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Wall Street enters make-or-break final month of 2015

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher opening on Wall Street this morning on the first day of December, after November managed to eke out a second consecutive month of gains. (CNBC)

OPEC is not expected to take any action this week to prop up oil prices, which have yet to hit rock bottom, according to a new CNBC survey. U.S. crude futures, little changed this morning, lost 10 percent in November.

Asian markets closed mostly higher, with Japan's Nikkei rising above 20,000 for the first time in three months, as investors were unfazed by a lower finish on Wall Street Monday. (CNBC)


Cyber Monday reached $3 billion in sales, up 12 percent from last year in the largest online sales day ever in the United States. Meanwhile, Target's (TGT) website couldn't keep up yesterday. (CNET & USA Today)

Express Scripts (ESRX) is partnering with Imprimis (IMMY) to provide a $1 alternative to Daraprim, the 62-year-old drug for a rare parasitic infection that had been raised 5,000 percent overnight by owner Turing. (CNBC)

The response of pilots to a computer failure caused a loss of control and led to the crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 last year, killing all 162 aboard. It was traveling from Indonesia to Singapore. (NBC News)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is accusing Turkey of shooting down one of his warplanes last week so that it can protect the transit of oil sold by the Islamic State militant group through Turkey. (CNBC)

In Paris for the climate change summit, President Barack Obama is spending the day at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, meeting with small island nations vocal on the issue. (NY Times)

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump is putting a price on his participation at the upcoming CNN debate: $5 million, "all of which goes to wounded warriors or goes to vets." (NBC News)

The governor of Puerto Rico plans to decide this morning on whether to make a bond payment that's due today, following negotiations with the U.S. territory's Government Development Bank (GDB). (Reuters)

Starting today, chain restaurants in New York City will have to start noting salty menus items that exceed 2,300 milligrams of sodium. That's the recommended daily limit. (USA Today)

The third heavy snowfall in less than two weeks was hitting Minnesota and South Dakota, where some cities declared snow emergencies with as much as foot more expected. (NBC News)

BY THE NUMBERS

With one month of trading left in 2015, Class A shares of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) have slipped 11 percent in 2015. Key holdings American Express (AXP) and IBM (IBM) have plunged 23 percent and 13 percent this year, respectively.

Hedge fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, has lost 20.6 percent this year, widening already deep losses when a bet on SunEdison (SUNE) cratered more than 50 percent this month.

Hedge fund manager Dan Loeb of Third Point lost 0.2 percent last month. He's down the same amount of the year. Third Point gained 4.7 percent in October.

The nation's automakers post their monthly sales figures today at various times throughout the morning, with analysts expecting the best November sales on record. Meanwhile, the November ISM manufacturing index and October construction spending are both out at 10 a.m. ET.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans speaks at 12:45 p.m. ET, with Fed speeches taking on increased importance as the December policy meeting draws closer. Fed Gov. Lael Brainard also has a speech but after the markets close. Fed Chair Janet Janet speaks tomorrow.

STOCKS TO WATCH

AT&T (T) is raising the price of its grandfathered unlimited data plans by $5 month in February. "Our unlimited data plan customers continue to receive an incredible value," the company told CNBC.

Mattress Firm (MFRM) is buying rival mattress maker Sleepy's for $780 million. The combined company would have a presence in all states except Wyoming and Alaska.

Deere (DE) will lay off about 220 workers in February, as it tries to cut costs amid a slump in crop prices. That decline has been negatively impacting sales of Deere's farm equipment.

BHP Billiton (BHP) and Vale (VALE) were officially sued by the Brazilian government for $5.2 billion, after a dam collapse at a mine owned by the two that Brazil said is the country's worst-ever environmental disaster.

American Airlines Group (AAL) reached a labor deal with the union representation its reservations and gate agents which gives them an immediate 30 percent average wage hike.

Anheuser-Busch InBev's (BUD) $106 billion deal to buy rival SABMiller will be the subject of a Senate hearing on Dec. 8. The hearing will be held by the Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee.

WATERCOOLER

Apple (AAPL) may be getting rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack the iPhone, according to a Japanese blog, replacing the standards earbuds with ones that plug into the Lightning port.

New 360-degree videos of performing arts groups went online today at the Google Cultural Institute, a free website that's digitizing collections of art museums and historical archives. (NY Times)