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Morning Brief: Trump calls for a 'new American moment'

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What to watch today

On Tuesday, stocks had another rough day with the Dow losing 362 points, or 1.4%, to pace losses as all of the major indexes closed in the red. The S&P 500 lost 1.1% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq saw the narrowest losses with a 0.86% decline. And on the heels of this market sell-off, investors are about to face a hectic couple days in market news with Wednesday bringing Facebook (FB) earnings and a Federal Reserve meeting, both in the afternoon.

Facebook will report earnings after the market close, with investors focused on any and all questions about how the company is handling the various controversies that have broken out around the company’s treatment of content in its main News Feed product. The company will also likely face questions over CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s comment back in November that, “We’re investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability.”

The Fed meeting, meanwhile, is expected to be a relative non-event with no press conference scheduled to follow the announcement, which is due out at 2:00 p.m. ET. The two-day meeting also marks Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s final before Fed governor Jerome Powell takes over as chair next month. Investors expect the central bank to keep its benchmark interest rate target unchanged at 1.25%-1.5%.

The economic calendar outside of the Fed is also busy with the January private payroll report from ADP due out at 8:15 a.m. ET. The government’s January jobs number is due out Friday morning. Markets will also get the fourth quarter employment cost index, pending home sales, and the January reading on manufacturing activity in the Midwest.

The earnings calendar outside of Facebook is also quite busy, with Microsoft (MSFT), Qualcomm (QCOM), eBay (EBAY), and PayPal (PYPL) all releasing results after the bell. Dow members AT&T (T) and Boeing (BA) are also expected to report results.

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Top news

Trump calls for optimism in spite of warnings of danger: Addressing a deeply divided nation, President Donald Trump summoned the country to a “new American moment” of unity in his first State of the Union, challenging Congress to make good on long-standing promises to fix a fractured immigration system and warning darkly of evil forces seeking to undermine America’s way of life. Trump’s address Tuesday night blended self-congratulation and calls for optimism amid a growing economy with ominous warnings about deadly gangs, the scourge of drugs and violent immigrants living in the United States illegally. [AP]

U.S. regulator subpoenas cryptocurrency platforms: The U.S. derivatives regulator has sent a subpoena to two of the world’s largest cryptocurrency platforms, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, as watchdogs globally increase their scrutiny of the emerging asset class. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sent a subpoena on Dec. 6 to both Bitfinex, a cryptocurrency exchange, and Tether, a company that issues a virtual currency. [Reuters]

Fujifilm to slash 10,000 jobs at Xerox JV: Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings (FUJIY) said it is cutting 10,000 jobs globally at its joint venture with Xerox Corp. (XRX) to cope with a decline in the photocopying business, amid speculation of a new deal between the two companies. Fujifilm owns 75% of the joint venture, called Fuji Xerox, which accounts for nearly half of the Japanese company’s sales and operating profit. [Reuters]

Och-Ziff taps outsider as CEO, replacing founder: Och-Ziff Capital Management appointed an outsider as chief executive to replace the investment firm’s founder, roughly four weeks after plans to name one of its top money managers as CEO were put on hold. Robert Shafir, a veteran wealth management industry executive, will succeed Daniel Och on Feb. 5. [Reuters]

For more of the latest news, go to Yahoo Finance

Yahoo Finance is holding a live summit on cryptocurrencies, featuring a range of big-name guest speakers, on Feb. 7 in New York City. Get your ticket here.

British Prime Minister Theresa May inspects a ceremonial guard with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in the ‘Great Hall of the People’ on Jan. 31, 2018 in Beijing. May is being accompanied by a business delegation during her three-day visit to China. May will meet  Keqiang and President Xi Jinping to discuss matters including the environment, investment, education, Hong Kong and North Korea. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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The Morning Brief provides a quick rundown on what to watch in the markets, top news stories, and the best of Yahoo Finance Originals.