Morning Brief

The Dow's march to 20K is going the wrong way

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were lower this morning, indicating the Dow may retreat further from its drive to 20,000 at the open, closing 58 points away Wednesday and breaking a two-session winning streak. (CNBC)

The Dow has gained nearly 9 percent since Donald Trump won the presidency. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has added 5.9 percent and the Nasdaq has advanced 5.4 percent since Election Day. (CNBC)

The CBOE Volatility Index, often touted as the stock market's fear gauge, dropped to its lowest intraday level since August 2015, a sign investors aren't pricing big risks into the market. (WSJ)

Kellyanne Conway, who served as Trump's campaign manager, has been named Counselor to the President. Conway has been a senior member of the president-elect's transition team.

Trump has named billionaire investor Carl Icahn as a special advisor on regulation. Icahn won't be a federal employee, and won't take a salary. (CNBC)

Trump has picked China critic Peter Navarro to lead the newly created White House National Trade Council, with the goal of advising the White House on innovative strategies in trade negotiations (CNBC)

After attacking Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT)von Twitter over the costs of military contracts, Trump met with the chief executives of the two aerospace companies, looking to "bring costs down." (NY Times)

Trump's son-in-law is looking to sell The New York Observer. Jared Kushner bought the newspaper for $10 million in 2006, according to reports at the time. (Reuters)

Even as Trump and Republicans work to repeal Obamacare, officials were touting a record 6.4 million customer sign-ups on the federal marketplace during this open enrollment season. (CNBC)

Malicious software used in a hack of the DNC was similar to one used against the Ukrainian military, a security firm has determined, suggesting further that a link to Russia. (WSJ)

The Tunisian man being sought as a suspect in Monday's deadly Berlin Christmas market truck attack had been investigated by authorities, and was scheduled to be deported. (NBC News)

German police arrested four people who had been in contact with the Berlin attack suspect, identified as 24-year-old Anis Amri. ISIS has claimed responsibility. (Reuters)

Italy's parliament has approved a $20.8 billion rescue fund for the world's oldest bank, after the embattled lender's last-ditch private sector rescue plan failed to secure an anchor investor. (CNBC)

Ikea has agreed to pay $50 million to the families of three children who were killed when their Ikea dressers tipped over and crushed them, said a law firm representing the families. (NBC News)

Uber has removed its self-driving cars from San Francisco streets after California regulators cracked down on the week-old program because the company had not obtained a permit to test the vehicles. (Reuters)

Honda's (HON) research and development unit is talking with Alphabet's (GOOGL) Waymo to add self-driving technology to its vehicles, marking the second potential customer after Fiat Chrysler (FCAU). (CNBC)

Nintendo's first Mario smartphone title has set a download record, but gamers balked at the one-time cost of unlocking content, pressuring the Japanese game makers' stock. (Fortune)

Alibaba's (BABA) Taobao consumer-to-consumer shopping website has been included once again by the U.S. in the blacklist of "notorious marketplaces" that sell fake goods and violate intellectual property rights. (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) received a patent covering technology to give it extra anti-hacking protections when drones are out are doing deliveries, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. (CNBC)

For last-minute holiday shoppers, today is the deadline for Amazon Prime two-day delivery before Christmas. In fact, there are a lot of online shopping deadlines to report. (CNBC)

A "significant storm system" is expected to move through the northern Plains on Christmas Day, bringing whiteout conditions, said the National Weather Service. (NBC News)

The U.S. is facing a major eggnog shortage this year, because producers underestimated the seasonal demand for the popular holiday drink. (WSJ)


The economic calendar this morning is jampacked, starting at 8:30 a.m. ET with jobless claims and the final revision of third quarter GDP. At 10 a.m. ET, November personal income and spending as wells as the November index of leading economic indicators are out at 10 a.m. ET.

Food producer ConAgra Brands (CAG) and drugstore operator Rite Aid (RAD) are out with earnings this morning. Egg producer Cal-Maine Foods (CALM) and uniform maker Cintas (CTAS are scheduled to issue quarterly numbers after this afternoon's closing bell.


Micron Technology (MU) beat estimates with earnings, and reported revenue basically in-line with forecasts. The chipmaker also issued an upbeat current quarter forecast.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) missed estimates on earnings and revenue. The home goods retailer also forecasted full-year earnings per share at the low end of its prior outlook.

Red Hat (RHT) beat on earnings, but missed expectations on revenue. Separately, the provider of Linux software announced its CFO is leaving in January to be CEO of an undisclosed company.

Hershey (HSY) named Chief Operating Officer Michele Buck as its new CEO, starting in March. J.P. Bilbrey, who said in October that he would be stepping down, is going to remain nonexecutive chairman.

Chinese search giant Baidu (BIDU) is considering an initial public offering in either the U.S. or Hong Kong for its video streaming site, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Anadarko Petroleum (APC) struck a deal to sell natural gas fields and pipelines in Pennsylvania for $1.2 billion. The buyer is a unit of privately held Houston-based energy company Alta Resources.

Swiss biotech company Actelion has turned back to prospective bidder Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) for exclusive talks about a "strategic transaction," an about-turn that appears to sideline rival suitor Sanofi (SNY).

Yum Brands (YUM) declared its first dividend since the separation of its China business. The payout of 30 cents per share will distributed Feb. 3 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 13.


Wall Street holiday parties were back this year, taking place in luxury venues like the Waldorf Astoria, featuring women dressed as glowing angels, and offering fine wine, scotch and bourbon. (CNBC)

El Gordo — translation: "The Fat One" — is Spain's annual Christmas lottery and it's taking place today, with a total of $2.4 billion in prizes , give or take a hundred million. (USA Today)