Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Jan. 23:
1. -- Stock Futures Mixed as China Virus Worries Grow
Stock futures were mixed Thursday and Asian shares fell sharply as worries grew that the spread of the deadly coronavirus in China could escalate into a worldwide pandemic.
Authorities in China moved to shut down travel from Wuhan, a central industrial city with a population of around 11 million, in an effort to contain the spread of the virus, which has killed 17 people and infected more than 500.
The steep equity losses in Asia, as well as weaker trading in Europe, pulled U.S. stock futures into the red, but the pullback was limited by stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings from Texas Instruments (TXN) - Get Report, which could help support the tech and semiconductor sectors.
Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 29 points, futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.2 points and Nasdaq futures rose 12.50 points.
Stocks finished mixed Wednesday, with the Dow falling less than 0.1% to 29,186.27, reversing earlier session gains.
2. -- Texas Instruments Sees 'Stabilizing' Markets
Texas Instruments posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates and issued an in-line first-quarter forecast amid markets the chipmaker said "showed signs of stabilizing."
Fourth-quarter earnings at Texas Instruments were $1.12 a share, below year-earlier profit of $1.27. Revenue fell in the quarter to $3.35 billion from $3.72 billion.
Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.03 a share on revenue of $3.25 billion.
Texas Instruments said it expects first-quarter earnings of 96 cents to $1.14 a share on revenue of $3.12 billion to $3.38 billion. Analysts had been calling for profit of $1.04 a share on revenue of $3.22 billion.
The stock fell 0.58% in premarket trading Thursday to $132.56.
3. -- Procter & Gamble and Intel Report Earnings
Southwest Airlines (LUV) - Get Report reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings that beat analysts' forecasts even as it took a charge related to the ongoing grounding of its fleet of Boeing-made 737 MAX aircraft. The airline warned that future costs are rising because of the jet's grounding.
Reports are also expected Thursday from American Airlines AAL, Travelers TRV, Intel INTC, Union Pacific UNP, Kimberly-Clark KMB, Skyworks Solutions SWKS and Freeport-McMoRan FCX.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET and Oil Inventories for the week ended Jan. 17 at 11 a.m.
4. -- Amazon Asks Court to Pause Microsoft's Work on Pentagon Contract
Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report filed a motion in court to temporarily block Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report from working on a $10 billion cloud contract from the Department of Defense until a court rules on its challenge of the contract award.
Amazon last week said in a filing it planned to file a motion for a temporary restraining order.
Amazon has contended that the acrimonious relationship between its CEO Jeff Bezos and President Donald Trump played a part in Microsoft winning the contract.
The Seattle company said Trump exerted “improper pressure” on the Department of Defense in choosing Microsoft over Amazon.
Amazon’s cloud unit, Amazon Web Services, said in a statement Wednesday, “It is common practice to stay contract performance while a protest is pending, and it’s important that the numerous evaluation errors and blatant political interference that impacted the JEDI award decision be reviewed.”
5. -- Ford to Take $2.2 Billion Pension-Related Charge
The charge includes a $2 billion loss associated with plans outside the U.S., and a $600 million loss tied to other post-employment benefit plans. The losses will be partially offset by a $400 million gain related to pension plans in the U.S.
The company, in a regulatory filing, said the loss won't affect EBIT or adjusted earnings per share because it is a special item.
Ford is expected to report fourth-quarter results on Feb. 4. Analysts estimate the automaker will report adjusted earnings of 17 cents a share on revenue of $39.3 billion.
Shares fell 0.22% to $9.14 in premarket trading.