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Wall Street drifting ahead of Yellen testimony

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were searching for direction this morning, after the Dow snapped a seven-session winning streak on Wednesday, and ahead of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's morning appearance on Capitol Hill. (CNBC)

In prepared testimony, Yellen made her strongest comments to date in favor for a policy tightening in December, saying an increase could be "appropriate relatively soon." (CNBC)

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari told CNBC the reaction in financial markets to Donald Trump's victory — rallies in stocks and bond yields — is making the job of central bankers easier on interest rates.

Dow component Wal-Mart (WMT) this morning reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations, but revenue that missed. The retailing giant lifted the lower end of its full-year guidance. (CNBC)

Cisco Systems (CSCO), another Dow stock, reported late Wednesday earnings and revenue above forecasts. But the networking equipment maker warned on outlook, and shares were under pressure in the premarket. (CNBC)

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins talks about the numbers in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" at 9 a.m. ET.

Piper Jaffray issued a report saying the "fear trade" that's battered mega-cap tech stocks, such as Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), Netflix (NFLX), presents a rare buying opportunity. (CNBC)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to sit down with Donald Trump in New York today, what would be the president-elect's first meeting with a foreign leader since his election. (NY Times)

In her first public appearance since conceding the presidency to Trump, Hillary Clinton urged supporters at a charity gala in Washington D.C. last night to "not to give up." (NBC News)

Bernie Sanders, who lost the Democratic nomination to Clinton, said at a separate event he actually made Clinton a better candidate and possibly could have beaten Trump himself. (NBC News)

Trump is making overtures to Democrats, meeting with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and signaling support for a public-works building program. (WSJ)

Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who became a close adviser in the presidential campaign, is likely to take a top White House job, people familiar with the presidential transition told Wall Street Journal.

Conflicting information on whether JPMorgan (JPM) chief Jamie Dimon could become Trump's treasury secretary is casting cast a cloud of uncertainty over the nation's largest bank. (Reuters)

JPMorgan (JPM) will reportedly pay more than $250 million to settle a U.S. probe into its China hiring practices. The SEC opened an investigation into JPMorgan in 2013 over the hiring. (Reuters)

Goldman Sachs (GS) is expected to introduce today its first advertising campaign ever aimed at getting individuals out of their higher-cost credit card debt by replacing a lower-cost personal loan. (NY Times)

Elon Musk's SpaceX wants to launch thousands of satellites into space with the aim of providing super-fast global internet coverage, according to a regulatory filing. (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) and SolarCity (SCTY) hold separate stockholder meetings today to vote on the proposed combination of the two companies. Musk serves as chairman and CEO at Tesla and chairman at SolarCity. (Recode)

First Solar (FSLR) is cutting 27 percent of its workforce, or about 1,600 jobs, and the solar company also provided a sales forecast for 2017 that comes in well below forecasts. The stock was tanking about 12 percent in premarket trading. (CNBC)

Russia is taking steps to ban LinkedIn (LNKD), accusing the social network for business of violating data protection rights. LinkedIn's issues stem from a law requiring companies to store user data on Russian soil. (CNBC)


BY THE NUMBERS

There's a flood at 8:30 a.m. ET, including weekly jobless claims, October consumer prices, October housing starts, and the Philadelphia Fed index for November.

In addition to Yellen, two other Fed officials speak today at a New York City event: New York Fed President William Dudley at 9:10 a.m. ET and Fed Governor Lael Brainard at 12:30 p.m. ET.

After-the-bell earnings reports this afternoon include Applied Materials (AMAT), Gap (GPS), Intuit (INTU), Ross Stores (ROST), Salesforce.com (CRM), and Williams-Sonoma (WSM).


STOCKS TO WATCH

Best Buy (BBY) reported a blowout quarter, beating earnings estimates by 15 cents at an adjusted 62 cents per share while revenue and same-store sales were both above estimates as well.

Staples (SPLS) matched estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 34 cents per share, though revenue was below forecasts. Staples saw a bigger than expected 4 percent drop in same-store sales.

NetApp (NTAP) beat estimates on earnings, but missed slightly on revenue. The provider of data storage services provided upbeat forward guidance, and the stock was surging about 10 percent in the premarket.

L Brands (LB) beat expectations on earnings and revenue. However, the Victoria's Secret parent warned on outlook, due to an increasingly competitive environment and overall slowing store traffic for retailers.

Amgen (AMGN) announced upbeat results for its experimental migraine drug in a phase 3 study. The biotech firm said the drug significantly reduced monthly migraines and that the study results were statistically significant.

Hain Celestial (HAIN) shares are getting a boost after an independent review showed no wrongdoing in the organic food company's accounting practices.

Toyota (TM) plans to set up a new electric vehicle unit, aiming to get an all-electric product to market as quickly as possible.


WATERCOOLER

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James is donating $2.5 million to an exhibit at the Smithsonian honoring boxing great Muhammad Ali. (USA Today)