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Wall Street looks to Fed Yellen, jobs data

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were lower this morning, after the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq posted their lowest closes of the month. Fed Chair Janet Yellen leads the list of central bank-speakers today. (CNBC)

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi paved the way today for further monetary easing in December, warning that signs of a sustained turnaround in core inflation weakened. (CNBC)


Apple (AAPL) is in talks with banks to develop a service, similar to Paypal's (PYPL) Venmo, to allow consumers to zap payments from their checking accounts to recipients via the tech giant's devices. (WSJ)

For the first time ever, most of Wal-Mart's (WMT) Black Friday deals will be available online, starting at 3:01 a.m. ET on Thanksgiving Day. In-store sales, won't kick off until 6 p.m. local time. (CNBC)

Alibaba (BABA) handled $14.3 billion in sales on Singles' Day, the annual Chinese online shopping event, a 60 percent increase compared to 2014. But investors were not impressed. (CNBC)

Bill Ackman is criticizing Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) for its 400 million share stake in Coca-Cola (KO), accusing the drink maker of causing "enormous damage to society." (CNBC)

A federal judge ruled Valeant (VRX) and Ackman must face a lawsuit, accusing them of insider trading in Allergan (ANG), before making an unsuccessful takeover bid for the Botox maker. (Reuters)

Under pressure from Valeant's plunge, Ackman's hedge fund Pershing Square fell 2.8 percent for the month as of Tuesday. For the year, the fund has lost 21.2 percent. (Pershing Square)

Volkswagen is expected make an announcement to employees as soon as today, outlining clearer guidelines for whistleblowers to come forward with information about the emissions-cheating scandal. (WSJ)

Daily fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings are prepared to fight in court an order from New York's top prosecutor that they stop taking bets in the state. (Reuters)

Health care costs paid by U.S. companies in 2015 rose at the lowest rate in at least 20 years, according to a new report, as the share of costs for employees continued to skyrocket. (USA Today)

A powerful storm that's already spawned 10 suspected tornadoes is threatening severe winds and thunderstorms across the Upper Midwest and Ohio Valley through Friday. (NBC News)

BY THE NUMBERS

Greek police fired tear gas to disperse anti-austerity protesters hurling petrol bombs in Athens today. Workers staged their first nationwide strike since leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras came to power in January.

OPEC has largely maintained its forecasts for oil demand growth and supply in its latest report, a precursor to its highly-anticipated meeting in December. Crude prices were little changed this morning.

Besides Yellen, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer and four regional Fed presidents also make public appearances today, as investors prepare for the possibility of an interest rate hike next month.

The Labor Department releases two reports on the state of the job market: weekly initial jobless claims filings at 8:30 a.m. ET and the September Job Opportunities and Labor Turnover Survey, JOLTS, at 2 p.m. ET.

In the largest monthly increase since August 2011, newly started home foreclosures rose 12 percent in October compared to September, according to a new report from RealtyTrac.

The Energy Department is out with two inventory reports, natural gas at 10:30 a.m. ET, and oil and gasoline at 11 a.m. ET, the latter delayed from its usual Wednesday release by the Veterans Day holiday.

Earnings out this morning include the quarterly numbers from Advance Auto Parts (AAP), Kohl's (KSS), and Viacom (VIAB). This afternoon's reports are lead by Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Nordstrom (JWN).

STOCKS TO WATCH

Angie's List (ANGI) shares surged in premarket trading, after Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI) made a $512 million cash bid for the consumer review website, which has rebuffed the offer.

Facebook (FB) is experimenting with new ad approaches for its Instant Articles platform after publishers encountered challenges generating revenue, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Private equity giant Blackstone (BX) confirmed today that it's investing $820 million in NCR (NCR). The ATM maker also announced a $1 billion stock buyback.

Liberty Media today announced plans to reclassify its common stock into three new tracking stock groups, looking to complete the move in the first half of 2016.

Morgan Stanley (MS) plans to start offering savings accounts and CDs next year, according to Reuters, in an attempt to expand its profit base. The bank has offered checking accounts and credit cards for years.

BHP Billiton (BHP) and Vale (VALE) may be fined by Brazil's government, following last week's deadly dam rupture at an iron ore mine the two companies own.

WATERCOOLER

A 12.03-carat blue diamond sold at Sotheby's in Geneva for a record $48.5 million. A day earlier, the same Hong Kong billionaire spent $28.5 million across the river at Christie's for a 16.08-carat pink diamond. He renamed both stones after his daughter, Josephine. (The Guardian)