January 11, 2017

Trump faces the press; Rex Tillerson faces the Senate; Pet food takeover

1. Trump faces the press: President-elect Donald Trump is set to hold his first press conference since July.

Investors are hoping Trump will provide more detail on his plans for trade, taxes, jobs and Obamacare.

He canceled a previously scheduled press conference in December where he was expected to outline how he'd deal with conflicts of interest arising from his sprawling business dealings.

Trump is also likely to face questions about allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about him.

His comments at the conference -- much like his tweets -- will be closely dissected and have the potential to move markets around the world.

2. Rex Tillerson's confirmation: The U.S. Senate will hold a hearing today on the nomination of former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be the next secretary of state.

The confirmation hearing around 9:15 a.m. ET is likely to focus on the oilman's relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Tillerson is likely to be quizzed on climate change and energy policy as well.

There's also a confirmation hearing scheduled on Wednesday for Elaine Chao, Trump's pick to lead the Transportation Department.

3. Premarket movers -- Merck, ADM: Shares in drug company Merck are getting a boost premarket after it revealed late Tuesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing a license for a lung cancer treatment, Keytruda. It's going through an "accelerated approval" program.

On the flip side, the agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland is seeing shares fall premarket after the company announced it signed a deal to buy a Kansas-based pet-food producer Crosswind Industries.

This is the second big pet-related takeover this week. Candy-bar maker Mars announced on Monday that it's buying VCA, a pet health care business, in a multi-billion dollar deal.

4. Stocks to watch -- Samsung, Volkswagen, Sainsbury: Shares in Samsung performed well Wednesday despite news about its links to a growing corruption scandal.

Prosecutors have named the heir to the Samsung empire as a suspect in a massive corruption scandal that has rocked South Korea.

Samsung shares closed with a 2.8% gain.

Volkswagen stock is also buoyant in Germany after the automaker announced it's negotiating a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department that would require it to pay $4.3 billion in fines and plead guilty to criminal wrongdoing over its diesel emission scandal.

Shares in J Sainsbury are rallying in London after the grocery chain released a well-received business update for the holiday season.

5. Global market overview: U.S. stock futures are holding steady after a mixed trading day on Tuesday.

The Nasdaq pushed to fresh record highs yesterday while the other two indexes didn't make many major moves.

European trading is relatively muted right now while Asian markets are closing the day with mixed results.

6. Coming this week: Wednesday - Trump scheduled to give press conference; Tillerson confirmation hearing Thursday - Delta earnings Friday - Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo report earnings

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