crashed near Los Angeles, killing Kobe Bryant and eight others, told air traffic controllers in his last radio message that he was climbing to avoid a cloud layer before plunging more than 1,000 feet into a hillside. Some experts suggested that the pilot might have gotten disoriented because of fog. (AP)

NBA postpones tonight's Lakers-Clippers game after Bryant's death (USA Today)
In Bryant's passing, the WNBA also lost a real 'advocate' (CNBC)


Whirlpool (WHR) reported better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit, though missed revenue forecasts. The appliance maker was helped by higher prices and moderating growth in raw materials costs, and it said its outlook for 2020 was "solid."

Caterpillar (CAT) announced that former Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg resigned from its board of directors, and that the departure was not due to any disagreement with the heavy equipment maker.

Blackstone (BX) raised its bid for Japanese hotel chain Unizo Holdings by 12% to $1.75 billion. That tops a bid from private equity firm Lone Star, whose bid currently has Unizo's support.

SAP (SAP) raised its revenue and profit outlook, after the business software company reported in-line results in its first quarter under new CEOs Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein.

BorgWarner (BWA) is in advanced talks to buy rival auto supplier Delphi Technologies (DLPH), according to a Bloomberg report. An agreement could be announced as soon as this week.

Beyond Meat (BYND) was downgraded to neutral from overweight at JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which cited valuation for the plant-based burger maker and cut its price target to $134 per share from $138.

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) was upgraded to outperform from perform at Oppenheimer, which thinks the housewares retailer's operating margins have stabilized.


Airbnb is giving five people a chance to spend a two-month sabbatical in the Bahamas in an attempt to boost the Caribbean island damaged last year by Hurricane Dorian. Those selected will work on projects with a nonprofit for two months including coral reef restoration, pineapple farming, boating building and more. (AP)