Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to rise, steep coronavirus increase, Warren brings in $6 million online



U.S. stock futures point to a higher open this morning, after a late Thursday slide that sent the major averages to a lower close. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq had set intraday record highs earlier in the day, but Wall Street's ever-changing level of concern over the coronavirus swung to the negative side in afternoon trading. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq remain on track for a second straight positive week and continue to be on pace for their best monthly gains since last June. (CNBC)

* Doubts emerge about Trump Fed nominee Judy Shelton after tough questioning (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, the government releases January retail sales at 8:30 a.m. ET. January industrial production figures are out at 9:15 a.m. ET. At 10 a.m. ET, the University of Michigan is out with its mid-February Consumer Sentiment Index, along with December business inventories. (CNBC)

Earnings reports out this morning include the latest numbers from cannabis producer Canopy Growth (CGC) and consumer products maker Newell Brands (NWL). No reports of note are out after today's closing bell.


The U.S. does "not have high confidence in the information coming out of China" regarding the count of coronavirus cases. A senior official also noted that China "continues to rebuff American offers of assistance." China's National Health Commission said 1,716 health workers in the country had been infected with the coronavirus and six of them have died. (CNBC)

* China writes off 108 deaths in Hubei, citing double-counting error in province (CNBC)
* Tesla acknowledges 'health epidemics' as new risk in financial filing amid coronavirus outbreak (CNBC)

China today reported another 5,090 people infected with the new virus, as the death toll neared 1,400. The number of reported cases has been rising more quickly after the hardest-hit province changed its method of counting them Thursday. There are now 63,851 confirmed cases in mainland China, of which 1,380 have died. (AP)

More than 500 global leaders are gathering in Munich over the weekend to discuss everything from the development of 5G networks to nuclear weapons to the recent coronavirus outbreak. This year's attendees include French President Emmanuel Macron, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. (CNBC)

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren says she's raised about $6 million from online donors since last week's first-in-the-nation caucuses, fueled by people who want to see her stay in the 2020 race despite underwhelming performances in Iowa and New Hampshire. "Right now, it's wide open," she said of the primary. (AP)

* How Mike Bloomberg's meme blitz was engineered to go viral (CNBC)

Former White House communications director Hope Hicks, a favorite former aide of President Donald Trump's, is rejoining the administration to work for the president's senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Hicks was hired as the chief communications officer at Fox after she left the White House in April 2018. (CNBC)

The Senate passed legislation to limit Trump's ability to wage war against Iran, rebuking him weeks after a strike against an Iranian military commander and Tehran's retaliation raised fears of broader regional conflict. The measure would require Trump to remove U.S. troops engaged in hostilities against Iran unless Congress declares war or passes a specific authorization. (Reuters)

* Attorney General William Barr says Trump's tweets 'make it impossible for me to do my job' (CNBC)

The Justice Department has added new criminal charges against Chinese tech giant Huawei and several subsidiaries, accusing the company of a brazen scheme to steal trade secrets from competitors in America. Huawei said the charges were without merit and were part of an attempt to "irrevocably damage Huawei's reputation and its business." (AP & CNBC)


A federal judge ordered a temporary block on the JEDI cloud contract, which was awarded to Microsoft (MSFT), in response to a suit filed by Amazon (AMZN). Shares of Microsoft fell on the news, while Amazon's stock was down slightly.

Mattel (MAT) turned in mixed fourth-quarter results after holiday revenue was weighed down by continuing sales declines in its American Girl and Fisher-Price brands.

Expedia (EXPE) came in 5 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.24 per share, with the travel website operator's revenue essentially in line with forecasts. Expedia is not providing a full-year outlook, due to uncertainties over how the coronavirus outbreak will affect its results.

Roku (ROKU) lost 13 cents per share for its latest quarter, a penny less than expected, and its sales exceeded analyst forecasts. The streaming video device maker also gave a full-year revenue forecast largely above current consensus as it benefits from the introduction of new streaming services.

Pinterest (PINS) shares are under pressure following news that Facebook (FB) has released a competing app called "Hobbi." Pinterest told CNBC that Hobbi appears to be just a photo-saving app that does not offer the capabilities that its own app does.

Nvidia (NVDA) reported better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit and revenue. It also gave an upbeat current quarter forecast, as it continues to see strong demand from cloud computing companies.

Yelp (YELP) fell short of Wall Street expectations on quarterly profit and revenue. Yelp's bottom line was also impacted by increased spending on marketing. Yelp also added $250 million to its share buyback program, and named David Schwarzbach as its new chief financial officer.

EBay (EBAY) expanded its planned 2020 stock buyback program to $4.5 billion from the prior $1.5 billion. The e-commerce platform also forecast better-than-expected current quarter profit.

Royal Caribbean (RCL) canceled 18 cruises in Southeast Asia and warned that the coronavirus outbreak would impact its full-year results. The cruise line operator said the newly announced cancellations would cut full-year earnings per share by 65 cents, and that if all Asian sailings are canceled through the end of April, earnings would be reduced by another 55 cents per share.

GoDaddy (GDDY) reported quarterly earnings of 34 cents per share, 3 cents above estimates, with the website hosting company also seeing revenue above analyst forecasts. GoDaddy saw its bottom line get a boost from an increase in revenue per user.


"Sonic the Hedgehog's" Rotten Tomato score suggests that Hollywood may have finally cracked the code on how to successfully take a video game character onto the big screen, with a 66% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes from 80 reviews. Currently "Sonic" is expected to garner $35 million to $45 million from Friday through Sunday. (CNBC)