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With oil steady, Wall Street sees green

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, after another volatile day for oil knocked Wall Street lower for the fifth session out of the last six on Wednesday. The S&P 500 joined the Dow in negative territory for the year. (CNBC)

Dow stock Chevron (CVX) plans to slash its budget by 24 percent next year, as part of a revamped strategy in response to oil prices that show little sign of rising in the near future. (Reuters)

Oil was stable this morning. Crude had gained nearly 4 percent in early Wednesday trading, after a surprise drawdown in U.S. stockpiles. But the rally faded and prices briefly fell back below $37 a barrel. (CNBC)

The supply of oil from countries outside of OPEC will contract next year as world oil demand rises, the production cartel said in its latest monthly report. (CNBC)

Mining and trading company Glencore today increased its net debt reduction target and deepened its capital spending cuts as it fights for survival in the face of low commodity prices. (Reuters)

Moody's Investors Service has downgraded all ratings for embattled Brazilian oil group Petrobras. The country also faced the threat of losing its investment grade credit rating from the agency. (FT)


Wal-Mart (WMT) this morning is rolling out a new mobile payment solution, called Walmart Pay, which enables shoppers to check out at the retail giant's stores via a quick three-step process. (CNBC)

The FAA has officially certified the HondaJet, made by the Japanese automaker. Honda (HMC) can now deliver its first business jets to customers who're paying approximately $4.5 million for each. (CNBC)

Embattled German automaker Volkswagen said today that it's making "good progress" with its emissions investigations, while working hard to win back the trust of customers and shareholders. (CNBC)

Ride-hailing giant Uber has been dealt another setback in an ongoing case over the classification of its drivers in California, with a U.S. judge expanding the scope of a lawsuit on the matter. (CNBC)

The couple who killed 14 people in San Bernardino were discussing jihad online a year before they met in person, but there's no evidence Islamic terrorists arranged their marriage to facilitate an attack. (Reuters)

A federal judge has rejected another attempt by Republican leaders in Texas to keep out refugees from Syria, calling the notion of extremists possibly infiltrating fleeing refugees "largely speculative hearsay." (NBC News)

Boxing great Muhammad Ali is speaking out against terrorism, saying: "There is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people." He also criticized Donald Trump's proposed Muslim immigration ban. (NBC News)

Billionaire Ken Griffin is throwing his support behind Marco Rubio for president. The hedge-fund manager, an influential Republican donor, had also been considering Jeb Bush. (CNBC)

BY THE NUMBERS

Two New Jersey metropolitan areas, Atlantic City and the state capital of Trenton, had the highest U.S. metro foreclosure rates in November, according to data firm RealtyTrac. Foreclosure activity in Trenton rose 32 percent last month.

There are a few data releases today, including initial claims and import prices at 8:30 a.m. ET; the federal budget at 2 p.m. ET, and the government's supply data on natural gas at 10:30 a.m. ET. Nat gas has fallen more than 5.5 percent this week on warm weather. There's a $13 billion 30-year bond auction set for 1 p.m. ET.

Traders will be also watching action in the final IPO of 2015. Atlassian will trade on the Nasdaq today, after pricing higher than expected. The Australian enterprise software group raised $462 million worth of stock and established a market value of $4.4 billion.

SoulCycle, the popular spin class chain, has chosen the NYSE for its upcoming IPO. According to a SEC filing, the ticker symbol will be "SLCY."


STOCKS TO WATCH

Men's Wearhouse (MW) was off nearly 20 percent in premarket trading, after saying same-store sales through the first week of December at its Jos. A. Bank unit were off 35 percent.

First Solar (FSLR) announced 2016 financial guidance that disappointed on the revenue end. But the outlook for earnings in the range of $4 per share to $4.50 per share beat estimates.

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) has agreed to pay $70 million in fines to resolve a U.S. investigation that it failed to disclose vehicle crash death and injury reports, according to Reuters.

Dow Chemical (DOW) and DuPont (DD) are expected to announce a mega-merger as earlier as today. Sources told CNBC that a potential tie-up would be structured as a merger of equals.

Two of Avon's (AVP) top executives are leaving, according to the Wall Street Journal, as the troubled cosmetics company gets close to selling its North American operations and deals with an activist investor.

WATERCOOLER

Crystal Pepsi is making a comeback just in time for the holiday season, but just for a limited run. It's part of a sweepstakes through Pepsi Pass, the company's loyalty program app. (CNBC)

After more than two years of litigation, "Happy Birthday" — often called the most popular song in the world, but one that's long been under copyright — is a step closer to joining the public domain. (NY Times)