Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to rise, Iowa caucuses, coronavirus spreads to 11 in US


U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open, but not close to erasing a significant portion of Friday's coronavirus-driven sell-off. The Dow had its worst day since August on Friday. The S&P 500 since October. Both were pushed into negative territory for January. The Dow is now at its lowest since Dec. 18, with the S&P 500 finishing at its lowest since Dec. 30. The Nasdaq, however, did manage to finish January with a 2% gain. (CNBC)

Chinese markets plunged on their return from the extended Lunar New Year holiday, and maintained steep declines by the close. The Shanghai composite fell 7.72% while the Shenzhen component dropped 8.45%. The moves in Chinese stocks were playing catch up as the coronavirus outbreak continues to widen. (CNBC)

On today's U.S. economic calendar, both the ISM manufacturing Index and December construction spending are released at 10 a.m. ET. Food distributor Sysco (SYY) is one of the few companies set to release quarterly earnings this morning, while Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) grabs the spotlight in today's after-the-bell reports. The pace of earnings reports picks up substantially over the next few days, with 86 S&P 500 companies scheduled to issue numbers. (CNBC)


Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg all have a good chance to leave today's first-in-the-nation Iowa presidential caucuses with the most delegates. Recent polls show a tight race, and the fluid nature of the caucuses suggest any of the leading candidates could enjoy a surprisingly strong showing in the first nominating contest. (CNBC)

* Iowa caucus: What it is, how it works and why it's important (CNBC)
* Big Tech faces high-stakes test with Iowa caucuses (CNBC)
* 'I will pay more': Bloomberg unveils $5 trillion tax plan targeting wealthy and corporations (CNBC)
* John Kerry overheard discussing possible 2020 bid (NBC News)

Senate leaders have reached a deal to postpone the final vote in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, whether to convict or acquit him, until Wednesday The arrangement delays the vote until after tonight's Iowa caucus, and the president's State of the Union Address, scheduled for tomorrow. (CNBC)

* Poll: US is split on Trump's removal from office; top Dems lead him in 2020 race (CNBC)
* Key dates on the US presidential election calendar (Reuters)

Italy's health ministry has confirmed health ministers from the Group of Seven will discuss the coronavirus outbreak in a teleconference call at 8 a.m. ET today.The U.S. reported two more coronavirus cases Sunday, for a total of 11. China's reported a total of 361 deaths and 17,205 confirmed cases. (CNBC)

* Apple temporarily shuts all stores and offices in mainland China (CNBC)

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced today the city would suspend 10 out of a possible 13 border crossings with mainland China in an effort to curb the coronavirus. Thousands of medical workers in Hong Kong went on strike, in hopes of convincing the city's government to a complete shutdown of its borders with the mainland. (CNBC)

Bernard Ebbers, a former telecom executive convicted in one of the largest corporate accounting scandals in U.S. history, died yesterday, just over a month after his early release from prison. The Canadian-born Ebbers was convicted in New York in 2005 on securities fraud and other charges and received a 25-year sentence. (AP)

WeWork reportedly intends to name Sandeep Mathrani, a veteran in the real estate industry, as its new CEO. Mathrani was previously CEO at Brookfield Properties' retail group, and is on the executive board and board of trustees for the International Council of Shopping Centers and the board of directors of Host Hotels & Resorts. (CNBC)

It took 50 years, but the wait is now over for the Kansas City Chiefs after coming back from a 10-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the San Francisco 49ers at Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. The Chiefs, which last appeared in a Super Bowl in 1970, won their second Vince Lombardi Trophy in three Super Bowl appearances. (CNBC)

* Watch all the Super Bowl commercials right here (CNBC)
* Tom Brady's cryptic tweet was just an ad for Hulu (CNBC)


Las Vegas Sands (LVS) and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) will be among casino stocks on watch, on news that gambling revenue in Macao fell a worse-than-expected 11.3% amid the spread of the coronavirus.

Delta Air Lines (DAL), American Air Lines (AAL) United Airlines (UAL) and other airline stocks will also be in the spotlight, as new restrictions on travel to and from China are implemented.

Aimmune Therapeutics (AIMT) received FDA approval for the first-ever treatment for peanut allergies.

China's top electric vehicle battery maker CATL said today it has signed a battery supply agreement with Tesla (TSLA). Tesla will determine the battery purchase volume between July 2020 and June 2022.

Boeing (BA) faces a new obstacle in getting the grounded 737 Max back in service, according to the Wall Street Journal. The paper quotes people familiar with the matter as saying that European regulators want wiring (which they regard as potentially hazardous) relocated to avoid short circuits.

Verizon (VZ) was downgraded to "neutral" from "outperform" at Credit Suisse, which said the stock lacks positive catalysts.


"Bad Boys for Life" topped the domestic weekend box office for the third straight week after bringing in $17.675 million, CNBC reported. The film has now earned $148.05 million in North America. "1917" and "Dolittle" rounded out the top three performers, bringing in $9.66 million and $7.7 million, respectively.