Here are five things you must know for Friday, Jan. 25:
1. -- Stocks Rise Despite Global Growth Concerns
U.S. stock futures rose on Friday, Jan. 25, and shares in Europe and Asia drifted higher even as investors continued to worry about a lack of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and digested further evidence of weakening economic growth.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi added to the chorus of growth concerns Thursday when he said that risks to the region's economic prospects "have moved to the downside," citing a "persistence of uncertainties" linked to trade and geo-politics.
Draghi's remarks were matched by skepticism from U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who told CNBC that Washington and Beijing were "miles and miles" apart on key issues in trade negotiations but still felt a deal between the world's two biggest economies was possible. Trade talks resume next week in Washington.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 171 points, futures for the S&P 500 gained 18.75 points, and Nasdaq futures were up 63 points. Stocks in the U.S. closed mixed on Thursday. The Dow fell 0.09% to 24,553 and the S&P 500 gained 0.14%.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday was supposed to include Durable Goods Orders for December and New Home Sales for December but the data won't be released because of the partial shutdown of the U.S. government, which has entered its 35th day.
Colgate-Palmolive Co. (CL) - Get Report posted weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and said it expects a low single-digit decline in 2019 profit thanks to rising input costs and a stronger U.S. dollar. The stock fell 2.9% in premarket trading.
2. -- Intel Slumps After Chipmaker Issues Weak Guidance
Intel Corp. (INTC) - Get Report fell 6.3% in premarket trading Friday after the chipmaker's fourth-quarter earnings beat estimates but revenue for the period and its outlook for the first quarter came in below forecasts.
Adjusted earnings in the quarter were $1.28 a share on revenue of $18.66 billion. Analysts expected earnings of $1.22 a share on revenue of $19.02 billion.
Intel said it expects first-quarter adjusted earnings of 87 cents a share on revenue of about $16 billion, below forecasts that called for profit of $1 a share on revenue of $17.29 billion.
Interim CEO Bob Swan linked the fourth-quarter revenue decline to "digestion" of chips sold in advance of the U.S.-China trade dispute by big data-center customers in China, thus slowing sales over the final three months of the year.
"Trade and macro concerns, especially in China have intensified. Cloud service providers shifted from building capacity to absorbing capacity and the demand pricing environment has further deteriorated," Swan told investors on a conference call late Thursday. "Those incremental headwinds are impacting our revenue expectations and slightly reducing our operating margin percentage forecast."
For the full year, Intel forecast earnings of $4.60 a share on revenue of $71.5 billion vs. analysts' expectations of profit of $4.53 a share on revenue of $73.19 billion.
Intel has been without a permanent leader since it parted ways with former CEO Brian Krzanich in June 2018 amid allegations of an inappropriate relationship with an employee.
"The board continues to evaluate candidates for what I believe is the biggest and best open job on the planet," Swan told investors at the start of the conference call. "They are proceeding with a sense of urgency while also ensuring that they make the right choice for this great company."
- Intel Slides After Weak Q1 Profit Guidance Clouds Forecast for Global Chipmakers
- Intel Slumps on a Revenue Miss and Light Guidance: 8 Key Takeaways
3. -- Starbucks Rises as Earnings Top Wall Street Forecasts
Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) - Get Report rose 3.3% in premarket trading after the coffee chain posted first-quarter adjusted earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street's expectations, and it raised its full-year forecast.
Adjusted profit was 75 cents a share, 10 cents above estimates, while revenue of $6.6 billion came in higher than forecasts of $6.5 billion. Same-store sales in the quarter rose 4%, Starbucks said. China sales grew 1% to $651 million.
The company guided for revenue growth of between 5% and 7% in fiscal 2019 and global comparable-store sales growth of between 3% and 4%. Earnings for the fiscal year were anticipated at between $2.63 and $2.73 a share on an adjusted basis. Analysts, on average, call for adjusted earnings of $2.65 a share.
Starbucks was upbeat about its prospects in China, the world's biggest coffee market, where it has planned an aggressive expansion plan to double its store footprint to 6,000 over the next four years.
"I think that the fact that the performance we delivered, up 18% increase in new stores plus stabilizing our comp at 1% comp growth, that's delivering double-digit transaction growth which we think is the most important metric for us to focus on in China," CEO Kevin Johnson told investors on a conference call. "Our new stores are highly profitable and they are working well, so we're going to continue to play the long game and I think we'll let you benchmark us vs. others as their data comes out."
"But I think we're very comfortable and very confident in the strategy that we have in China," he added.
4. -- Mark Zuckerberg Defends Facebook's Data Practices
Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Report CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended his company's data practices in an op-ed piece appearing in Friday's print edition of The Wall Street Journal.
Zuckerberg denied that Facebook ever sells user data, and said it wouldn't be in the company's interest to do so.
He acknowledged Facebook collects substantial amounts of data on users. "We give people complete control over whether we use this information for ads, but we don't let them control how we use it for security or operating our services," Zuckerberg wrote.
Facebook has been swept up in controversy surrounding its data practices following revelations last March that consulting firm Cambridge Analytica obtained and used data on millions of Facebook users in its work for Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
"We need to be clear about the ways we're using information, and people need to have clear choices about how their information is used. We believe regulation that codifies these principles across the internet would be good for everyone," Zuckerberg wrote.
5. -- PG&E Is Cleared in Deadly 2017 Fire
Shares of PG&E Corp. (PCG) - Get Report fell 7.7% in premarket trading Friday to $12.87 but only after the stock soared as much as 80.6% Thursday after the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the utility wasn't responsible for causing the deadly Tubbs Fire in 2017 -- one of two blazes that threaten to sink the utility with lawsuits.
In a statement, the forestry agency said the Tubbs Fire "was caused by a private electrical system adjacent to a residential structure. CAL FIRE investigators did not identify any violations of state law, Public Resources Code, related to the cause of this fire."
Twenty-two people died in the October 2017 Tubbs fire about 70 miles north of San Francisco. The blaze burned nearly 60 square miles and destroyed more than 5,000 homes and buildings.
Earlier this month, PG&E announced plans to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy because it faces billions of dollars in potential liabilities in connection with the Tubbs Fire and another even deadlier blaze in 2018 that killed more than 80 people and destroyed Paradise, Calif. The cause of that fire remains under investigation.
A source told Reuters on Thursday that the news about the Tubbs fire doesn't change the company's plan to seek bankruptcy protection.