Impeachment, Dow Record, Fiat Chrysler, FedEx, Micron - 5 Things You Must Know Wednesday

Stock futures turn mixed as Wall Street looks to extend its winning streak to a sixth day;  House Democrats prepare to vote on two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump; Fiat Chrysler and PSA Peugeot will merge in a deal that creates the world’s fourth-largest auto company; FedEx sinks after earnings fall 39%.
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1. -- Stock Futures Turn Mixed as Impeachment Vote Looms

U.S. stock futures turned Wednesday as Wall Street looked to extend its winning streak to a sixth day even as House Democrats prepared to vote on two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump.

The vote - which ultimately is unlikely to remove the president from office (the Senate said it will take up the vote in the new year and the vote in that body needs a supermajority to convict Trump) - will, however, underscore the ongoing political divisions in Washington heading into next year's elections.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1 points, futures for the S&P 500 slipped 0.40 points and Nasdaq futures were down 0.25 points.

The three major stock market indexes closed at record highs Tuesday as Wall Street booked its fifth straight day of gains. Stronger-than-expected housing data for November continue to support the bullish case for U.S. stocks, 

The Dow closed up 31 points, or 0.11%, to 28,267.16, the S&P 500 rose 0.03% to 3,192.52, and the Nasdaq advanced 0.1% to 8,823,36. 

2. -- Micron Technology, General Mills Report Earnings

General Mills (GIS) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings and re-affirmed its full-year profit guidance, as pet food sales supported top-line growth for the consumer brands giant.

Reports are expected later Wednesday from Micron Technology (MU) - Get Report and Paychex (PAYX) - Get Report

The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes Oil Inventories for the week ended Dec. 13 at 10:30 a.m. ET.

3. -- Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot to Merge in Deal That Creates Fourth-Largest Carmaker

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) - Get Report and PSA Peugeot on Wednesday reached an agreement to merge in a combination that will create the world’s fourth-largest auto company.

"The merged entity will maneuver with speed and efficiency in an automotive industry undergoing rapid and fundamental changes," the automakers said Wednesday.

The companies signed a binding agreement that calls for a 50-50 merger of their businesses. PSA CEO Carlos Tavares will lead the new company, while Fiat Chrysler Chairman John Elkann will serve as chairman of the new company, which wasn't named.

PSA will have one extra seat on the new company's board.

The deal is expected to close in 12 to 15 months. 

The merged company will have revenue of nearly €170 billion and produce about 8.7 million cars a year.

Annual cost savings are forecast at €3.7 billion.

4. -- FedEx Tumbles as Earnings Drop 39%, Outlook Is Slashed

FedEx (FDX) - Get Report tumbled 7.69% to $150.67 in premarket trading Wednesday after the package-delivery giant said earnings in its fiscal second-quarter fell 39% on a revenue decrease of 2.8%.

FedEx earned $2.13 a share in the period, down from $3.51 in the year-earlier quarter. Adjusted earnings were $2.51 a share. Revenue slipped to $17.32 billion from $17.82 billion.

Analysts were expecting adjusted profit of $2.78 a share on revenue of $17.6 billion.

"Operating results declined due to weak global economic conditions, increased FedEx Ground costs from expanded service offerings, the loss of business from a large customer, a continuing mix shift to lower-yielding services and a more competitive pricing environment," the company said in a statement.

"In addition, the later timing of the Thanksgiving holiday resulted in the shifting of Cyber Week into December," FedEx said.

The "large customer" referred to by FedEx was Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report, which ended its ground delivery and air express contracts with FedEx over the summer.

FedEx said fiscal 2020 earnings should range from $10.25 to $11.50 a share excluding an accounting adjustment and excluding TNT Express integration expenses and aircraft impairment charges. That is down from prior guidance of $11 to $13 a share.

Analysts were looking for earnings of $12.09 a share. 

5. -- Tesla Could Cut Prices of China-Built Cars in 2020

Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report is considering cutting the price of its China-built Model 3 sedans by 20% or more in 2020, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the electric vehicle company's plans.

The move is intended to attract more buyers to the world’s biggest electric-vehicle market as growth slows, Bloomberg noted.

Tesla aims to bring down costs by using more local components, allowing it to import fewer parts and avoid tariffs, the people told Bloomberg.