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Wall Street aiming for yet another monthly gain

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were mixed this morning, but the major averages are on pace for their ninth monthly gain of 2017. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are coming off record high closes, and the Dow and S&P 500 are up in nine of the past 11 sessions. (CNBC)

Bitcoin broke through the $6,300 mark for the first time late Sunday to hit a new record high. The price of the cryptocurrency reached $6,306.58 just 10 days after first breaching the $6,200 handle. (CNBC)

* We've seen an 82 percent jump in bitcoin-related jobs: Employment CEO(CNBC)

Lennar (LEN) today announced plans to buy smaller rival CalAtlantic (CAA) in a stock-and-cash deal valued at about $9.3 billion, including debt, to create the largest U.S. homebuilder. CalAtlantic shares were surging about 18 percent in premarket trading. (Reuters)

Earnings reports out this morning include Cooper Tire (CTB), First Data (FDC), Loews Corp. (L), and Roper Technologies (ROP). Mondelez International (MDLZ), Macerich (MAC), Rent-A-Center (RCII), Texas Roadhouse (TXRH), and U.S. Auto Parts (PRTS) issue their quarterly numbers after this afternoon's closing bell.

* Cramer: Why Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Intel are still buys after earnings reports (CNBC)

The week's economic reports kick off at 8:30 a.m. ET, with personal income and consumer spending data for September. There a number of other important reports in the coming days, culminating in Friday's October employment report. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

A federal grand jury in Washington reportedly approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, and anyone facing charges could be taken into custody as soon as today. (Reuters)

* GOP senator wants Democrats to testify on Trump dossier (Reuters)

President Donald Trump this week is expected to name the person he wants to lead the Federal Reserve for the next four years, signaling the end of a months-long selection process to determine the nation's next top central banker. (CNBC)

* Trump is leaning toward Powell , but remains undecided (CNBC)

House Republicans are preparing to unveil this week legislation that could eliminate some of the most popular tax breaks to help pay for lower taxes, including individual retirement savings and state and local tax payments. (Reuters)

* New White House report: Corporate tax cuts will boost GDP by 3 to 5 percent (CNBC)

President Trump's approval rating has hit its lowest ever at 38 percent, according to a NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday. The survey results take place against a backdrop of tax reform and the high-profile failure of Obamacare repeal.

* It's sign-up season for Obamacare, but Trump administration isn't making it easy (AP)

The head of Puerto Rico's government power company says the agency will scrap a $300 million contract with Whitefish Energy Holdings once it finishes current work on Hurricane Maria recovery efforts amid an outcry. The cancellation is expected to delay work by 10 to 12 weeks. (AP)

* Filling the short-term void left by Whitefish's canceled deal (CNBC)
* White House distances itself from Whitefish Energy's contract (CNBC)

As tropical storm Philippe cut through the Caribbean over the weekend, bringing heavy rains, the National Hurricane Center updated its tropical storm warning for several Cuban provinces, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. (CNBC)

* Near 'weather bomb' conditions drench Northeast on Sandy anniversary (USA Today)

General Electric's (GE) board reportedly did not know until recently that former Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt had an extra jet follow his corporate jet on some trips during his 16-year tenure, The Wall Street Journal reported.

CVS Health (CVS) talked to Anthem (ANTM) about a possible takeover deal, before setting its sights on Aetna (AET), according to the Wall Street Journal. The paper said CVS also considered the idea of a deal with UnitedHealth Group (UNH).

Apple (AAPL) quashed concerns of muted demand for its iPhone X, saying pre-orders for the 10th anniversary phone were "off the charts." The company's website showed delivery times pushed out to five to six weeks for the phone, compared to an initial plan of November 3. (Reuters)

* Gene Munster: iPhone X will be 'make or break' for Apple shares over the next year (CNBC's Trading Nation)

Actor Kevin Spacey apologized after actor Anthony Rapp alleged that Spacey made sexual advances on him decades ago. Spacey said he doesn't remember the encounter. Rapp said he came forward after allegations against Harvey Weinstein sparked conversations. (AP)

Almost half of all employed women say they have received an unwelcome sexual advance or other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature at work, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Strayer Education (STRA) has agreed to merge with smaller peer Capella Education (CPLA) in an all-stock deal valued at $1.9 billion. Strayer University and Capella University will continue to operate as independent and separately accredited institutions.

Axalta (AXTA) is in talks with Dutch paint maker Akzo Nobel about an Akzo purchase, with Akzo saying it was in "constructive talks" following Friday reports that the two might strike a deal. Akzo had been in the news earlier this year when it rejected a takeover bid from another US-based rival, PPG Industries (PPG).

U.S. drinks company Constellation Brands (STZ), a beer distributor that owns Corona, has agreed to buy a near 10 percent stake in Canopy Growth Corporation (TWMJF), the world's largest publicly traded cannabis company.

Novartis (NVS) is offering to buy French drug maker Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAAP) for $3.9 billion in cash, or $82 per share. Advanced Accelerator CEO Stefano Buono said the company backed the deal, which would help Novartis strengthen its oncology portfolio.

HSBC, Europe's largest bank, said today its pre-tax profit jumped 448 percent year-on-year in the three months ended September. The bank's third-quarter pre-tax profit was $4.62 billion, surging from $843 million in the same period a year ago.

Wells Fargo (WFC) may rid itself of a restriction put in place after last year's sales scandal, according to a Reuters report. People familiar with the matter say acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika wants to make it easier for Wells Fargo to pay employees when they leave. The restriction currently in place subjects any severance payouts to clearance by the OCC and the FDIC.

Insys (INSY) founder John Kapoor has resigned from the drug maker's board of directors, following his arrest last week on charges he bribed doctors to prescribe opioid drugs. Kapoor issued a statement saying he believes he will be fully vindicated after trial.

Nintendo (NTDOY) raised its full-year earnings forecast, following strong sales of its Switch videogame console during its fiscal second quarter as well as a much better than expected profit for that period.

WATERCOOLER

In one of the craziest World Series ever, the Houston Astros outslugged the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 last night with a walk-off 13-12 victory in the 10th inning. The Astros take a 3-2 series lead to LA tomorrow for what could be a decisive Game 6. (USA Today)