The Dow has its biggest loss since October

By CNN Business

Updated 7:33 p.m. ET, January 27, 2021
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9:46 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

The oil industry is vowing to fight Biden's federal leasing freeze

From CNN Business' Matt Egan

Big Oil is gearing up for a fight over President Joe Biden's imminent freeze on new oil and gas leases on federal lands.

"We will do everything we can to fight this executive order," American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers told CNN Business.

In a bid to address the climate crisis, Biden is expected to order a moratorium on new leases on federal lands and water ways. The API, the oil and gas industry's most powerful lobbying group, relaunched an ad blitz this week that warns that a ban on federal leasing will hurt state funding of public schools.

"We will pursue every action at our disposal to push back, including legal options, if appropriate," Sommers said. "We're concerned about what this leads to next. We're raising the alarm."

The resistance shows how quickly tensions have ratcheted up between Biden and the oil industry. During his first day in office, Biden moved to rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change, revoked a permit for the construction of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline and placed a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing in the Arctic.

9:34 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Stocks tumble at the open

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

US stocks dropped at the opening bell on Wednesday, as investors anxiously await more corporate earnings and an update from the Federal Reserve.   

Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB) and Tesla (TSLA) are all slated to report results after the close today.

Meanwhile, the Fed will release its monetary policy decision at 2pm, followed by a press conference at 2.30pm ET.

In economic data, durable goods orders for December grew at a much slower pace than expected.

9:00 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

BlackRock: 'We're going back into an era of inflation'

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

The Federal Reserve is adamant that the current, low interest rate environment won't lead to a sudden, unmanageable spike in inflation. But market experts have a slightly different view.

"I think it's fair to assume we're going back into an era of inflation" Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock (BLK) said on a digital panel at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia.

We estimate that herd immunity can be achieved in many developed countries by September," Fink said with respect to the rollout of coronavirus vaccines. "That will create demand for jobs and will become somewhat more inflationary."

On top of that, there has been a global trend towards more domestic buying, which Fink called "a basic inflationary trend."

If inflation starts rising, the Fed could begin to raise interest rates.

The central bank will release its monetary policy update this afternoon at 2pm ET.

8:57 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Ray Dalio is keeping an eye on China

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

"There's an evolutionary process that's underway in terms of China," said Bridgewater Associates's Ray Dalio

China differentiated itself through growth and opening up its capital markets, the hedge fund manager said, "and it's competitiveness in those capital markets is attracting capital flows."

This means the United States and China are competing on multiple fronts, including technology and capital markets.

On top of that comes the internationalization of the Chinese renminbi and the nation's standing as a massive trading powerhouse. So keep an eye on what's going on in China, because it will matter, Dalio said.

8:52 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

2020 was amazing for stocks. Will 2021 be able to keep up?

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

2020 was a bombastic year for the stock market. But can the rally continue this year?

Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates doesn't think 2021 will be as buoyant for stocks as last year was, he said on a digital panel at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia.

BlackRock (BLK) CEO and chairman Larry Fink agrees 2021 won't be as opulent as last year, even as the long-term conditions for investors are still favorable.

"Some of the expected recovery [in the economy] is already priced in," said Dr. Thomas P. Gottstein, CEO of Credit Suisse (CS), at the event. But the low interest rate environment means that stocks will continue to be more attractive for investors than other investments, such as bonds.

Meanwhile, the pickup in deficits as governments spent big to fund stimulus programs will mean that countries such as the United States will have to sell more bonds.

"I don't believe there is enough demand for those bonds," Dalio said, so the Federal Reserve might have to step in to buy more bonds to bridge the gap.

Elsewhere, the trend to go public through SPACs -- special purpose acquisition companies, publicly traded investment vehicles that buy other businesses -- is spurring a lot of M&A activity. Coupled with a lot of capital waiting to be deployed, these conditions are "very constructive" for the M&A market, said Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO David Solomon at the event.

8:45 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

HBO Max notches more than 17 million subscribers

From CNN Business' Frank Pallotta

HBO Max, WarnerMedia's new streaming service, has now reached 17.2 million activations since launching in May, AT&T (T) reported Wednesday.

That's a significant bump from the 12.6 million activations WarnerMedia announced in December -- and it's double the activations at the end of the third quarter.

AT&T (which is the parent company of WarnerMedia and CNN) also said that HBO Max and HBO subscribers combined topped 41 million domestically and nearly 61 million worldwide.

The end of 2020 was a notable time for HBO Max. The service finally reached a deal with Roku, the leader in the streaming-device marketplace. Warner Bros. also announced it would release its entire 2021 slate in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously.

That new strategy started in December with "Wonder Woman 1984," and AT&T CEO John Stankey credited the approach for the bump in subscribers.

"The release of 'Wonder Woman 1984' helped drive our domestic HBO Max and HBO subscribers to more than 41 million, a full two years faster than our initial forecast,” he said on Wednesday.

8:12 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Jerome Powell and Janet Yellen aren't worried about inflation. Maybe they should be

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a Princeton talk last week that there could be "quite exuberant spending" from consumers over the next few months thanks to stimulus checks and an improving economy following broader access to vaccines. Some prices could rise as a result.

But Powell argued this may not necessarily be inflationary for the long haul. Price increases could be -- to use a favorite Fed buzzword -- transitory.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen similarly noted in her Senate confirmation hearing last week that she believes the Fed and the Biden administration should take advantage of interest rates being near zero and thus spend more on stimulus.

In other words, now is not the time to fret over inflation.

Still, some worry that Powell and Yellen are being too dismissive. The economy may not be able to remain in a scenario where inflation pressure simmers without boiling over.

The 10-year Treasury yield is now back above 1% -- its highest level since March. Oil prices are up 10% in the past month as well. These are signs that investors are betting on more inflation sooner rather than later.

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8:12 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Facing back-to-back crises, Boeing posts a record loss

From CNN Business' Chris Isidore

Boeing closed the books on its worst year ever, posting record losses and plunging sales on the backs of combined crises: the Covid-19 pandemic and the problems getting the 737 Max back in the air.

The company's loss from operations climbed to $12.8 billion, up from nearly $2 billion a year ago, which was Boeing's previous record loss. The company's net loss soared to $11.9 billion, also an increase from the previous year's record of $636 million.

The net loss is so much larger partly because of the decision announced Wednesday to push the first delivery of its newest jet, the 777X, back to 2023, from its previous target of a 2022 launch. The widebody long-range plane was designed to be used mostly on international travel, and that is the part of air travel that is expected to take the longest time to recover from the pandemic. Boeing took at $6.5 billion charge as a result of that delay.

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8:03 a.m. ET, January 27, 2021

Tech earnings could supercharge a greedy stock market

From CNN Business' Julia Horowitz

Earnings from some of the biggest US technology companies could push the market to new highs as talk of a stock bubble continues to ripple through Wall Street.

What's happening: Investors who think soaring valuations are grounded in reality point to future profits from the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB), which report results from last quarter after US markets close on Wednesday. Solid numbers could bolster the sentiment that stocks are the place to be, especially compared to low-yielding bonds.

Microsoft (MSFT) set the tone when it shared earnings after the market closed on Tuesday. The company exceeded Wall Street analysts' expectations for quarterly revenue by nearly $3 billion and hit a three-month sales record. Shares are up 2% in premarket trading.

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