Morning Brief

Wall Street set for a pause after rewriting record books

Key Points


Futures point to a narrowly mixed open after one of the more memorable days for the stock market in recent years. The Dow, S&P 500, and Russell 2000 closed at record highs, and the Dow Transports joined the party with its first record close in nearly two years. (CNBC)

Oil prices inched higher on Thursday, propped up by a weaker dollar in anticipation of next week's Federal Reserve meeting and a decline in shares of U.S. oil. (Reuters)

Investors are eyeing the European Central Bank, which will issue a statement on policy and interest rates at 7:45 a.m. ET, followed by a news conference with ECB President Mario Draghi at 8:30 a.m. ET. The bank is expected to extend its asset purchase program. (CNBC)

Apple is reportedly in talks with major Hollywood studios that are interested in making movies available for rent as soon as two weeks after they hit theaters. Faced with increasing competition in the video space, the tech giant hopes the studios will use iTunes. (USA Today)

Wal-Mart de Mexico said it plans to invest $1.3 billion in infrastructure and logistical developments, a perceived act of commitment to Mexico during a time of uncertainty after Donald Trump's election victory. (Reuters)

"Super Mario Run," a new Nintendo mobile game for Apple's iOS, is forecast to gross over $71 million worldwide in revenue during its first month. That's less than half of what "Pokemon Go" made in the same amount of time. (CNBC)

Amazon denied reports claiming the online retailer planned to open 2,000 brick-and-mortar grocery stores, several days after the company announced it would open Amazon Go, a grocery store with no checkout lines, in 2017. (CNET)

Trump may keep a stake in his business despite formally handing the operational responsibilities off to his two eldest sons, sources said. (NY Times)

A new Trump Twitter tirade targeted a union chief who criticized the president-elect for claiming he saved 1,000 jobs at an Indianapolis manufacturing plant owned by Carrier. The critic claimed the true number was considerably lower. (CNBC)

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Trump's tap to head the Environmental Protection Agency, is involved in a pending lawsuit against the agency. (CNBC)

Trump also picked Linda McMahon, co-founder of pro wrestling company WWE, to lead the Small Business Administration. (CNBC)

Actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio and the CEO of his foundation met with Trump on Wednesday to give a presentation on how jobs that focus on preserving the environment can boost the U.S. economy. (AP)

A federal judge revoked a mandatory recount order for the state of Michigan sought by 2016 Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein, solidifying Trump's win in the state. (Reuters)

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tightened its standards for its highest safety honors, with only 38 car models from the 2017 year receiving the top score — down from 79 models from 2016. (USA Today)


The Labor Department's weekly report on initial jobless claims is released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists are expecting 255,000 claims for the week ending Dec. 3, which would be down 13,000 from the prior week.

The Energy Department is out with its weekly look at natural gas inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Sears Holdings (SHLD), Hovnanian (HOV), Hain Celestial (HAIN), Ciena (CIEN) and Toro (TTC) are among the companies set to release quarterly numbers this morning, while today's after-the-bell reports include Broadcom (AVGO) and Restoration Hardware (RH).


Lululemon (LULU) leads our list of stocks to watch, with the yoga wear maker reporting adjusted quarterly profit of 47 cents per share, 4 cents above estimates, with revenue also beating forecasts. Lululemon also announced a $100 million stock buyback program.

Costco (COST) reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.17 per share, 2 cents below estimates, with the warehouse retailer's revenue slightly below forecast. Same-store sales were up 1 percent, impacted by discounts and deflation despite seeing more shoppers.

H&R Block (HRB) lost 67 cents per share for its latest quarter, 1 cent less than analysts had been anticipating. Revenue did beat estimates for the tax preparation firm, which usually makes money only in its fiscal fourth quarter when the bulk of tax returns are prepared.

Verint Systems (VRNT) earned an adjusted 59 cents per share for its latest quarter, falling short of estimates, with revenue also falling short. The software provider gave weak full year guidance as well, amid increasing competition in the cybersecurity area.

Chevron (CVX) announced a $19.8 billion capital spending plan for 2017, the fourth-straight year of spending cuts for the oil giant.

Bank of New York Mellon (BK) was unable to use the Swift network to process client payment instructions for several hours earlier this week, according to The Wall Street Journal. The outage began Sunday afternoon and was resolved Monday morning.

Corning (GLW) announced a new $4 billion stock repurchase program.


Cuba's government approved five major cruise lines for voyages from Florida to Cuba, the first trips of their kind in decades. (USA Today)

China's highest court ruled in favor of basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan in a trademark case involving a local sportswear company that used the Chinese version of the athlete's name on its products for years. (Reuters)