US stocks set to open lower on Wall Street after tax bill delay

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were lower this morning after Senate Republicans delayed a tax bill vote. Thursday's strong gains have the Dow and S&P 500 on track for their best weekly gains of 2017, and both are coming off record closing highs. (CNBC)

* When it comes to investing, 'boring' is better in 2018: Portfolio manager (CNBC)

Mylan (MYL) shares were 4 percent higher premarket after CNBC reported Amazon (AMZN) is in talks with generic drug makers about entering the pharmacy space. Talks are currently being held with Mylan and Sandoz, although the nature of Amazon's plans are not yet clear.

Ulta Beauty (ULTA) was around 5 percent lower premarket after it beat third-quarter earnings. Revenue matched forecasts, while comparable store sales jumped 10.3 percent. However, Ulta did give a forecast for the current quarter that falls below Street forecasts. (CNBC)

Two economic reports are out at 10 a.m. ET as the Institute For Supply Management releases its November Manufacturing Index and the government is out with October construction spending. The ISM index is expected to fall to 58 from October's 58.7, while construction spending is seen rising 0.5 percent following a 0.3 percent increase in September. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Senate Republicans delayed voting on their tax bill as a setback forced them to patch up the plan only hours before a planned vote late last night. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said senators would revise the legislation, eyeing a vote to take place today. (CNBC)

* Senate tax bill would fall $1 trillion short of paying for itself after economic growth, congressional analysis says (CNBC)
* House GOP leaders preparing to bring gun measures to the floor (Politico)

White House staff exits are likely as President Trump's first year draws to a close, sources tell Reuters. Top White House economic adviser Gary Cohn and Trump's son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, could be among those who depart.

President Trump repeatedly urged senior Senate GOP over the summer to end the Senate Intelligence Committee's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, The New York Times reports, citing a half dozen lawmakers and aides.

President Trump told confidants that a federal government shutdown could be good for him politically, according to The Washington Post, citing sources. He is also reportedly focusing on his hard-line immigration stance to win back his core supporters.

An undocumented immigrant from Mexico has been acquitted of murder and manslaughter by a San Francisco jury in the fatal shooting of a woman that Trump used as a rallying cry against "sanctuary cities" during his presidential campaign. (Reuters)

A strong quake of magnitude 6.0 struck southeastern Iran near the city of Kerman today, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake, initially reported as a magnitude 6.3, was centered 36 miles northeast of Kerman. (Reuters)

The wave of sexual misconduct allegations from Hollywood to Washington has left many U.S. colleges weighing whether to revoke honorary degrees and other accolades awarded to prominent men accused of misconduct. (AP)

Blue Apron (APRN) CEO and co-founder Matt Salzberg has stepped down, replaced by chief financial officer Brad Dickerson. Salzberg is staying on as executive chairman, and will focus on the company's growth strategy. (CNBC)

In the latest development in a long-standing dispute, Qualcomm (QCOM) says it filed three new patent infringement complaints against Apple (AAPL), saying there were 16 more of its patents that Apple was using in its iPhones. (Reuters)

Japanese automaker Nissan Motor has begun international arbitration against India to seek more than $770 million in a dispute over unpaid state incentives, according to a person familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by Reuters.

CVS Health (CVS) is reportedly near a deal to buy insurer Aetna (AET) for more than $66 billion, and could announce the move as early as Monday. The talks are advanced and could value Aetna at between $200 and $205 a share. (WSJ)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Walt Disney (DIS) is suing DVD rental company Redbox, seeking to stop Redbox from selling digital copies of Disney movies. Redbox had begun offering consumers codes for downloads last month, at prices lower than on other services like Apple's (AAPL) iTunes.

Five Below (FIVE) came in — wait for it — five above. The discount retailer posted earnings of 18 cents per share compared to estimates of 13 cents, while revenue beat forecasts as well. Comparable store sales were up 8.5 percent, well above the 4.4 percent consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Five Below also raised its full-year forecast.

VMWare (VMW) beat estimates by 7 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.34 per share, while the maker of virtualization software also saw revenue come in above forecasts. The results were boosted by a jump in licensing revenue.

Ambarella (AMBA) reported quarterly profit of 75 cents per share, 8 cents above estimates, and the maker of video processing chips also saw revenue come in slightly above forecasts. Ambarella is a major supplier to camera maker GoPro (GPRO) and it also makes chips used in autonomous driving technology.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is shutting down 259 branches and cutting 680 jobs as part of a cost reduction move.