Morning Brief

What to watch today: Stock futures flat after rout on inflation, Fed fears


U.S. stock futures were steady Friday, one day after a sharp sell-off that was prompted by higher-than-expected inflation data and St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard's call for 100 basis points worth of interest rate increases by July 1. There are three regularly scheduled meetings before Bullard's deadline, starting in March. (CNBC)

Citi economists now see the Fed making the more aggressive 50 basis point increase in March. The market expects six 25 basis point hikes this year, starting in March, to tamp down soaring inflation. Citi's global chief economist of Citi Research told CNBC on Friday the HOT January consumer inflation data was a "punch in the stomach" to the Fed. (CNBC)

* Goldman Sachs now predicts 7 rate hikes by the Fed this year (CNBC Pro)
* Fed likely to still take a measured approach to rate hikes despite calls for bigger action (CNBC)

The 10-year Treasury yield ticked lower Friday but remained above 2%, a level reached Thursday for the first time since August 2019. The 2-year Treasury yield traded around 1.6% on Friday after surging 26 basis points in the prior session, the biggest single-day move since 2009. Wall Street will be looking to Tuesday's release of the producer price index to see if inflation at the wholesale level ran as hot last month. (CNBC)

If the market closes sharply lower on Friday, the Dow the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq could post losses for the week. All three stock benchmarks were higher last week, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq logging their best weeks of the year. The Nasdaq, still in a correction, sank 2.1% on Thursday. The S&P 500 lost 1.8% and the Dow fell 526 points, or nearly 1.5%. (CNBC)


President Joe Biden is urging U.S. citizens to leave Ukraine immediately as tensions with Russia over its military activity continue to intensify. "We're dealing with one of the largest armies in the world. This is a very different situation, and things could go crazy quickly," Biden said in an interview that ran Thursday on "NBC Nightly News."

The U.S. said Canada should use federal powers to ease the growing economic disruption caused by the blockage of a vital U.S.-Canada trade route by protesters opposed to coronavirus mandates. The clogged crossing, a key supply route for Detroit's carmakers, has halted some auto production. (CNBC)

Under Armour (UAA) shares, after initially jumping 7%, fell 2.5% in the premarket despite the retailer on Friday reporting fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and sales ahead of analysts' estimates, as a cloudy outlook hampered by lingering supply chain constraints overshadowed those results. The company also warned that heightened freight expenses will weigh on profit margins in the coming months. (CNBC)

Zillow Group (Z) shares rose 13.5% in Friday's premarket, the morning after the real estate website operator reported a much narrower-than-expected adjusted quarterly loss of 42 cents per share. The company's revenue was also better than expected. Zillow said it's getting out of the home-flipping business more quickly and economically than it previously expected. (CNBC)

Affirm (AFRM) shares dropped another 10% in the premarket. The buy now, pay later company sank more than 21% on Thursday after releasing fiscal second-quarter results ahead of schedule. Affirm lost 57 cents per share on $361 million in revenue. The company said human error was to blame for putting the results out early. (CNBC)

A Food and Drug Administration committee recommended against full approval of a lung cancer treatment developed by China's Innovent Biologics and Eli Lilly (LLY) over concerns the clinical trial was conducted solely in China in participants that weren't as diverse as the U.S. population. (CNBC)


Newell Brands (NWL) added 1.2% in premarket trading after reporting better-than-expected profit and revenue. it also issued an upbeat profit forecast. The company behind brands like Mr. Coffee, Crock-Pot and Sunbeam earned an adjusted 42 cents per share for its latest quarter, 10 cents above estimates.

Expedia (EXPE) earned an adjusted $1.06 per share for its latest quarter, beating the 69-cent consensus estimate, though the travel services company's revenue was just shy of analyst forecasts. Expedia said the Covid-related impact on travel bookings was significant, but less severe and for a shorter duration than prior Covid waves. Expedia rallied 4.6% in premarket trading.

Aurora Cannabis (ACB) eported better-than-expected cannabis sales during its latest quarter, the first time it's been able to exceed analyst estimates in more than a year. Aurora reported a quarterly loss of $59 million, substantially less than a year earlier. The stock slid 4.6% in premarket action.

Zendesk (ZEN) rejected a takeover bid of $127 to $132 per share from a group of private equity firms. The software development company said it would push ahead with its proposed acquisition of SurveyMonkey parent Momentive Global (MNTV), despite pressure from activist investor Jana Partners to abandon the deal. Zendesk rose 2.7% in the premarket, while Momentive Global jumped 7.9%.

GoDaddy (GDDY) beat estimates by 11 cents with adjusted quarterly earnings of 52 cents per share and better-than-expected revenue. The cloud computing company also announced a $3 billion share repurchase program. GoDaddy leaped 5.8% in the premarket.

Yelp (YELP) more than doubled the 14-cent consensus estimate in reporting a quarterly profit of 30 cents per share. The online review site operator also reported better-than-expected revenue amid strength in its advertising business. Yelp jumped 4.5% in premarket action.

Cedar Fair (FUN) gained 2.8% in premarket trading following a Bloomberg report that private equity firm Centerbridge Partners acquired a 5% stake. The theme park operator is currently in the process of reviewing a $3.4 billion takeover bid from SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS).