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Wall Street listens for jingle of Santa Rally

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Wall Street will be hoping St. Nick doesn't forego the traditional year-end Santa Rally. U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open on Tuesday after equities seesawed Monday, pushed down by weaker oil prices but ending off session lows. (CNBC)

Oil prices stabilized Tuesday on forecasts of colder weather in the United States and Europe. Prices remained under pressure, however, after settling lower in the previous session to wipe out much of last week's gains. (Reuters)

The forecasts also lifted natural gas prices, which rose more than 8 percent on Monday. (CNBC)

Major Asian indexes ended trading higher on Tuesday, reversing early losses stoked by Monday's oil selloff. Before trade, the People's Bank of China set the official yuan mid-point rate at the lowest level since June 2011. (CNBC)

European stocks were also higher on Tuesday, though mining stocks were weighing. (CNBC)

Saudi Arabia is scaling back energy and water subsidies in an effort to rein in a $98 billion budget deficit resulting from low oil prices. The kingdom also said it would seek to privatize a range of business activities and implement a plan to introduce a sales tax across six Arab Gulf states. (FT)

A Russian ship on Monday departed Iran with almost all of the Persian country's low-enriched uranium stockpile, a major step toward easing sanctions on Tehran. American officials said it may be just weeks before the nuclear deal reached last summer takes effect, allowing Iran to sell oil on world markets. (NYT)

Police on Sunday and Monday arrested two people in Belgium suspected of plotting a New Year's Eve attack in Brussels. Authorities turned up military clothing and Islamic State propaganda, but no weapons. (Reuters)

A grand jury decided not to indict anyone in connection with the death of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy shot by two Cleveland police who mistook his pellet gun for a firearm. A county prosecutor called the incident a "perfect storm of human error." (NBC News)

"Affluenza" teen Ethan Couch and his mother were apprehended in Mexico after Couch broke his probation for killing four people for drunk driving. Couch became infamous after his lawyer argued he was too spoiled to know right from wrong. (Reuters)

The weather system that caused tornadoes and flash flooding, resulting in 43 deaths, continued to wreak havoc in parts of the U.S. on Tuesday. Snow and ice storms were forecast for the Midwest, and more than 3,000 flights were delayed or canceled on Monday. (USAToday)


BY THE NUMBERS

The September Case-Shiller report on home prices is out at 9 a.m. ET, and the Conference Board's consumer confidence index is out at 10 a.m. ET.

There are no significant corporate earnings out this week.


STOCKS TO WATCH

Pep Boys (PBY) is among today's stocks to watch after billionaire investor Carl Icahn sweetened his bid to $18.50 a share for the auto parts and service company. Icahn's previous offer of $16.50 was topped by Japanese multinational Bridgestone by 50 cents last week.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) will begin in January to raise deposit rates for a number of its largest customers, including most institutional clients, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Cisco (CSCO) has been cleared in a U.S. appeals court of infringing on another firm's Wi-Fi technology. The decision reverses a nearly $64 million judgment against the company and winds down eight years of litigation that included a trip to the Supreme Court.

Whole Foods (WFM) will pay $500,000 and agreed to conduct quarterly in-store audits at all New York City locations to end an investigation into overcharging for pre-packaged foods at stores in the city.


WATERCOOLER

The Carolina Panthers' sole loss this past Sunday turned out to be a costly one. Ticket prices for the Panthers' final game plunged more than 40 percent after the Atlanta Falcons spoiled their perfect season. (CNBC)

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Monday it plans to investigate 22 reports of fires in at least 17 states linked to hoverboards, one of the most popular products this holiday season. (CNBC)