Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to open higher after 1,000-point drop even as coronavirus fears persist


U.S. stock futures were pointing to about a 150-point higher open on Wall Street for the Dow this morning. But that's nowhere near the Dow's over-1,000 point, or 3.5%, plunge Monday, in its worst single-session in more than two years. (CNBC)

* 'This is different' — El-Erian warns against buying coronavirus pullback fears (CNBC)
* Highlights from Warren Buffett's CNBC interview, including what he'd do on market dips (CNBC)

The spike in coronavirus cases beyond China sparked concerns Monday about a prolonged global economic slowdown due to the outbreak. The market losses were widespread around the world, with global stocks losing over $1.7 trillion of value in a single day. (CNBC)

A day after sinking bond yields pushed down the rate on a 30-year mortgage to 3.34%, the S&P/Case-Shiller report on home prices for December is out at 9 a.m. ET. The Conference Board's February consumer confidence index is released at 10 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

Shares of Home Depot (HD) were more than 2% higher in the premarket after the company beat estimates with fourth-quarter earnings and revenue. Macy's (M) shares jumped more than 6% as the retailer's earnings topped lowered expectations. After-the-bell, Virgin Galactic (SPCE) and Salesforce (CRM) release their quarterly results. (CNBC)


The World Health Organization on Tuesday warned countries around the world to ready for the coronavirus to come "knocking at the door." China's National Health Commission reports 508 new cases and 71 new deaths. South Korea confirms 84 new cases. Iran has 61 cases and 12 deaths.

* Trump administration submits $2.5 billion budget request towards coronavirus prevention and treatment (CNBC)

In Spain, hundreds of staff and tourists staying at a hotel in the Canary Islands were put under lockdown Tuesday, El Pais newspaper reported, with a guest later testing positive for the virus.

Moderna (MRNA) announced it had shipped a coronavirus vaccine to U.S. government researchers for study, with the first clinical trial expected by the end of April. (WSJ)

U.S. airlines last night said they would waive cancellation and change fees for travelers booked to South Korea as the coronavirus spreads beyond China, prompting a warning from government officials about travel there. (CNBC)

United Airlines (UAL) withdrew its full year 2020 forecast, pointing to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus on travel. The airline also said that near-term demand for travel to China amid the outbreak had virtually disappeared. (Reuters)

As many parts of China ease coronavirus travel curbs, some businesses are resuming operations there. Apple said that 29 of its 42 retail stores on the mainland have reopened. However, many of the locations are still on limited hours. (CNBC)

Mastercard said its current quarter revenue would drop between 2% to 3% if the coronavirus persists through the quarter. Mastercard also announced CEO Ajay Banga will leave his current position and take over as the company's executive chairman. (CNBC)

JPMorgan Chase announced a pledge to facilitate $200 billion in environmental and economic development deals and will pull back from advising and lending to the coal mining industry. (CNBC)

Intuit (INTU) reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.16 per share, 14 cents above estimates, with the financial software maker also reporting better than expected revenue. Intuit also announced the acquisition of credit monitoring service Credit Karma for about $7.1 billion in cash and stock. (Reuters)

The major candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination will be back on the debate stage Tuesday night; this time in Charleston ahead of Saturday's South Carolina primary. Sen. Bernie Sanders leads the delegate count after strong results in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. (CNBC)

After last week's debate debacle in Las Vegas, billionaire former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's campaign plans to unleash a media operation against the Vermont democratic socialist. The Bloomberg campaign plans a multipronged attack, including the publication of opposition research, said senior aides. (CNBC)

A winter storm will bring snow to portions of the Plains, Midwest and Northeast this week, likely disrupting travel and closing schools. Heavy snowfall is likely across the Midwest into the lower to central Great Lakes today and tomorrow. (USA Today)


Mallinckrodt (MNK) is finalizing a plan that would put its U.S. generic drug business into bankruptcy, according to The Wall Street Journal. The move would help deal with liabilities stemming from the opioid crisis.

Palo Alto Networks (PANW) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.19 per share, 7 cents above estimates. However, the cybersecurity company's revenue was well below Wall Street forecasts and Palo Alto's own guidance. The company also issued lower than expected guidance for the current quarter and the full year, pointing to the impact of sales incentives.

Shake Shack (SHAK) reported an adjusted quarterly profit of 6 cents per share, compared to expectations of a 1 cent per share loss. However, the restaurant chain's revenue missed forecasts, and same-restaurant sales fell by a larger-than-expected 3.6 percent during the quarter.

Hertz Global (HTZ) lost an adjusted 24 cents per share for its latest quarter, 3 cents less than analysts had been expecting. The car rental company's revenue was essentially in line with forecasts.

HP (HPQ) came in 11 cents ahead of estimates with adjusted quarterly earnings of 65 cents per share, with the computer and printer maker's revenue also slightly above Street projections. HP also pledged to return $16 billion to shareholders in a bid to stave offer a hostile takeover bid from Xerox (XRX).

Expedia (EXPE) will cut 3,000 jobs, or about 12 percent of its workforce, as the travel website operator streamlines its business.

General Electric (GE) cut about 78,000 employees last year, according to its newly issued annual report, leaving it with about 205,000 workers at the end of 2019. That drops employee levels at GE to 1951 levels.

Tenet Healthcare (THC) earned an adjusted 99 cents per share for its 4th quarter, beating estimates by 1 cent. The hospital operator's revenue also beat forecasts, with same-hospital admissions up 2.6 percent.

Tesla (TSLA) was downgraded to hold from buy at Jefferies, although it did raise its price target on the automaker's stock to $800 from the prior $600. Jefferies said it needs a clearer view on potential profitability, particularly in the battery business.


Five years in the making, the first Amazon Go Grocery store is opening Tuesday in Seattle. It's Amazon's first full-size, cashierless grocery store, expanding the technology in its Amazon Go shops, which are more like convenience stores. (CNBC)