1. -- Stock Futures Rise Modestly After Trump Impeached by House
Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 26 points, futures for the S&P 500 gained 0.20 points and Nasdaq futures were flat.
The impeachment process has had little effect on Wall Street since it's widely expected the Senate won't vote to remove Trump from office.
Stocks ended narrowly mixed Wednesday, with the Nasdaq setting an all-time closing high, while the Dow and S&P 500 each slipped after closing at records Tuesday. The lower closes for the Dow and S&P 500 put an end to their five-day winning streaks. The S&P 500, however, did reach an all-time intraday high during the session.
Jim Cramer, in a column for Real Money, wrote why impeachment doesn't seem to have a big impact on the stock market. The impeachment and trial of Trump, Cramer wrote, has nothing to do with the price-to-earnings ratio of Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) - Get Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Report or any other stock for that matter.
2. -- Trump Impeached for Abuse of Power, Obstruction of Congress
President Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on Wednesday evening, making him only the third U.S. president to be formally impeached.
The House approved two articles of impeachment - one for abuse of power and the other for obstruction of Congress - with the vote almost entirely along party lines.
The impeachment grew from Trump’s decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine for its war with Russia unless the country’s new president agreed to announce an investigation of potential 2020 Democratic party presidential nominee Joe Biden.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the official impeachment effort in late September. Trump refused to cooperate with the investigation.
Trump joins Andrew Johnson in the 1860s, and Bill Clinton in the 1990s, as the only presidents to be impeached. Richard Nixon resigned from office in 1974 before the House could hold a formal vote on the articles of impeachment drawn up against him in connection with the Watergate scandal.
Trump is expected to face trial in the U.S. Senate sometime early next year.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said there is no way that Trump will be convicted. A vote to convict requires a two-thirds majority of the Senate. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate.
3. -- Nike, Darden and Conagra Report Earnings Thursday
Darden Restaurants (DRI) - Get Darden Restaurants Inc. Report was falling in premarket trading after the operator of Olive Garden restaurants posted a gain of 2% in fiscal second-quarter same-store sales, below analysts' estimates.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for December at 8:30 a.m. and Existing Home Sales for November at 10 a.m.
4. -- Micron Rises After It Calls Current Quarter the 'Bottom'
Micron Technology (MU) - Get Micron Technology Inc. Report rose 3.47% in premarket trading Thursday to $54.88 after the maker of memory chips posted fiscal first-quarter earnings that topped analysts' estimates and said that its fiscal second quarter "will be the cyclical bottom for our financial performance."
Micron said it expects second-quarter adjusted earnings of 29 cents to 41 cents a share on revenue of $4.5 billion to $4.8 billion. Analysts had been calling for profit of 39 cents a share on revenue of $4.75 billion.
“With our strong execution and improving industry conditions, we are optimistic that Micron’s fiscal second quarter will be the cyclical bottom for our financial performance,” said Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra.
Adjusted earnings in the first quarter were 48 cents a share, beating Wall Street estimates of 47 cents. Revenue was $5.14 billion, beating analysts' expectations of $4.99 billion. Adjusted gross margin fell to 27.3% from 59% in the same quarter last year.
5. -- Facebook to Air Its First Super Bowl Ad
Facebook launched the campaign in May as part of a push to get people talking about Facebook Groups. The campaign is Facebook’s first major brand campaign under Chief Marketing Officer Antonio Lucio, who joined last year, according to CNBC.
A company spokeswoman said the spot during the Super Bowl in February will show “how people from different backgrounds come together over shared interests and experiences, all through Facebook Groups.” The ad will have cameo appearances from Chris Rock and Sylvester Stallone.