Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Jan. 24:
1. -- Dollar Slides, U.S. Stocks March Higher
U.S. stock futures were higher on Wednesday, Jan. 24, getting a boost from the dollar's decline on global foreign exchange markets.
The U.S. dollar plunged to a fresh three-year low Wednesday after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin told an audience in Davos, Switzerland, that a weakening greenback would be good for American trade. The comments followed a warning from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who told a panel at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss Alpine village that a decision to slap tariffs on solar panels and washing machines from China and South Korea were the first of more trade measures to come from Washington as Donald Trump accelerates his 'America First' trade policy.
The U.S. dollar index, which benchmarks the dollar against a basket of six global currencies, fell 0.47% to 89.64, the lowest since December 2014.
U.S. stocks ended mixed on Tuesday, Jan. 23, as investors turned their attention to corporate earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.01% but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record highs as Netflix Inc. (NFLX) - Get Report jumped 10% after the streaming giant's subscribers surged in the fourth quarter.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the PMI Composite Flash for January at 9:45 a.m. ET, Existing Home Sales for December at 10 a.m., and Oil Inventories for the week ended Jan. 19, at 10:30 a.m.
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2. -- GE and Comcast Highlight Wednesday's Earnings Calendar
More of What's Trending on TheStreet:
GE said it expects 2018 adjusted earnings of $1 to $1.07 a share vs. estimates of $1.
The stock rose 1.4% in premarket trading.
United Technologies Corp. earned $1.60 a share in the fourth quarter, beating estimates of $1.56. Revenue of $15.7 billion came in higher than forecasts of $15.36 billion.
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) - Get Report posted modestly stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and boosted its dividend and share buyback plans after booking a one-time $12.7 billion gain from the recent overhaul of the U.S. tax code. The stock gained 3% in premarket trading.
3. -- iPhone X Estimates Are Slashed
Analyst Narci Chang slashed iPhone X sales estimates by 33%, and forecast iPhone X production will be down 50% sequentially this quarter.
In a research note, Chang said that "high-end smartphones are clearly hitting a plateau this year."
The note added that the weaker demand would hit the bottom line of European suppliers to the world's biggest tech company.
JPMorgan lowered its rating on AMS AG (AMSSY) , a key supplier which produces optical sensors for smartphones, to neutral from overweight and said that weakness in orders for Apple's flagship iPhone X would likely persist into the second half of the year. AMS shares slumped 6.6% in Frankfurt trading. Other stocks in Apple's European supply chain tumbled, with STMicroelectronics NV (STM) - Get Report falling 3% in Paris and Dialog Semiconductor PLC (DLGNF) , which is listed in Frankfurt, falling 3.9%.
4. -- Disney Giving $1,000 Bonuses to 125,000 Employees
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) - Get Report said more than 125,000 eligible employees will receive a one-time $1,000 cash bonus and the media giant will make an initial investment of $50 million in an education funding program designed to cover tuition costs for hourly employees.
Disney said bonuses will go to all full and part-time non-executive employees, either hourly or salaried, who have been with the company since Jan. 1, 2018, and are based in the U.S..
Nearly 88,000 hourly employees will be eligible for the education program. Along with the initial $50 million investment, Disney will provide up to $25 million in annual funding.
5. -- Senate Confirms Powell as New Fed Chairman
The Senate on Tuesday approved Jerome Powell to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve beginning next month.
Senators voted 84-13 to confirm Powell to lead the nation's central bank.
Powell will succeed Janet Yellen, the first woman to lead the Fed, when her term ends Feb. 3. Donald Trump decided against offering Yellen a second four-year term as chair despite widespread praise for her performance since succeeding Ben Bernanke.
This article has been updated to include earnings from GE, United Technologies and Comcast.