OPEC deal hope fuels spike in oil, as stocks continue Trump rally

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Oil was surging about 7 percent early this morning, on renewed hopes for a production cut deal as OPEC met in Vienna today. The move in U.S. crude reverses Tuesday's nearly 4 percent decline. (CNBC)

On the final day of November, U.S. stock futures were modestly higher this morning, with the Dow and S&P 500 tracking for their best months since March, and an end to three-month winning streaks. (CNBC)


Trump nominated Wall Street veteran Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary, and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross for commerce secretary. Appearing on CNBC, they said they want to boost the economy through tax and trade reforms. (CNBC)

Trump has picked ex-George W. Bush labor secretary Elaine Chao to head the Transportation Department. Chao, an establishment Republican, is married to Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (CNBC)

In sharp contrast to previous criticism, Mitt Romney offered effusive praise for Trump's transition effort, after dining together last night, their second meeting about the secretary of state position. (NBC News)

Trump plans to announce tomorrow a deal with United Technologies (UTX) to keep in Indiana close to 1,000 jobs at UTX-owned Carrier, a leader in heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration. (CNBC)

Kellogg (K) has confirmed it'll discontinue advertising on Breitbart.com, the far-right news and commentary site that was formerly run by a top Trump aide Steve Bannon. (USA Today)

After a disastrous election, House Democrats are expected to decide today whether to stick with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi another term or pass the gavel to lost-shot challenger Rep. Tim Ryan. (NBC News)

President Barack Obama won't be sending a formal delegation to Cuba for Sunday's planned funeral of the ex-Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, instead dispatching a top White House aide. (NY Times)

Three people have died in wildfires around Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, and firefighters were bracing for another round of lightning and high winds. (NBC News)

A tornado that hit northeastern Alabama killed at least three people in a mobile home. Four others were critically injured after a 24-hour daycare center was "completely destroyed." (NBC News)

The illegal party drug ecstasy has been approved by the FDA for trial in treating PTSD. After three doses of the drug MDMA, patients in one study averaged a 56 percent decrease in symptom severity. (NY Times)


BY THE NUMBERS

It's another busy day for economic data, beginning at 8:15 a.m. ET, when ADP releases its November private sector payrolls report, ahead of Friday's government employment.

October personal income and spending comes at 8:30 a.m. ET, while the Chicago purchasing managers index for November and pending home sales for October are both out at 10 a.m. ET.

The Energy Department releases weekly oil and gasoline inventory numbers at 10:30 a.m. ET, while the Fed issues its Beige Book region-by-region assessment of the economy at 2 p.m. ET.

The highest market interest rates in well over a year are putting a dent in the mortgage business, with total application volume dropping 9.4 percent last week, according to Mortgage Bankers Association.

Three Fed officials speak today, including Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan, Fed Governor Jerome Powell, and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester. Kaplan joins CNBC 11 a.m. ET for an interview.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) leads this morning's earnings calendar, while Box (BOX), Guess (GES), La-Z-Boy (LZB), New York & Company (NWY), and PVH (PVH) report after the bell.

Mid-America Apartment Communities (MAA) and AmSurg (AMSG) join the S&P 500, swapping places in the S&P MidCap 400 with Owens-Illinois (OI) and Legg Mason (LM) respectively.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) failed a Bank of England stress test, and said it would cut costs and sell assets to boost its capital levels as a result.

Philip Morris International (PM) may eventually stop selling cigarettes, according to CEO Andre Calantzopoulos. He told the BBC that alternative products, such as its IQOS smokeless cigarette, could eventually replace traditional cigarettes.

CBS (CBS) is holding out for more money to provide content to streaming services, according to the New York Post. CBS CEO Les Moonves thinks streaming services need CBS more than CBS needs them.

Facebook (FB) is launching Instant Games, which lets users play games for free on mobile devices as well as on its website.

Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) is buying smaller chicken producer GNP Company from its current owner, meatpacking company JBS, in a $350 million cash deal.

Splunk (SPLK), the big data software maker, reported adjusted quarterly profit of 12 cents per share, 4 cents above estimates, with revenue also above. Current quarter revenue guidance was also slightly above consensus, and the company boosted its outlook for the full year.

Nutanix (NTNX) lost 37 cents per share for its latest quarter, 7 cents less than expected, while the cloud data storage company's revenue was above estimates. The company also gave upbeat guidance for the current quarter.

WATERCOOLER

Companies appear to be in a giving mood this holiday season. About 75 percent of surveyed human-resources executives said their companies will give their workers bonuses this year. (WSJ)

The widow of legendary journalist and hell-raiser Hunter S. Thompson is working on cloning the writer's personal marijuana stash so it can be sold on the mass market. (CNBC)