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Global markets soar after Fed rate hike

IN THE NEWS TODAY

A post-Federal Reserve rally was evident on world markets this morning and in U.S. stock futures, following the Fed's first interest rate increase in more than nine years on Wednesday, and indications from central bank chief Janet Yellen that future hikes would happen gradually. (CNBC)

Wall Street was looking to extend its three-session winning streak today. U.S. stocks have not risen for four trading days in a row for more than two months. For the week so far, the Dow and Nasdaq were up nearly 3 percent, while the S&P 500 was up more than 3 percent. (CNBC)

Following the Fed hike, the dollar index hit a two-week high against a basket of major rivals this morning. Meanwhile,bond yields were mostly lower this morning, after the two-year yield Wednesday hit its highest level since 2010. (CNBC)

Oil prices were fairly stable this morning, following Wednesday's drop of nearly 5 percent in U.S. crude. dented further by a seemingly relentless build in oversupply, and as the dollar strengthened. (Reuters)

Pharmaceutical entrepreneur Martin Shkreli was arrested by the FBI today, amid a federal investigation related to his former hedge fund and a drug company he previously headed. The charges are not related to the recent controversy that vilified Shkreli for a huge increase in the price of the drug Daraprim. (Reuters)

FedEx (FDX) reported earnings and revenue that exceeded expectations. The package delivery giant credits the outperformance to larger profit margins and lower costs, among other factors. (CNBC)

Oracle (ORCL) beat estimates on earnings but missed on revenue. The business software maker warned on the current quarter, as the transition to a cloud-based subscription model continued. (CNBC)

Pier 1 Imports (PIR) shares lost 20 percent in the premarket, after missing on revenue and cutting 2016 earnings guidance. The home goods retailer did, however, slightly beat on earnings. (CNBC)

Pandora (P) shares were up about 20 percent in premarket trading, after the Copyright Royalty Board imposed a music royalty hike that was a less-than-expected 20 percent increase for online broadcasters. (Reuters)

Facebook (FB) is partnering with Uber on a new transportation platform within the app. That means that when you're done chatting with friends or using the app to shop, you can also use it to hail a ride. (Re/code)

Chipotle (CMG) founder and co-CEO Steve Ells told CNBC there's no E. Coli in the restaurant chain's locations. "We have thoroughly tested our surfaces and we are confident that Chipotle is a safe place to eat," he added.

Third Avenue Management has reached an agreement with the SEC to provide investors with updated values on its Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund, as the firm unwinds the troubled junk bond fund over the next year or so. (WSJ)

Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks (DWA) is getting a fourth lease on life, with new financial backing of more than $800 million of equity and debt. The studio is also being renamed. (WSJ)

The former Andy Warhol estate in the Hamptons has sold for $50 million. It's believed to be a record for the former fishing village of Montauk. The seller was J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler.

The House is expected to vote today on a controversial tax bill as a first step toward passing a long-term spending measure for federal agencies and avoiding a government shutdown. (USA Today)

Very few uninsured Americans actually know the deadline for getting 2016 Obamacare coverage, according to a new survey. Only 7 percent were aware that open enrollment ends Jan. 31. (CNBC)

Cuba and the U.S. have reached an agreement to allow American commercial airlines to begin operating flights to the island for the first time in decades. (Washington Post)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, at his annual news conference, has accused Turkey of hiding behind the power of NATO rather than trying to fix deteriorating relations with Moscow. (CNBC)

BY THE NUMBERS

Investors won't have to wait long for the first economic numbers following the Fed rate hike, with three reports out at 8:30 a.m. ET, including the government's weekly jobless claims and the third quarter current account deficit. The Philadelphia Fed is also out with its December index.

The Conference Board releases at 10 a.m. ET its index of leading economic indicators. Then at 10:30 a.m. ET, the Energy Department issues its weekly look at natural gas inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET, a report that could get some extra scrutiny in light of recent 14-year lows for nat gas. Though prices were recovering somewhat this morning.

General Mills (GIS) is among the companies set to report quarterly numbers this morning, along with consulting firm Accenture (ACN), truck maker Navistar (NAV), and Rite Aid (RAD). Software producer Red Hat (RHT) is out with its quarterly numbers after today's closing bell.

General Electric (GE) predicted a double-digit rise in operating earnings in 2016. The conglomerate also said it plans to return about $26 billion to shareholders. Shares were up strongly Wednesday on the news.

Hilton Worldwide (HLT) is pursuing a spinoff of its hotels into a real-estate investment trust, according to the Wall Street Journal. The stock jumped sharply Wednesday on the report.


STOCKS TO WATCH

AstraZeneca (AZN) struck a deal to buy 55 percent of privately held biotech Acerta Pharma for $4 billion, giving the European drugmaker access to a new blood cancer drug that could bring in billions in annual sales.

Eli Lilly (LLY) received FDA approval to market its diabetes treatment Basaglar, a copy of Sanofi's (SNY) best-selling Lantus. Earlier this year, the two companies had settled a lawsuit over U.S. marketing rights.

Avon Products (AVP) is near a deal to sell about a 17 percent stake to Cerberus, according to the Wall Street Journal. The deal would also see the private equity firm buy 80 percent of Avon's North American business.

AIG (AIG) announced a new $3 billion share buyback program, which increases the insurance company's total remaining buyback authorization to approximately $4.3 billion.


WATERCOOLER

President Barack Obama will appear tonight on NBC's "Running Wild with Bear Grylls." The episode, taped in September, shows them trekking through the Alaskan wilderness. (NBC News)

Cheap Trick, NWA, Chicago, Steve Miller, and Deep Purple will join the pantheon of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at its 31st induction ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn in April. (NY Times)