Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to continue rally, China cuts tariffs and Sanders' $25 million January



Although the projected gains aren't quite as strong as Wall Street has seen the past two days, U.S. stock futures indicate another higher open and more record highs for the major averages. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq set record closes Wednesday, and the Dow is currently sitting 57 points below its record close and about 83 below its record intraday high. (CNBC)

Shares of skyrocketing Tesla were under pressure again this morning. The stock plunged 17% on Wednesday after surging nearly 20% on Monday and almost 14% on Tuesday. Tesla has temporarily closed its stores in mainland China as of Sunday, Feb. 2, due to the coronavirus, according to an online post from a company sales employee on that date. (CNBC)

Twitter (TWTR) is among the companies in the earnings spotlight this morning, with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Cardinal Health (CAH), Cigna (CI), Dunkin' Brands (DNKN), Estee Lauder (EL), Kellogg (K), Philip Morris (PM), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN), Tapestry (TPR), Tyson Foods (TSN) and Yum Brands also releasing quarterly numbers today.

Twitter missed on earnings but beat on revenue and active users (CNBC)

After-the-bell earnings releases today include Activision Blizzard (ATVI), News Corp. (NWSA), Norton LifeLock (NLOK), Pinterest (PINS), Take-Two (TTW), T-Mobile US (TMUS), Uber (UBER) and Wynn Resorts (WYNN).

Casper priced its initial public offering at $12 per share, the low end of its expected range, which would make a market value of $476 million. Casper plans to list on the NYSE today under the symbol CSPR. (CNBC)

PPD (PPD) priced its initial public offering at $27 per share, at the top of the expected range of $24-$27 per share. The drug research firm's offering is the biggest of 2020 so far, and its shares will begin trading today on the Nasdaq. (MarketWatch)

Peloton (PTON) shares were sinking about 8% in premarket trading after the fitness company late Wednesday reported mounting losses and slower revenue growth. Peloton priced its September IPO at $29 per share. With the indicated move in the stock this morning, it would open around that level. (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, the government is out with its weekly look at initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. At the same time, fourth-quarter productivity figures are released. (CNBC)


China said last night that a total of 28,018 coronavirus cases have been confirmed and 563 people have died in the country. Japan's health ministry said 10 more people on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 20. (CNBC)

* Hundreds of millions of chickens at risk of being wiped out with much of China locked down due to virus (CNBC)
* US can't keep coronavirus 'out of our border,' NYC has 2 new 'patients under investigation' (CNBC)

Beijing announced today it will cut in half tariff rates on hundreds of U.S. goods worth about $75 billion. China said that the next adjustment will depend on how China-U.S. trade ties evolve, adding it hopes to work with Washington to completely eliminate all tariff increases. (CNBC)

The Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump of both counts in his impeachment trial. The acquittal vote was the final step in a two-week trial marked by impassioned arguments from House Democrats that Trump was a danger to the nation. Trump will make a statement regarding his acquittal at noon today from the White House. (CNBC)

Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are nearly tied in the Iowa Democratic caucuses, with nearly all results counted in a contest marred by technical issues and reporting delays. The race remained too early to call early Thursday with 97% of precincts reporting. (AP)

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign raked in a whopping $25 million in January alone and will use the haul to bankroll ads and staff across the critical Super Tuesday slate, which takes place March 3. The Vermont senator raised more in January than in any other month so far in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, his campaign said. (CNBC)

Ancestry, the largest seller of at-home DNA tests for health and genealogy reports, is laying off about 100 people, approximately 6% of its total workforce. The cuts hit employees across the board, rather than focusing on a specific department, and included workers at all levels. The news comes several weeks after 23andMe laid off about 100 people. (CNBC)

Bernie Madoff, the notorious Ponzi schemer, says that he is dying from terminal kidney disease, and asked a judge to grant him an early release from his 150-year prison sentence on compassionate grounds so that he can live out his remaining days with a friend. A lawyer for Madoff, in a legal filing, says the fraudster has "less than 18 months to live." (CNBC)

Kirk Douglas, known as one of the most beloved tough guys in Hollywood history on screen and a defender of blacklisted artists off screen, died Wednesday at age 103. "To the world, he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to," his son, Michael Douglas, said. (NBC News)


LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner announced his plans to step down from the position on June 1 and become executive chairman. Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn's senior vice president of product, will succeed Weiner as CEO at the Microsoft-owned company.

Yum China (YUMC) reported better-than-expected adjusted quarterly earnings, with the restaurant operator's revenue matching forecasts. However, the company also warned of a significant hit to sales due to the coronavirus outbreak.

GrubHub (GRUB) lost 5 cents per share for its latest quarter, 1 cent more than analysts had been expecting, but the food delivery service's revenue did come in above estimates. GrubHub is spending more to recruit new customers, a strategy it said is paying off.

Qualcomm (QCOM) beat estimates by 14 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 99 cents per share, with the chipmaker's revenue also above analyst forecasts. Qualcomm did say that the coronavirus outbreak could impact manufacturing and sales for the entire mobile phone industry.

Fox Corp. (FOXA) reported an adjusted quarterly profit of 10 cents per share, compared to a consensus estimate of a 2 cents per share loss. The media company also saw revenue come in above forecasts, thanks in large part to a surge in ad sales.

Toyota (TM) raised its annual profit forecast by 4.2%, amid better-than-expected vehicle sales and favorable currency rates, but also said it had not yet factored in any potential impact from the coronavirus outbreak.

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has filed two lawsuits against Verizon (VZ) alleging the U.S. carrier infringed patents held by the Chinese telecoms giant.


Nike (NKE) will be dressing its athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in uniforms and sneakers made out of recycled polyester and ground-up shoe parts. It's part of a broader sustainability push by the shoe retailer as it seeks to reach younger and more eco-conscious consumers.

* Disclosure: CNBC parent Comcast-NBCUniversal is an investor in Peloton.