Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Monday morning is off to a snowy and somewhat slushy start across the Midwest and Northeast. Wall Street doesn’t seem fazed by it, though: U.S. stock futures are rising this morning. European markets are also up, while Asian indexes ended the day down.
In other news, President Barack Obama is looking for new taxes on U.S. corporate profits overseas in his fiscal 2016 budget, revealed today. And ratings agency Moody’s is under investigation by the Justice Department for its credit ratings on mortgage deals issued in the lead up to the financial crisis.
Here’s what else you need to know about today.
1. NBC rakes in the Super Bowl cash.
The network is said to have brought in $360 million from advertising during the Super Bowl. Brands such as Budweiser and Coca-Cola (KO) stole the attention of viewers with heartfelt ads featuring puppies and an anti-bullying message, respectively. Companies paid up to a record $4.5 million for a 30 second spot during the championship game, which is watched by an estimated 100 million-plus viewers. The New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24.
2. President Obama unveils his budget.
The White House reveals a 10-year budget today. It aims to stabilize the federal deficit, though not reduce it. The $4 trillion plan for the 2016 fiscal year would tax corporations that store their profits overseas and raise taxes on top earners while providing a break to middle income Americans. President Obama’s budget, which is thicker than a phone book, is a starting point for discussion with Congress. The Republican-controlled legislature will likely challenge the President on many of his proposals.
3. Exxon reports earnings.
Exxon (XOM), the world’s largest publicly-traded oil company, reported its fourth-quarter earnings this morning. Analysts will be listening carefully for any indication of where the company sees oil prices heading in the future. Crude oil prices have declined significantly over the past several months, starting at about $91 a barrel in the beginning of October and hovering around $50 a barrel through December and January.
4. Justice Department probing Moody’s.
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating Moody’s Investors Service (MCO) for its favorable ratings of complex securities before the financial crisis, reports The Wall Street Journal. The Justice Department is nearing the end of its case against Standard & Poor’s for its faulty ratings and could settle for nearly $1.37 billion. As that case comes to a close, the department is shifting its attention to another major credit-rating firm. The investigation is reportedly in its early stages, and it’s unclear if it will result in a lawsuit.
5. Ebola is waning in Liberia as drug trial is canceled.
New Ebola cases have dropped into the single digits in Liberia, one of the worst hit countries during the deadliest outbreak of the virus. Life is slowly returning to normal as schools in the country work to reopen in two weeks. New Ebola cases are also waning in Sierra Leone and Guinea, the other two hardest-hit countries. Nearly 9,000 people have died from the disease, according to the World Health Organization.
The decline in Ebola outbreak is very good news, although it has led Chimerix (CMRX) to halt clinical trials of its experimental antiviral treatment because of the sharp decline in new cases. That could also end up affecting the first large-scale trials of an Ebola vaccine, which are set to begin this month. GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) first shipment of its candidate vaccine arrived in Liberia on Jan. 23.