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Morning Brief: Apple, Amazon and Alphabet release earnings after market close

Thursday, February 1, 2018

What to watch today

The first day of February will bring investors one of the busiest news days we can remember. After the market close, the tech sector will dominate with Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), and Google parent company Alphabet (GOOGL) all reporting quarterly earnings. Apple, the world’s largest publicly-traded company, will likely be the market’s biggest focus with reports in recent weeks indicating weak demand for its new flagship phone — iPhone X.

Amazon is also likely to face questions on its new headquarters while Alphabet should see analysts ask about how the company is handling its role as a platform and what content its search algorithms surface, particularly at its YouTube subsidiary.

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Top news

Time spent on Facebook fell by 50 million hours a day in Q4: Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday that the changes the company made to its service last year reduced time spent on the site by 50 million hours per day, or 5%. [CNBC]

Shell poised to dethrone Exxon: Royal Dutch Shell could usurp its largest rival Exxon Mobil (XOM) as the energy sector’s biggest cash generator after higher oil and gas prices combined with an improved performance lifted its 2017 revenue. The Anglo-Dutch company on Thursday reported a more than doubling of profit in 2017 to $16 billion, the highest since the start of the 2014 downturn as the effect of years of costs cuts and the integration of BG Group filtered through. [Reuters]

Trump infrastructure plan seeks to shift burden to states: When President Donald Trump called for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure investment in his State of the Union address, he didn’t pledge that the federal government actually would provide that much money for roads, bridges, rail and waterways. To the contrary, Trump’s plan counts on state and local governments working with private investors to come up with much of the cash. [Bloomberg]

Insurers gingerly test bitcoin business:  Major global insurers are starting to offer protection against cryptocurrency theft, willing to tackle daunting challenges it brings rather than miss out on this volatile and loosely regulated, but rapidly growing business. So far only a few insurers sell such insurance, including XL Catlin, Chubb, and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance. [Reuters]

Musk stops taking flamethrower orders: It took Elon Musk just four days to sell $10 million worth of flamethrowers, generating an unusual source of revenue for his Boring Co. tunneling business. On Wednesday evening, the billionaire said his startup sold out of the 20,000 Boring Co.-branded flamethrowers he started peddling over the weekend at $500 each. [Bloomberg]

For more of the latest news, go to Yahoo Finance

Yahoo Finance is holding a live summit on cryptocurrencies, featuring a range of big-name guest speakers, on Feb. 7 in New York City. Get your ticket here.

A super blue blood moon rises behind the 2,500-year-old Parthenon temple on the Acropolis of Athens, Greece, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. On Wednesday, much of the world got to see not only a blue moon which is a supermoon, but also a lunar eclipse, all rolled into one celestial phenomenon. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

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The Morning Brief provides a quick rundown on what to watch in the markets, top news stories, and the best of Yahoo Finance Originals.