The Dow tries to avoid a third straight weekly decline

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were lower this morning after the Dow and S&P 500 posted their second straight weekly loss. The Nasdaq, however, managed to log its seventh weekly gain in the past two months. Wall Street came under pressure last week on questions about the fate of the GOP tax plan. (CNBC)

* Cramer's week ahead game plan: Stay focused on the individual companies (CNBC)

In this shorten trading week heading into Thanksgiving and the Black Friday kick-off to the holiday shopping season, the clear outperformers in the stock market historically have been the retailers. And the beaten down sector was already showing some signs of life in recent days. (CNBC)

* Conference Board's leading economic index out at 10 a.m. ET (CNBC)

Bitcoin was relatively flat this morning after hitting another all-time high yesterday, trading above $8,000 after a wild week for the cryptocurrency. The rally comes on the back of a huge sell-off a week ago Sunday when bitcoin prices sank to $5,500. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

President Donald Trump fired back at Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who was recorded on an open microphone saying the GOP is "toast" if it follows Trump and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. "He'll be a NO on tax cuts because his political career anyway is 'toast,'" Trump tweeted. (AP)

* Senate plan lets mutual funds skip a tax change that hurts individual investors (WSJ)

Trump lashed out at Hillary Clinton over the weekend, calling the ex-Democratic nominee "the worst (and biggest) loser of all time," after she made pointed criticisms in a series of interviews about the president's political and moral legitimacy. (CNBC)

The White House said the true cost of the opioid drug epidemic in 2015 was roughly half a trillion dollars. Trump's Council of Economic Advisors said the figure is more than six times larger than the most recent estimate. (AP)

As authorities search southwest Texas for suspects or witnesses after a Border Patrol agent was killed and his partner was wounded on Sunday, Trump renewed his call for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. (Washington Post)

* Trump administration tightens scrutiny of skilled worker visa applicants (WSJ)

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, whose 50-year career in politics spans every top job short of the Oval Office, said Trump should do for immigration what former President Richard Nixon did for China. (CNBC)

* Pledges to work with Trump, even when he disapproves (CNBC)
* Faces Trump's chaos with calm (CNBC)
* Roy Moore is a problem for the GOP majority, senator says (CNBC)

Maria Contreras-Sweet, who led the Small Business Administration under President Barack Obama, emerged as a surprise bidder for The Weinstein Company. She's said to be looking to keep the studio in business with a new, majority-women leadership. (WSJ)

Saturday Night Live is making no exceptions, the show took aim this weekend at SNL alum Sen. Al Franken, who was accused of groping and forcibly kissing a radio newscaster, Leeann Tweeden, during a USO tour in 2006. (NY Times)

STOCKS TO WATCH

A housecleaning on GE's (GE) board will remove many long-term associates of former CEO Jeff Immelt, according to the Wall Street Journal, aiming to create a board more closely aligned with new boss John Flannery.

Chinese-owned aircraft leasing company Avolon has firmed up an order for 75 Boeing (BA) airplanes and may order 20 more. At current list prices, the total deal would top $11 billion.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA) is investing $2.87 billion for a major stake in China's top hypermart operator, Sun Art Retail Group, part of a wider push into offline retail.

Chipmaker Marvell Technology (MRVL) has agreed to acquire smaller peer Cavium (CAVM) for around $6 billion, as it seeks to expand in the networking equipment sector, according to Reuters.

Verizon (VZ) is close to a new deal with the NFL for digital streaming rights, giving the largest U.S. wireless carrier the ability to deliver games to internet-connected TVs, tablets and phones, according to a Bloomberg report.

Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner (TWX), and DC comics' superhero movie "Justice League" topped the weekend box office with what's being viewed as a disappointing $96 million in ticket sales.

WATERCOOLER

According to new data from Netflix (NFLX), about 12 percent of Americans who watch television shows or movies outside of the home on its service admit to having done so in a public restroom. And 37 percent say they've watched at work. (NY Times)