Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to soar, delayed caucus results and Trump's State of the Union



Despite ongoing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, U.S. stock futures were pointing sharply higher this morning as stocks continue to chip away at last Friday's losses. Monday's rally put the S&P 500 back into positive territory for 2020, and the projected gain for the Dow at the Tuesday open should do the same. Dow futures are currently projecting a 300+ point gain at the open. The Dow needs about 460 more points to erase that Friday slide. (CNBC)

The lone economic report out today comes at 10 a.m. ET, when the government issues December factory orders. Though a busy morning for earnings will see the latest numbers from Centene (CNC), Clorox (CLX), McKesson (MCK), Ralph Lauren (RL), Royal Caribbean (RCL) and Sirius XM (SIRI), among others.

Dow component Walt Disney (DIS) grabs the after-the-bell earnings spotlight, with Ford Motor (F), Aflac (AFL), Allstate (ALL), Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), Gilead Sciences (GILD), Match Group (MTCH), Seagate Technology (STX) and Snap (SNAP) also among those releasing quarterly numbers. (CNBC)

Google parent company Alphabet's (GOOGL) shares slid 3% the premarket despite beating earnings estimates for the fourth quarter, as the company came in light on revenue. The tech giant did break out numbers for its YouTube and cloud businesses for the first time, though the disclosure was limited in scope. (CNBC)

* Google still isn't telling us about a key metric for YouTube and cloud: Profits (CNBC)

Shares of Tesla (TSLA) soared nearly 20% in Monday's trading after Argus Research raised its price target and short-sellers scrambled to catch up to the stock. The move was the biggest one-day jump since May, 2013. In Tuesday's premarkets, Tesla stock was trading up nearly 3.4%. (CNBC)


Results from the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses were delayed until later today as the state's Democratic Party said a "reporting issue" caused "inconsistencies" in some data. The top 2020 contenders (including Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren) will now focus on the New Hampshire primary one week from today. (CNBC)

* Buttigieg claims victory in Iowa caucuses, though no results have been released (CNBC)

President Donald Trump will be unleashing "relentless optimism" during his third State of the Union address tonight, a speech designed to pivot from his impeachment to his drive for reelection. The theme of his speech: "The Great American Comeback." (AP)

The Republican-led Senate is poised to acquit Trump in a vote tomorrow afternoon. Yesterday's closing arguments offered Dems an opportunity to leave the viewing public with two final thoughts: Trump's actions were craven and corrupt, and that Trump still presents a clear danger to both national security and the integrity of the 2020 presidential election. (CNBC)

Hong Kong's Hospital Authority told CNBC that a 39-year-old man died this morning in the city's first death related to the coronavirus outbreak. This would be the second known death outside of mainland China. Chinese health officials said earlier that in mainland China the total now sits at 425 deaths and 20,438 confirmed cases.

* No, garlic won't protect you from coronavirus: WHO pushes back on rampant misinformation (CNBC)
* Coronavirus will likely become a pandemic, warns ex-FDA chief Scott Gottlieb (CNBC)

Goldman Sachs (GS) is in talks to offer small business loans to merchants on Amazon's (AMZN) sprawling e-commerce platform. The deal, if closed, would mark the second tech giant using Goldman as a back-end provider of bank-regulated services. (CNBC)

The FTC said it plans to sue to block Edgewell's $1.37 billion acquisition of shaving start-up Harry's, citing competition concerns in the consumer shaving space. The deal, announced last May, would give Edgewell access to Harry's data and subscription base. For Harry's, it would provide a platform through which to expand beyond its nine factories. (CNBC)

Influential right-wing talk radio host Rush Limbaugh announced on his program that he has been diagnosed with "advanced lung cancer." Limbaugh, 69, said he will take time off his normal broadcast schedule to seek treatment. Last night, Trump tweeted about Limbaugh's diagnosis, calling the host "a great guy & fantastic political talent," and wishing him "a speedy recovery." (CNBC)


Sony (SNE) raised its full-year profit outlook, following a stronger-than-expected quarter. Sony's improved forecast was driven in part by growth in smartphone image sensor sales. However, the company did warn that its global supply chain could be impacted by the spread of the coronavirus.

Sanofi (SNY) is the target of an investigation regarding the approval and marketing of its epilepsy drug Depakine. The drug is said to cause birth defects and slow development in babies when taken during pregnancy. Sanofi said it will "prove it has always complied with its duty to inform and been transparent."

BP (BP) reported better-than-expected profit for the fourth quarter, despite a 26% decline from a year ago, and the energy producer also raised its dividend by 2.4%.

Tesla's (TSLA) joint venture partner Panasonic reported that their automotive battery business was profitable for the first time, and that it was ramping up production to keep up with demand from the automaker.

Activist investor Starboard Value revealed an approximately 9% stake in prepaid debit card issuer Green Dot (GDOT), according to an SEC filing.


A filmed version of the Tony Award-winning musical "Hamilton" will arrive on the big screen next year. Disney was ultimately tapped as the distributor and will bring the filmed version of the Pulitzer and Olivier-winning musical to movie theaters on Oct. 15, 2021. (CNBC)