Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Wall Street stock futures are…well, do we have to say it?…tanking again this morning. There’s no new theme to it, just more riffs on the old one of a self-reinforcing spiral of slower growth in China crushing the economies of its raw material suppliers, while an appreciating dollar makes it ever harder for emerging market companies and governments to repay the debts they gleefully took on when the Federal Reserve was giving away dollars for free. Oh, and crude oil futures have also hit new 13-year lows as Iran marks its return to markets by dumping millions of barrels that have been stored, sanctions-bound, for years.
Today’s must-read story is by Fortune’s Phil Wahba on J.C. Penney’s decision to get back into home appliances again, 33 years after it shed the products originally. The move puts it head-to-head with rival Sears. Read more here.
Here’s what else you need to know today.
1. About that emerging market meltdown…
Around $735 billion flowed out of emerging markets across the world in 2015, as the U.S. moved towards ending the period of ultra-loose monetary policy that it had adopted after the 2008 financial crash. Almost 90% of this–$676 billion–came out of China, according to a new report from the Institute of International Finance. The IIF predicted a particularly rough ride for Brazil, South Africa and Turkey this year, and warned Venezuela, almost entirely dependent on oil revenues, is heading for a default (or rather “vulnerable to a credit event”) after years of poor government.
2. Leaders gather in Davos.
The World Economic Forum begins today in Davos, Switzerland. The annual event gathers the global elite to discuss the top issues affecting economies around the world. This year’s theme, technological change, is likely to take a back seat to the market turmoil that’s captured headlines and left many wondering if another recession is looming. The summit runs through Saturday.
3. U.S. consumer prices.
The Labor Department releases U.S. consumer prices in December, which were likely little changed from the month prior. Federal Reserve officials have expressed concern over the low inflation, which if it continues to linger could slow further interest rate increases. Core inflation, which excludes food and fuel, is expected to be up slightly in December by 0.2%, primarily driven by the rising cost of rent.
4. President Obama touts automaker bailout.
President Obama will visit the Detroit Auto Show for the first time today. He is expected to discuss the auto industry’s improvement after the government bailed out General Motors and Chrysler shortly after he took office. Obama said in a recent address that he plans to “see the progress firsthand” and that “Americans should be proud of what our most iconic industry has done.”
5. Goldman Sachs reports.
Goldman Sachs (GS) reports its fourth-quarter results before the market opens, following on the heels of other major banks which have reported over the last three days. The bank is expected to reveal earnings per share of $3.56 on $7.14 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters data. That would be a decline from the same quarter a year ago when earnings per share were $4.38 on revenues of $7.69 billion. Goldman has been hit by a decline in fixed-income trading, which has historically been a reliable source of profits.