Morning Brief

Wall Street set to continue its cautious advance

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, as the Dow continued its cautious advance on Monday, inching closer to the 20,000 level, which was only 136 points ahead of Tuesday's trading. (CNBC)

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have alternated between gains and losses for seven straight sessions. But the S&P, Nasdaq, and Dow were close to equaling their strong November gains with nearly two weeks left in December. (CNBC)

Billionaire hedge fund titan Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates wrote in a LinkedIn post that President-elect Donald Trump's team is "hell-bent" on change. (CNBC)

A record $97.6 billion flooded into exchange-traded funds for U.S. stocks between Election Day and Dec. 15, said TrimTabs Investment Research, amounting for more than 6 percent of assets. (CNBC)

Investigators said they suspect the driver of a truck that plowed into a crowd at a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12 people and injuring 48, did so in a deliberate terrorist attack. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said he may have been an asylum-seeker. (Reuters)

A temporary center for migrants was stormed by police in Berlin early this morning. Meanwhile, members of the NYPD's counterterrorism unit were deployed at busy spots in the city, including Winter Village at Bryant Park. (NBC News)

Russia's ambassador to Turkey was assassinated at an Ankara art exhibit last night. The lone Turkish gunman, shouting about Syria, was killed in a shootout with authorities and identified as an off-duty police officer. (NY Times)

President Barack Obama was advised to warn Russian President Vladimir Putin that any interference with the election would be considered an act of war, NBC News reports. But he did not go that far in a September meeting with Putin.

China returned a U.S. underwater drone taken by a Chinese naval vessel in the South China Sea last week, after "friendly" talks between the two countries, a relationship tested by Donald Trump's tougher talk. (Reuters)

The Electoral College formalized Trump's election victory, despite protests around the country to encourage GOP electors to change their vote. In the end, more Democrats than Republicans went rogue. (Reuters)

Carlos Slim got a "very positive" impression from Trump about ties with Mexico, after the two met for dinner on Saturday in Florida, a spokesman for the Mexican telecom billionaire said. (Reuters)

Apple CEO Tim Cook said he felt it was necessary to "engage" when Trump — who criticized Apple and other tech firms — invited him and about a dozen tech executives to attend last week's summit in New York. (USA Today)

Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL) is in talks with India's government to explore making products locally, as the U.S. tech giant aims to make deeper inroads in the world's second-largest mobile phone market by users. (WSJ)

European Union antitrust regulators have charged Facebook (FB) with providing misleading information during its takeover of WhatsApp, opening the social network to a possible fine. (Reuters)

The U.S. regulators are launching an investigation into approximately a million newer Fiat Chrysler Ram pickup trucks and SUVs, following complaints about the vehicles rolling away after being parked. (Reuters)

The U.S. Justice Department has asked Credit Suisse to pay between $5 billion and $7 billion to settle an investigation over the bank's sale of toxic mortgage securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. (Reuters)

Deutsche Bank (DB) could reach a mortgage backed securities settlement this week with the DOJ, according to media reports. The penalty is expected to be far less than the $14 billion first proposed by U.S. regulators.

Bank of America (BAC) sold its U.K. credit card business MBNA for $2.35 billion to Lloyds Banking Group, Britain's biggest mortgage lender and still part-owned by the government after a financial crisis bailout. (Reuters)

Uber posted an adjusted loss of more than $800 million in the third quarter, despite growing sales and a China windfall, according to media reports, putting the ride hailing company on pace to record an 25 percent steeper operating loss than last year. (CNBC)


IMF chief Christine Lagarde escaped punishment and kept her job, despite a conviction on negligence charges over a state payout made while she served as the finance minister of France in 2008.

The Bank of Japan, in a widely expected move, left monetary policy unchanged today. While upgrading its economic projections, the central bank maintained negative interest rates. Japanese stocks were higher on the session.

The Italian government is seeking parliamentary approval to borrow $20.7 billion to underwrite the stability of its wobbly banking sector, starting with a likely bailout of its No. 3 lender as early as this week.

There are no economic reports today, a respite before Thursday's crush of data. After the bell earnings include quarterly results from Dow industrials component Nike (NKE) and Dow transports stock FedEx (FDX).

BlackBerry (BBRY) this morning reported earnings that beat expectations of a slight loss. But revenue that missed. The struggling smartphone pioneer said on Monday it would open an autonomous driving research center.


Dealing with slowing sales following seven years of growth, General Motors (GM) plans to temporarily shut down five plants in January, and cut nearly 1,300 jobs at a Detroit assembly plant beginning in March.

Biogen (BIIB) named executive vice president Michel Vounatsos as its next CEO, effective Jan. 6, replacing longtime chief executive George Scangos, who had previously said he's step down once a successor was named.

GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) already fast-growing HIV drug business has received an important boost after two major clinical studies successfully tested a new two-drug treatment regimen to control the virus that causes AIDS.

Philip Morris (PM), Altria (MO), and other tobacco producers could see some pressure today, after the California Public Employees' Retirement System voted to broaden its ban on tobacco investments.

Ericsson (ERIC) will reportedly cut about a quarter of its workforce in Italy, according to a Bloomberg report, after the telecom lost the contract to manage that country's largest wireless network.