Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Jan. 17:
1. -- Stocks Fall Amid Concerns Over Fate of U.S.-China Trade Talks
U.S. stock futures fell on Thursday, Jan. 17, and global shares declined as concerns over the fate of U.S.-China trade talks pushed equities lower.
China's vice premier, Liu He, confirmed Thursday he will travel to Washington for two days of talks with U.S. officials starting Jan. 30, easing worries that the U.S. government shutdown, now in its 27th day, would delay negotiations that already are running up against a March 1 deadline.
However, reports late Wednesday from The Wall Street Journal that China-based Huawei Technologies Co., the world's biggest telecommunications equipment maker, was being investigated by federal prosecutors for allegedly stealing trade secrets from American businesses cast a pall over the trade negotiations.
That concern was compounded by the launch of a bi-partisan bill in Congress late Wednesday that sought to ban U.S. companies from exporting goods to foreign companies that have violated State Department sanctions and specifically named Huawei and Chinese rival ZTE Corp.
Stocks also were dented by a forecast from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSM) , a key Apple Inc. (AAPL) supplier, that said first-quarter revenue would fall 14%, the steepest decline in at least 10 years.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 95 points, futures for the S&P 500 were down 10.25 points, and Nasdaq futures slid 22.50 points.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, and the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for January at 8:30 a.m. Housing Starts for December won't be released because of the U.S. government shutdown.
2. -- Netflix and Morgan Stanley Are Highlights of Thursday's Calendar
3. --John Bogle, Founder of Vanguard Group, Dies at 89
John "Jack" Bogle, the founder of Vanguard Group Inc. and inventor of the index fund, has died. He was 89 years old.
Bogle has been credited with doing more for individual investors than anyone on Wall Street, while in the process creating whole new branches of the financial services industry.
"Jack was the ultimate titan," said TheStreet's Jim Cramer.
"He democratized investing and gave everyone a chance at investing in the progress of America. We are all indebted to him for his selfless championing of a low-cost way for people to save and he will be missed. What a gent he was," Cramer added.
Robert Powell, editor of TheStreet's Retirement Daily, said, "Jack was a legend for his contribution to investors in the form of low-cost mutual funds, which is well known and needs no further amplification. But I also got to know a Jack that few others got to experience -- a person ever willing to give back to the community and a person grateful for the chance to live a longer life because of an organ donor."
Bogle died of cancer, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, citing family members.
4. -- CSX Earnings Top Forecasts but Railroad Warns of Slower Growth
Railroad operator CSX Corp. (CSX) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.01 a share on revenue of $3.14 billion, topping analysts' estimates on both the top and bottom lines. The stock, however, declined 2.3% in premarket trading on Thursday after CSX said it expects slower growth in 2019.
The company had been expected by Wall Street to report earnings of 99 cents a share on sales of $3.1 billion.
In the year-earlier fourth quarter, CSX earned $4.62 a share on revenue rose of $2.86 billion.
The company said it forecasts "low single-digit revenue growth" in 2019, down from growth of 7% in 2018.
CSX said its board authorized a new $5 billion share buyback program following early completion of a previous $5 billion repurchase plan.
Real Money Pro's Bruce Kamich examined CSX shares from a technical perspective. To find out more, click here.
5. -- Tribune Reportedly Still Interested in Merger With Gannett
In the weeks before Gannett Co. (GCI) became the target of a takeover bid from MNG Enterprises Inc., a hedge fund-backed media group, the company was approached by Tribune Publishing Co. (TPCO) about reviving merger talks between the newspaper publishers that had fallen apart two years earlier, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Gannett officials at the time weren't receptive to the overture from Tribune Publishing, the people said. But the Chicago Tribune publisher remains interested in discussions and Gannett's board is likely to revisit the issue in light of the takeover approach that Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, received earlier this week from MNG Enterprises, which is better known as Digital First Media, the Journal reported.
Live Thursday: Jim Cramer Unveils His Top 10 Tips for a Bear Market
Join Jim Cramer on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET when he unveils his "10 Lessons for a Bear Market." Jim will release his tips during a live monthly videoconference call with his Actions Alerts PLUS club for investors. The call is normally for members only, but Jim is opening it to the public this month for the first time ever. Register now and join in!