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The big end to week on Wall Street

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were sharply higher, after yesterday's slide essentially wiped out Tuesday's big rally. Investors this morning are focusing on the Fed and the European Central Bank. (CNBC)

Fed Chair Janet Yellen, set to testify before Congress this morning, is expected to reiterate comments Wednesday on why interest rates could go higher for the first time in nine years. (CNBC)

Before Yellen's appearance on Capitol Hill, the ECB holds a rate meeting and news conference this morning. Central bankers are expected to announce an expansion of easy money policies. (CNBC)

Oil prices bounced higher this morning suggesting that Saudi Arabia would propose cutting production as long as they were supported by countries both inside and outside OPEC, which meets tomorrow. (FT)

Authorities in California said the shooting rampage at a San Bernardino social services facility that killed 14 people looked planned. Both suspects, a couple, died a short time later in a police shootout. (CNBC)

The couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, who allegedly carried out the San Bernardino shooting left their six-month-old daughter with her grandmother before the onslaught. (NBC News)

South Africa's top appeals court found Oscar Pistorius guilty of murder in the 2013 killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, overturning an earlier conviction of manslaughter. (NY Times)

Standard and Poor's cut its credit ratings on the holding companies behind eight key U.S. banks, citing uncertainty about whether the government would prop them up under extraordinary circumstances. (CNBC)

Alphabet's (GOOGL) YouTube unit is seeking streaming rights to TV series and movies in a bid to compete with Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), and Hulu. (WSJ)

Two of the largest shareholders in Viacom (VIAB), including Mario Gabelli, are raising questions about to remain executive chairman of the media company. (Reuters)

National health spending hit $3 trillion for the first time ever in 2014, due both to full implementation of Obamacare that year and a sharp rise in spending on retail prescription drugs. (CNBC)

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual State of the Nation address today to parliament, with terrorism, Ukraine, and the country's economy the key themes. (CNBC)

GOP presidential candidates gather today to talk about their national security plans at a forum held in Washington and sponsored by the Republican Jewish Coalition. (USA Today)


Key reports on the U.S. economy this morning begin with the Labor Department's weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. The ISM's nonmanufacturing index and the government's October factory orders are both out at 10 a.m. ET.

Dollar General (DG), Sears Holdings (SHLD), Michaels (MIK) and Lands' End (LE) are out with quarterly earnings this morning, while Barnes & Noble (BKS), Five Below (FIVE), Ulta Salon (ULTA), and Zumiez (ZUMZ) post their numbers after today's closing bell.

Retailers were also a theme of yesterday's after the bell reports. American Eagle (AEO) beat on earnings and fell short on revenue. The company said the holiday season is off to a "solid start."

PVH (PVH) reported earnings well above estimates and revenue in-line with expectations. The apparel maker's noted a negative impact from a strong dollar, but reaffirmed its full-year forecast.

Costco (COST) reported flat same-store sales for both its fiscal first quarter and for November, but both those numbers were better than consensus forecasts for declines.


While Yahoo's (YHOO) board continues to consider the company's future at this week's meeting, the Wall Street Journal reports several potential suitors are emerging for Yahoo's internet business, including Verizon (VZ) and IAC/InterActiveCorp. (IACI).

Yahoo's board is seriously considering pausing a planned spinoff of its lucrative 15 percent stake in Alibaba (BABA), according to Re/code. But CNBC sources said no decision has been made yet.

McDonald's (MCD) is expected to be the fourth U.S. company whose tax deals are coming under scrutiny by European Regulators, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Target (TGT) has agreed to pay $39.4 million to resolve claims by banks and credit unions that said they lost money because of the retailer's late 2013 data breach. Earlier this year, Target settled other cases for tens of millions.

Lockheed Martin (LMT) is delaying a decision to spin off its government information technology business until early in 2016. But the company is still expected to go ahead with the move.


China is the world's largest vehicle market, and possibly one of the world's most dangerous. Authorities there have handled more than 17 million cases of road rage this year. (CNBC)

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