Facebook foes sue, former Nissan-CEO-turned-fugitive-on-the-lam Carlos Ghosn’s attorneys respond to allegations, plus stocks to watch today in the Money and Markets Wall Street Wake-Up.
The Morning Open
U.S. markets have started the last day of the week up.
As of 10 a.m. Eastern time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 53 points, or 0.1% to 29,351 — setting the stage for another record day. The S&P 500 opened up 0.2% and the Nasdaq was also up 0.2%.
The Opening Bell
U.S. housing starts reached a 13-year high in December as low mortgage rates spurred homebuilding.
Housing starts jumped 16.9% — the largest percentage gain since October 2016 — to an adjusted annual rate of 1.6 million units, according to CNBC.
Stocks to Watch Today
Progress Software Corp. (Nasdaq: PRGS) — Shares of the software company were up 10% in Friday premarket trading after it reported beating both revenue and earnings estimates along with higher guidance for the current quarter and a full year.
Schlumberger Limited (NYSE: SLB) — The Houston-based oilfield services company reported earnings and a revenue beat for the quarter. As a result, shares were up 2.7% in premarket trading.
Pinterest Inc. (NYSE: PINS) — Shares of the social media company jumped 4.6% in premarket trading Friday after Wells Fargo raised the rating of the stock to “overweight” from “equal weight.”
In the News
The battle between Nissan Motor Co. and its former chairman Carlos Ghosn continued Friday, according to the Associated Press.
Lawyers for Ghosn, who fled Japan where he was facing charges of financial misconduct, to his home country of Lebanon, said Nissan’s complaints “were biased and that it never questioned Ghosn about them.”
His lawyers also said Latham & Watkins, the law firm that conducted the investigation for Nissan into Ghosn, was also Nissan’s outside counsel. Nissan confirmed both claims but said there was no conflict of interest.
Facebook Foes Sue to Force Zuckerberg to Sell Majority Stake
Four competitors of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) have filed suit to force the social media giant to sell its WhatsApp and Instagram platforms, according to Bloomberg.
The companies call Facebook “one of the largest unlawful monopolies ever seen in the United States.”
iPhone Maker Foxconn Could Work with Fiat Chrysler on Electric Cars
Taiwan’s Foxconn may be eyeing a partnership with Fiat Chrysler to build electric cars, according to CNN Business.
“If the companies move forward, the plan would be to manufacture electric vehicles in China for China’s domestic market with the potential to export to other markets in the future,” Foxconn said.
Foxconn makes iPhones for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: APPL). Shares of Foxconn were up 2.6% in Taiwan on Friday.
Other Morning Reads
Analyst Skeptical China Holds Up Its End of ‘PR Exercise’ Trade Deal (Money and Markets)
Sinopec to Review Potential $16 Billion U.S. Gas Deal (Reuters)
Bridgewater CIO: ‘So Much Boiling Conflict’ Will Send Gold Beyond $2K (Money and Markets)
Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
Citizens Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CFG)
First Horizon National Corp. (NYSE: FHN)
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (Nasdaq: JBHT)
Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU)
Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF)
Chart of the Day
Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL), the parent company of Google, became the fourth tech company to reach a $1 trillion valuation.
Class A shares of the company closed at $1,450 Thursday, bringing the company’s market capitalization to an even $1 trillion.
The other three are Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: APPL), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT).
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with the Wall Street Wake-Up, here on Money and Markets.