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What to Watch Today: Stocks Set for Modest Drop

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U.S. stock futures fell Wednesday, a day after Wall Street resumed its 2021 upswing with modest gains. The fallout from last week's Capitol riot and the push to impeach President Donald Trump have been keeping a lid on market moves this week. Rising rates in the bond market, with the 10-year Treasury yield over 1.1%, have also been a headwind for stocks. (CNBC)

Ahead of Wednesday's trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were less than 1% from their records. The Nasdaq was just over 1% short of its record high. (CNBC)

* U.S. consumer prices increase in December (CNBC)
* Mortgage refinance demand spikes 20% as borrowers fear missing out on record-low rates (CNBC)


Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time. The House set the unprecedented vote for Wednesday, exactly one week after supporters of the outgoing president attacked the U.S. Capitol. While no House Republicans voted for Trump's first impeachment, this time a small but significant number, including third-ranking GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, said they will do so. (CNBC)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly told associates he thinks Trump committed impeachable acts, though it's not known if the Kentucky Republican would vote to remove the president. A conviction in the Senate, even after Trump leaves office, would prevent him from becoming president again. It's unclear if the Senate would try to hold Trump's impeachment trial before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration next Wednesday. (CNBC)

The House is moving ahead with its impeachment vote after Vice President Mike Pence ruled out invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump. The House on Tuesday night passed a resolution calling on Pence and the Cabinet to try to push Trump out of office over his role in fomenting the Capitol attack. In a letter to House Speak Nancy Pelosi, Pence wrote, "I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution." (CNBC)

Speaking publicly Tuesday for the first time since last week's siege, Trump did not take any responsibility for the mob violence and warned a second impeachment could be dangerous for the country. Later in the day at the border wall in Texas, Trump made a vague threat against Biden while insisting Pence and his Cabinet won't remove him from office.

YouTube on Tuesday suspended Trump's account, saying the president uploaded content that violated its policies, though it did not specify any videos. The so-called strike-one on the platform prevents new uploads for a minimum seven days. "Given the ongoing concerns about violence, we will also be indefinitely disabling comments on President Trump's channel," said YouTube, owned by Alphabet's Google unit. (CNBC)

Operation Warp Speed chief advisor Dr. Moncef Slaoui has submitted his resignation at the request of the incoming Biden Covid team, under a plan that would see him stay in the role for a month to help with the transition, according to two people familiar with the situation. Though the initial vaccine rollout has been criticized, the speed of their development, which Slaoui oversaw, exceeded expectations. (CNBC)

The U.S. will require starting Jan. 26 that all airline passengers, U.S. citizens included, to prove they recently tested negative for Covid-19 before flying to the country. The CDC measure, which aims to curb the spread of the disease, comes as new infections hit records. The U.S. reported a record 4,327 daily Covid deaths Tuesday. (CNBC)

The U.S. government will buy 1.25 million additional doses of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' (REGN) Covid-19 antibody cocktail for about $2.63 billion. The doses will be delivered in the first half of the year and used to treat high-risk, non-hospitalized patients. The shares gained 2.7% in premarket trading. (Reuters)

Target (TGT) said Wednesday comparable sales rose 17.2% in November and December. While online sales remained robust during the pandemic, shoppers also visited Target's stores and spent more money per purchase than they did last holiday season. Target's same-day curbside pickup grew by more than 500%, while sales fulfilled by its Shipt delivery service grew more than 300% during the holidays. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) on Wednesday announced its latest set of major donations as part of its $100 million initiative to help dismantle systemic barriers and promote racial equality for people of color. CEO Tim Cook announced the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative in June, following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. (CNBC)

* Amazon pushes into education with new academy in India (CNBC)

Affirm Holdings (AFRM) priced its initial public offering at $49 per share, above the already-raised expected range of $41-$44. Affirm is a provider of installment loans to online shoppers, founded by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin. The stock is set to begin trading later today. (Reuters)


Urban Outfitters (URBN): Urban Outfitters shares are under pressure after the apparel retailer said comparable holiday season sales fell 9%, and also announced the departure of Trish Donnelly as CEO of the Urban Outfitters Group unit. Sheila Harrington, CEO of the company's Free People Group division, will now also be in charge of the Urban Outfitters Group. The stock fell 10% in premarket trading.

Visa (V): Visa and fintech company Plaid called off their planned $5.3 million merger. The Justice Department sued in November to stop the deal on antitrust grounds, and Visa CEO Al Kelly said the litigation would have taken substantial time to fully resolve.

KB Home (KBH): KB Home reported quarterly earnings of $1.12 per share, beating the consensus estimate of 93 cents a share. The home builders' revenue also topped Wall Street forecasts. The company said housing market conditions continue to be "robust," and expects meaningfully higher revenue and earnings this year. The shares added 4.8% in premarket trading.

Ford (F): Ford reported a 6% increase in China car sales in 2020 compared to a year earlier, its first annual increase in China since 2017.

Walt Disney (DIS): The company's Disney+ service commanded 6% of consumer video streaming time in December, according to new data from Nielsen. Netflix dominated with 28% of streaming time, but that was down from 31% in December 2019.

American Tower (AMT): The cellular tower company bought the European and Latin American telecom tower businesses of Spain's Telefonica for $9.4 billion in cash.

Nio (NIO): Nio priced its offering of $1.3 billion in convertible notes. The China-based electric vehicle maker plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes and to strengthen its balance sheet.

Bausch Health (BHC): The health-care products maker said its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 sales would exceed its prior guidance. The preliminary data come ahead of today's presentation by Bausch at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

Ally Financial (ALLY): The financial services company announced a new $1.6 billion share repurchase program.


Nobody won the Mega Millions jackpot last night and Friday's prize swelled to $750 million. Tonight's Powerball drawing stands at $550 million.

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