Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow set to resume its winning ways



Dow futures rose Tuesday, the last full day of Donald Trump's presidency ahead of Wednesday's inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. The Dow fell 177 points Friday, capping a mostly lower week and marking the first weekly decline in the past five weeks. However, the 30-stock average remained less than 1% from its closing record high early this month. (CNBC)

* IEA cuts 2021 oil demand outlook as new Covid lockdowns weigh on fuel sales (CNBC)

The crush of bank earnings continued this morning, with Bank of America (BAC) reporting fourth-quarter profit that beat estimates as the firm released some of the cash it had set aside for loan losses. Revenue of fell short of expectations. BofA also announced a stock buyback plan and said it would maintain its dividend. Shares dropped more than 1% in the premarket. (CNBC)

Dow stock Goldman Sachs (GS) rose about 2% in the premarket after the firm delivered fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that beat estimates. Stronger-than-expected stock trading and investment banking activity are credited. Netflix (NFLX) headlines Tuesday afternoon earnings reports. (CNBC)


Janet Yellen, Biden's nominee for Treasury secretary, will tell the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday that the government must "act big" with its next coronavirus relief measure. The president-elect outlined a $1.9 trillion stimulus package last week. In prepared testimony for her confirmation hearing, the former Fed chief also said the U.S. economy must be rebuilt "so that it creates more prosperity for more people." (Reuters)

The president-elect is planning on a 10-day blitz of executive action on what his administration is calling the "four crises" facing the country: Covid, the economic downturn, racial injustice and climate change. Biden chief of staff Ron Klain told CNN on Sunday the president-elect is going to come back to the White House after his inauguration and "take some immediate actions to move the country forward."

* Biden to end Keystone XL pipeline in fight on climate change (Washington Post)
* Biden to propose 8-year citizenship path for immigrants (AP)

Biden's inauguration committee is set to hold a memorial to remember the lives lost to Covid-19 on Tuesday evening in Washington as U.S. deaths from the coronavirus neared 400,000. The president-elect is expected to speak at the commemoration.

* Biden CDC pick confident there’s enough Covid vaccine to meet target (CNBC)
* Biden Covid advisor challenges Cuomo's letter to buy Pfizer vaccine directly (CNBC)

The incoming Biden administration last night said it won't lift an entry ban on most visitors from Europe and Brazil, shortly after Trump ordered an end to those travel restrictions. The outgoing president first put the Covid rules in place in March. (CNBC)

The Senate, which returns Tuesday, awaits the transfer of the single article of impeachment against Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Trump's impeachment trial won't likely begin until after he leaves office. The GOP still calls the shots in the Senate until Georgia's two new Democratic senators are sworn in. (AP)

* Trump may pardon 100 people in final days; allies warn against pardoning rioters (USA Today)
* FBI investigating whether woman stole Pelosi's laptop during Capitol riot to sell to Russia (CNBC)


General Electric (GE): General Electric said it was proposing to freeze pension benefits for 2,800 employees in the U.K. GE's U.K. pension benefit obligation stood at about $14 billion at the end of 2020. The company's shares rose 1.4% in premarket trading.

Halliburton (HAL): The oilfield services company's quarterly results came in 3 cents a share above estimates, with profit of 18 cents per share. Revenue beat forecasts as well, helped by cost cuts and a rebound in demand thanks to an increase in oil prices. Halliburton's shares climbed 2.4% in the premarket.

Comerica (CMA): Comerica reported quarterly earnings of $1.49 per share, beating consensus estimates by 30 cents a share. Revenue also came in above Wall Street forecasts. Loan and deposit growth helped offset lower interest rates and an increase in credit reserves.

Capital One (COF): The bank was fined $390 million by the Treasury Department for what the government is calling "willful and negligent" violations of anti-money laundering laws. The department's FinCEN unit said thousands of suspicious transactions went unreported between 2008 and 2014.

Lumentum (LITE): Lumentum is buying rival laser maker Coherent (COHR) for $5.7 billion in cash and stock. Coherent shareholders will get $100 in cash and 1.1851 Lumentum shares for each share they now hold. Lumentum shares sank 8.7%, while Coherent shares surged 32% in the premarket.

E.W. Scripps (SSP): Scripps jumped 10% in premarket trading, following a Securities and Exchange Commission filing indicating that Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) had received warrants that give it the right to buy 23 million shares at $13 apiece. The warrants are part of a deal announced in September, in which the media company used money from Berkshire to help finance its $2.65 billion acquisition of ION Media.

Logitech (LOGI): Logitech raised its annual forecast, following a quarter that saw its adjusted operating income nearly triple from a year earlier. Logitech continues to benefit from the pandemic-induced increase in employees working from home, which is boosting demand for keyboards, mice and other computer peripherals.

Stellantis (STLA): Stellantis has made its debut, taking on a new name following the completion of the merger between automakers Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot parent PSA Groupe.

Tesla (TSLA): Tesla delivered its first China-made Model Y crossover vehicle Monday, as Tesla seeks more inroads in the China market.

Boeing (BA): Canada will lift a ban on Boeing's 737 Max jet Wednesday, joining other countries allowing the jet to return to service after a nearly two-year grounding.


The combined Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots for this week's drawings total nearly $1.6 billion. Mega Millions, with a projected $850 million top prize, goes first tonight. Powerball, with a projected $730 million jackpot, is then up for grabs tomorrow night. (USA Today)