Morning Brief

What to watch today: Stocks to fall after Biden releases Covid plan, banks report earnings


Stock futures pointed to a lower open, as investors assess the implications of President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan ahead of a three-day holiday weekend. Dow futures implied an opening decline of about 90 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also were lower. (CNBC)

* Treasury yields pull back following Biden's stimulus proposal announcement (CNBC)

The major averages are on pace for a losing week, which would be the first in five weeks for both the Dow and the Nasdaq. The Dow also has fallen for the past two days, its first back-to-back losses in over a month. The Dow and Nasdaq both set record intraday highs Thursday, but lost all their gains and finished lower, while the Russell 2000 did post a record close.

Retail sales for December fell 0.7% compared to flat expectations as renewed measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 undercut spending at restaurants and reduced traffic to shopping malls. November was revised down to show sales declining 1.4% instead of 1.1% as previously reported. (Reuters)

Producer prices for December increased 0.3%, slightly less than expected. Excluding food and energy, producer prices rose 0.4%, higher than estimates. Meanwhile, December industrial production figures are out at 9:15 a.m. ET. Then 45 minutes later, the University of Michigan releases its preliminary January consumer sentiment index.

Shares of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) were lower by about 1% in premarket trading after the bank beat analysts' estimates for fourth-quarter profit. JPMorgan earned $3.79 a share, eclipsing the $2.62 per share forecast of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv, with the help of better-than-expected trading results and credit-reserve releases. (CNBC)

Shares of Citigroup (C) dropped more than 1% after the bank Friday fell short of estimates on fourth-quarter revenue of $16.5 billion. Pre-share profit of $2.08 beat expectations. Like JPMorgan, it was helped by the release of some loan loss reserves. (CNBC)

Wells Fargo (WFC) shares sank over 3% after the bank Friday reported lower than expected fourth-quarter revenue of $17.93 billion. Earnings of 64 cents per share, like both Citi and JPMorgan, best estimates. At Wells Fargo, stabilizing credit costs helped offset the hit from low-interest rates.


In his much-anticipated Covid stimulus bill, President-elect Biden is calling for most Americans to receive direct payments of $1,400, bringing the total relief to $2,000 after factoring in December's $600 payments. The Democrat, who will be inaugurated next week, on Thursday also proposed $350 billion in state and local government aid and increasing the federal unemployment supplement to $400 per week through September. (CNBC)

Biden also detailed sweeping plan to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. He's proposing $170 billion to help safely reopen schools and $50 billion to scale up Covid testing. The plan also would invest $20 billion in a national vaccination program in partnership with states, localities, tribes and territories. Biden is expected to provide more details on his Covid vaccination plan Friday. (CNBC)

* In final transition days, Biden team gets access to critical Covid vaccine data (NBC News)

At least 21 current or former members of the U.S. military or law enforcement were apart of, or nearby, the pro-Trump mob that ultimately stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, according to a review of public records, social media posts and videos conducted by the Associated Press. Experts who study homegrown extremism say the Jan. 6 riot realized some of their worst fears about the way white-supremacist and far-right militant groups could recruit people who have law enforcement and military backgrounds. (Associated Press)

* U.S. says Capitol rioters meant to 'capture and assassinate' officials (Reuters)
* Ex-firefighter charged in Capitol riot, threw fire extinguisher at cops, feds say (CNBC)

The nine impeachment managers chosen by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now face the task of convincing skeptical Senate Republicans to vote to convict President Donald Trump. The Democrats are all lawyers, including Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a former constitutional law professor, and Rep. Diana Degette of Colorado, a former civil rights attorney. It's not yet known when the Senate trial will start, but it could happen as early as next week. The House voted to impeach Trump for "incitement of insurrection" on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

Chinese President Xi Jinping is asking former Starbucks (SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz to play a role in repairing the fractured relationship between the U.S. and China. According to the official Xinhua News Agency, Xi wrote to Schultz to "to encourage him and Starbucks to continue to play an active role in promoting Chinese-U.S. economic and trade cooperation and the development of bilateral relations." Schultz is a frequent visitor to China and helped open Starbucks' first location in the country, in 1999. (Associated Press)

* Trump's China tech war backfires on automakers as chips run short (Reuters)


Petco (WOOF) and Poshmark (POSH) remain on watch after successful Wall Street debuts Thursday. Petco jumped 63% from its IPO price in its first day of trading, while Poshmark had 2021's best IPO debut day with a jump of nearly 142%.

Walt Disney (DIS) ended its annual pass program for Disneyland, citing uncertainty about when the park would reopen and the limitations that may be imposed on it when it does. The park has been closed for 10 months, and Disney plans to issue pro-rated refunds to current annual pass holders.

Whirlpool (WHR) and other appliance makers are on watch, after Trump extended tariffs on large residential washing machines for another two years. They were imposed in 2018 and were set to expire February 8.

Playtika (PLTK) priced its initial public offering at $27 per share, above the target range of $22 to $24 per share. The mobile gaming company's stock will begin trading today on the Nasdaq. (AMZN) is the target of a class action lawsuit, accusing the company of colluding with publishers to inflate the price of electronic books. About 90% of all e-books are sold through Amazon.

SAP (SAP) is forecasting flat revenue and a decline in profit for 2021, although the German business software company's fourth quarter results did beat analyst forecasts. The company had dropped medium term profit targets last quarter, cautioning that a rebound from the pandemic would take longer than expected.

Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) announced it was launching a generic version of Merck's (MRK) NuvaRing birth control device in the U.S. market.

Fast Acquisition (FST) is moving higher once again in pre-market trading following a Bloomberg report that billionaire Tilman Fertitta was in talks to list his casino and dining assets through a $7 billion merger with the blank check company. The stock rose 8% Thursday when that report first broke. Sources confirmed the talks to CNBC, but Fertitta told CNBC he was unable to comment on market rumors.


May the odds be in your favor as two massive lottery jackpots could be won in the coming days. Tonight, the Mega Millions jackpot worth a projected $750 million is up for grabs. It's the fifth largest potential winnings in lottery history. Then on Saturday, the Powerball drawing worth a projected $640 million, the eighth biggest in U.S. history, will take place. (USA Today)