Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Wall Street stock futures are in buoyant mood this morning in a general “risk-on” move despite mixed messages from individual companies and news of China sending missiles to contested islands in the South China Sea. The dollar is a little firmer against the yen and euro, while crude oil futures have recovered to just under $30/bbl (more below).
Today’s must-read story is by Fortune’s Robert Hackett who looks at how to keep hackers from stealing your tax refund. There’s both a short and long answer to that question.
Here’s what else you need to know.
1. Iran plays hardball in oil output talks
Iran cast doubt over efforts by Saudi Arabia and Russia to end the world oil glut by freezing output at current levels. The Islamic Republic signalled it probably won’t go along with the plan, but rather concentrate on restoring its output level to where it was before it was placed under U.N. sanctions. “When Iran was under sanctions, some countries raised their output and they caused the drop in oil prices,” Reuters quoted Mehdi Asali, Iran’s OPEC envoy, as saying. “How can they expect Iran to cooperate now and pay the price?”
2. Federal Reserve’s latest update.
The Federal Reserve will release the minutes from its previous Federal Open Markets Committee meeting, which was held over Jan. 26-27. The Fed kept interest rates unchanged following that meeting after raising rates for the first time in nearly a decade in December. Recent market turbulence has many wondering if the Fed will still stick with ongoing rate increases this year, as Chair Janet Yellen has said, or if it will maintain hold interest rates steady at the current low level.
3. U.S. housing update.
The Commerce Department releases January’s new home construction numbers at 8:30 a.m. ET in Washington. The numbers are expected to show ongoing improvement in the housing market after purchases of new homes in the U.S. surged to a 10 month high in December. Last year was the best year for housing since 2007.
4. T-Mobile reports.
T-Mobile (TMUS) reveals its fourth quarter results before the market open today. The cell service provider is expected to report higher revenue and earnings compared with the year-ago quarter. Analysts estimate earnings of 15 cents per share on $8.4 billion in sales. T-Mobile’s stock has gotten off to a rough start this year, falling nearly 9%. CEO John Legere has been trying to gain more market share by offering low cost plans to lure customers away from its bigger rivals.
5. Code/Media conference kicks off.
The Code/Media conference convened by ReCode starts today in Dana Point, Calif. The even brings together some of the most influential leaders in technology and media over two days of interviews, panels, and schmoozing. Speakers this year include FanDuel co-founder and CEO Nigel Eccles, Vice Media CEO Shane Smith, and BuzzFeed Publisher Dao Nguyen.