Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to rise, Bernie takes New Hampshire, Powell back on the Hill



After a decline that took the major averages well off their Tuesday session highs, U.S. stock futures point to a strong Wednesday open as investors become slightly less concerned about the coronavirus. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq did manage to eke out record closes Tuesday despite the fall from their highs, and both are up in six of the past seven sessions. (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will be back on Capitol Hill today, this time before the Senate Banking Committee in the second day of his semi-annual testimony on monetary policy. The Mortgage Bankers Association is out with its weekly report on mortgage applications at 10 a.m. ET, while the Energy Department releases its usual Wednesday look at oil inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

* Bitcoin hits highest price this year, above $10,000 as Powell discusses cryptocurrencies (CNBC)
Powell says Fed 'closely monitoring' coronavirus for hit to China and the world (CNBC)

Earnings reports out before the opening bell include CVS Health (CVS), Molson Coors (TAP), Moody's (MCO), and Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA). After-the-bell reports will come today from Altice US (ATUS), Applied Materials (AMAT), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Equifax (EFX), International Flavors (IFF), Marathon Oil (MRO), MGM Resorts (MGM), Redfin (RDFN), and TripAdvisor (TRIP).

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) were losing about a quarter of their value in the premarket after the home goods retailer said same-store sales were down a greater-than-expected 5.4% in December and January. The company blamed increased promotional pricing, lower store traffic and issues with inventory management. (Reuters)

Shares of Lyft (LYFT) were down over 4% in the premarket despite a strong fourth-quarter report. The company's earnings beat estimates on revenue and active riders and a lower-than-expected loss per share. However, Lyft did not give an update on its profitability timeline as its competitor Uber (UBER) did during its earnings report last week. (CNBC)


Sen. Bernie Sanders will win New Hampshire's Democratic primary, NBC News projected, setting him up near the top of a fractured presidential field. The Vermont senator will edge out former Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota will come in third. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former VP Joe Biden were vying for fourth place as results came in. (CNBC)

* Joe Biden's donors are divided on his 2020 prospects after New Hampshire, Iowa flops (CNBC)
* Amy Klobuchar's campaign gets a boost as Biden and Warren fizzle in New Hampshire (CNBC)

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang dropped out of the 2020 Democratic race after finishing well behind top-tier candidates in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary. Sen. Michael Bennet also dropped out of the race as results started rolling in. (CNBC)

The flu-like coronavirus that has sickened more than 44,500 people in over two dozen countries now has a name: COVID-19. The new virus that emerged from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, likely originated in bats and then jumped to an "intermediate host" before infecting humans, World Health Organization officials said. (CNBC)

* The coronavirus appears to be sparing one group of people: Kids (CNBC)
* CDC says 'mix-up' led to early release of coronavirus patient in California (CNBC)

Nissan filed a civil lawsuit against former Chairman Carlos Ghosn today, seeking an initial amount of $90 million. The claimed damages are linked to Ghosn's "breach of fiduciary duty as a company director and his misappropriation of Nissan's resources and assets," the Japanese automaker said in a statement. (CNBC)

Airbnb reportedly lost money last year as costs outpaced revenue, casting doubt on the company's private valuation and the timing of its planned public debut this year. The home-sharing start-up reportedly lost $322 million over the first nine months of last year.

Google (GOOGL) today will seek to overturn the first of three hefty EU antitrust fines at Europe's second-highest court in a landmark case that could determine how EU enforcers take on U.S. tech giants for abuse of market power. In the U.S., the FTC said it will examine prior acquisitions by Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. (Reuters & CNBC)


NCR (NCR) beat estimates by a penny with adjusted quarterly profit of 85 cents per share, with the payment processing software and services provider's revenue also above Wall Street forecasts.

Western Union (WU) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 38 cents per share, 5 cents below estimates, with the payment processing company also seeing revenue beat forecasts. Western Union also gave an upbeat outlook for 2020, and announced a 13% increase in its quarterly dividend.

Macerich (MAC) was downgraded to "underweight" from "neutral" at Piper Sandler, which thinks Simon Property's (SPG) acquisition of Taubman Centers (TCO) makes an acquisition of the shopping center operator less likely.


A standard poodle named Siba was crowned "Best in Show" at the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York, taking home the grand prize in the most prestigious competition for pure-bred canines in the United States. Just shy of four years old, she triumphed over crowd favorites Daniel the golden retriever and Bono the Havanese. (Reuters)