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Wall Street positions ahead of last jobs number before Trump-era

IN THE NEWS TODAY

In the final employment report under President Barack Obama and before Donald Trump takes office, the Labor Department is expected to report, at 8:30 a.m. ET, nonfarm payroll growth of 178,000 positions for December. (CNBC)

Economists also expect a slightly higher unemployment rate at 4.7 percent for last month, and an average hourly earnings increase of 0.3 percent compared to November's 0.1 percent decline. (CNBC)

Ahead of the jobs data, U.S. stock futures were lower this morning, as some uncertainty also crept into the market on Thursday about Trump's skepticism of U.S. intelligence assertions of Russian hacking aimed at disrupting the election. (CNBC)


A report on Russian hacking delivered to President Obama Thursday says that U.S. intelligence picked up senior Russian officials celebrating Donald Trump's win, a senior American official confirmed to NBC News.

Trump is set to get a briefing today from top intelligence officials, following Thursday's Senate hearing, during which they made their most detailed case yet of Russia's election interference. (CNBC)

James Woolsey, director of Central Intelligence under President Bill Clinton, has left Trump's transition team. The ex-spy chief was said to be uncomfortable with Trump's decisions on intel matters. (NBC News)

While defending the Obama administration against Trump criticism about transition cooperation, Vice President Joe Biden said the president-elect's public criticism of the intelligence community was "dangerous." (PBS)

A joint session of Congress is set to count the Electoral College votes today, a traditional ending to a most unconventional presidential election to confirm Trump as the winner. (AP)

James Mattis, the retired Marine general Trump picked to lead the Defense Department, has reportedly resigned from the board of embattled blood testing startup Theranos. (WSJ)

In a tweet this morning, Trump defended a plan that would see the U.S. initially pay for a border wall with Mexico. The effort, he wrote, will be "paid back by Mexico later." (USA Today)

The repeal of Obamacare will cost three million jobs and $1.5 trillion loss in gross state product, according to a new study aimed at determining the state-by-state impact. (CNBC)

Americans are divided almost equally on whether Obamacare should be repealed, a new survey said. Opponents of the law are also split on whether repeal should happen without a replacement ready. (CNBC)

Bucking disappointing holiday numbers from Macy's and Kohl's, Gap (GPS) reported a surprise 4 percent increase in December same-store sales. The stock was surging about 9 percent in premarket trading. (Reuters)

In another challenge to Apple (AAPL) and Samsung, Chinese smartphone maker Huawei is making its Mate 9 device available in the U.S. today, through Best Buy and Amazon for $599.99. (CNBC)

Samsung predicted a near 50 percent jump in fourth-quarter operating profit, with its components business expected to offset declines in its mobile unit that was marred by the Galaxy Note 7 debacle. (CNBC)

LG Electronics is warning of a first quarterly operating loss in six years for October-December, a drop analysts pinned on continued mobile losses and seasonally weaker appliances sales. (Reuters)

Boeing (BA) is due to report final order and delivery numbers for 2016 today. Analysts believe the world's biggest plane maker may fall short of targets, raising questions about next year. (CNBC)

The winter weather system that's buried much of the West under record snow was racing east — on course to slam Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas with snow and ice that authorities warned could be historic. (NBC News)



BY THE NUMBERS

With stocks around record highs, the "January effect" — the notion that the first month of the year is usually bullish — appears to be fading, according to an analysis of more recent history by Goldman Sachs.

Investors funneled $2.4 billion into U.S.-based stock funds during the week ended Jan. 4, according to Lipper, making the second straight week of inflows. Taxable bond funds took in $1.2 billion, after three weeks of withdrawals.

International trade data for November is also out at 8:30 a.m. ET, but likely to get lost in the simultaneous release of the December jobs report. November Factory orders are issued at 10 a.m. ET.

Three Fed officials are speaking today, with Chicago Fed President Charles Evans at 11:15 a.m. ET, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker at 1 p.m. ET, and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Frontier Airlines is preparing for an initial public offering, according to The New York Times. The Denver-based low- cost carrier is hoping to raise $500 million for a value of $2 billion.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Swiss pharma giant Novartis (NVS) is teaming up with California-based Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS) to license two cardiovascular treatments in a deal that could eventually be worth more than $1 billion.

Regeneron (REGN) and Sanofi (SNY) plan to appeal a U.S. court ruling that bans them from selling their cholesterol drug because the treatment infringes on Amgen (AMGN) patents.

Shake Shack (SHAK) said CFO Jeff Uttz plans to retire in March. The burger chain is also naming its first COO, Zach Koff, who's been part of the executive team since the 2015 IPO.


WATERCOOLER

Norway is set to become the first nation to start switching off its FM radio network next week, in a risky and unpopular leap to digital technology that's going to be watched around the world. (CNBC)

Grammy-winning British popstar Ed Sheeran, back from taking a year off, released two new songs today, after putting out a 30 second teaser in a Snapchat lens filter. (CNBC)