Wall Street's (^DJI, ^GSPC, ^IXIC) early morning rally ran out of steam, as crude prices (CLG16.NYM) paired gains after the latest weekly EIA data showed a rise in inventories. Meantime, data from the American Petroleum Institute that showed inventories unexpectedly fell last week.
Global markets are also got some relief after China reported an improvement in exports in December. However, that didn't lift Chinese stocks (000001.SS), which fell about 2.5%.
"The volatility will not go away, but we do think that this bull market—believe it or not—is still intact, even though the wall of worry is very high. People have been very focused on the bad news—China, oil, and high-yield bonds and so forth—and they have been ignoring good news ... I think inventories (oil) are starting to fall, especially in the United States, and we are going to see a recovery because of that this year," says Cathie Wood, CEO and chief investment officer of ARK Invest.
MetLife (MET) shares were higher in early trading following news that it plans to separate its U.S. life insurance operations to ease some of the capital requirements it's expected to face under new federal regulations. The separation could come in the form of a spin-off, IPO, or sale.
CSX (CSX) posted earnings per share that topped analysts' estimates, thanks partially to lower fuel costs. However, revenue missed forecasts, with sales falling 13% from a year earlier, as coal shipments declined because of weak demand.
General Motors (GM) raised its profit outlook for the year. It also increased its dividend by 6% to $0.38 and added $4 billion to its stock buyback program.
Ford (F) announced a one billion dollar supplemental cash dividend and record results in 2015. But the automaker issued a disappointing profit outlook for this year.
Yum Brands (YUM) reported better-than-expected same-store growth in China last month, as strength in its KFC outlets offset a decline in its Pizza Hut restaurants. Yum is planning on spinning off its China business by the end of the year.
Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) is getting ready to tap the corporate bond market this week. AB InBev could sell up to $60 billion worth of debt to raise cash and help fund its acquisition of rival SABMiller. Verizon (VZ) currently holds the record for the largest corporate bond sale ever, with a $49 billion debt offering in 2013.
Google seeks auto partners
And Google (GOOGL) unveiled new information at the Detroit auto show. The company said it wants to begin announcing multiple auto partners for its self-driving car unit this year. This counters speculation that Google would pick a single automaker as its exclusive partner.