Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Stocks set for modest drop
- House to impeach Trump
- Pence rules out 25th Amendment
- YouTube suspends Trump account
- Operation Warp Speed chief resigns
1. Stocks set for modest drop
U.S. stock futures fell Wednesday, a day after Wall Street resumed its 2021 upswing with modest gains. The fallout from last week's Capitol riot and the push to impeach President Donald Trump have been keeping a lid on market moves this week. Rising rates in the bond market, with the 10-year Treasury yield over 1.1%, have also been a headwind for stocks. However, ahead of Wednesday's trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were less than 1% from their records. The Nasdaq was just over 1% short of its record high.
Target said Wednesday comparable sales rose 17.2% in November and December. While online sales remained robust during the pandemic, shoppers also visited Target's stores and spent more money per purchase than they did last holiday season. Target's same-day curbside pickup grew by more than 500%, while sales fulfilled by its Shipt delivery service grew more than 300% during the holidays. Target shares were relatively flat in premarket trading.
2. House to impeach Trump
Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time. The House set the unprecedented vote for Wednesday, exactly one week after supporters of the outgoing president attacked the U.S. Capitol. While no House Republicans voted for Trump's first impeachment, this time a small but significant number, including third-ranking GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, said they will do so.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly told associates he thinks Trump committed impeachable acts, though it's not known if the Kentucky Republican would vote to remove the president. A conviction in the Senate, even after Trump leaves office, would prevent him from becoming president again. It's unclear if the Senate would try to hold Trump's impeachment trial before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration next Wednesday.
3. Pence rules out 25th Amendment
The House is moving ahead with its impeachment vote after Vice President Mike Pence ruled out invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump. The House on Tuesday night passed a resolution calling on Pence and the Cabinet to try to push Trump out of office over his role in fomenting the Capitol attack. In a letter to House Speak Nancy Pelosi, Pence wrote, "I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution."
Speaking publicly Tuesday for the first time since last week's siege, Trump did not take any responsibility for the mob violence and warned a second impeachment could be dangerous for the country. Later in the day at the border wall in Texas, Trump made a vague threat against Biden while insisting Pence and his Cabinet won't remove him from office.
4. YouTube suspends Trump account
YouTube on Tuesday suspended Trump's account, saying the president uploaded content that violated its policies, though it did not specify any videos. The so-called strike-one on the platform prevents new uploads for a minimum seven days. "Given the ongoing concerns about violence, we will also be indefinitely disabling comments on President Trump's channel," said YouTube, owned by Alphabet's Google unit. YouTube's decision to freeze Trump's account follows the indefinite suspension of the president's Facebook account and the permanent suspension of his Twitter account.
5. Operation Warp Speed chief resigns
Operation Warp Speed chief advisor Dr. Moncef Slaoui has submitted his resignation at the request of the incoming Biden Covid team, under a plan that would see him stay in the role for a month to help with the transition, according to two people familiar with the situation. Though the initial vaccine rollout has been criticized, the speed of their development, which Slaoui oversaw, exceeded expectations, with vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna approved for emergency use in the U.S. by the FDA.
The U.S. will soon require all airline passengers to prove they recently tested negative for Covid-19 before flying to the country, the CDC said Tuesday. The measure, which aims to curb the spread of the disease, comes as new infections hit records. The U.S. reported a record 4,327 daily Covid deaths Tuesday. Starting Jan. 26, arriving American citizens and foreign travelers will have to test negative for Covid within three days of their flight to the U.S.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all the developments on Wall Street in real time with CNBC Pro's live markets blog. Get the latest on the pandemic with our coronavirus blog.