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Morning Brief

Futures higher as Wall Street awaits tax details — bitcoin skyrockets

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were slightly higher this morning after equities finished relatively mixed in the previous session. The Nasdaq finished higher in Wednesday's session as tech stock rose. The rest of the market appeared to take a pause as investors awaited more details concerning the GOP's tax bill. (CNBC)

* Biotech stocks are at a critical juncture, strategist says (CNBC)

Bitcoin rocketed even higher this morning, crossing the $15,000 mark just 10 hours after topping $14,000, according to industry site CoinDesk. The digital currency's latest swing higher comes after a 20 percent plunge last week. (CNBC)

* More than $60 million worth of bitcoin potentially stolen after hack (CNBC)
* Gaming platform Steam ditches bitcoin support (CNBC)
* World's biggest banks reportedly want to halt bitcoin futures launch (CNBC)

General Electric (GE) announced today it is planning to cut 12,000 jobs in its power business. The job cuts, which account for about 18 percent of GE Power's workforce, will mostly impact professional and production workers outside the U.S. (CNBC)

On the data front, jobless claims are expected to come out at 8:30 a.m. ET, followed by Quarterly Services Survey data at 10 a.m. ET. Consumer credit is expected to be released later on in the day, at 3 p.m. ET. The Labor Department released its closely watched monthly employment data tomorrow. (CNBC)

After the Senate's tax victory, President Donald Trump told reporters he's holding out for the prospect of U.S. gross domestic product more than doubling to a 6 percent annual growth rate. That would be more than twice the 30-year average pace of 2.5 percent. (CNBC)


The White House said Trump would sign a stop-gap spending measure funding the government through December 22 that is being considered by the House. Trump and Congress have until the end of Friday to reach a deal before parts of the government could shut down. (Reuters)

* Trump: Government shutdown 'could happen' Saturday (CNBC)

Senate Republicans have agreed to talks with the House on sweeping tax legislation amid early signs that lawmakers could bridge their differences and agree on a final bill ahead of a self-imposed December 22 deadline. (Reuters)

* GOP tax plans would reward rich families (AP)

Democratic Sen. Al Franken will make an announcement today after more than 25 Democratic senators and the party's chief urged him to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations. The Minnesota Democrat has vehemently denied the latest accusation against him. (CNBC)

Donald Trump Jr. reportedly refused to discuss with congressional investigators a conversation with his father earlier this year about how to handle the fallout from revelations that he met with a Russian attorney during the election campaign. (WSJ)

President Trump has announced that and that the American embassy will be moved there. The announcement by the president has resulted in a huge backlash from across the Muslim world. (CNBC)

Large military drills being carried out by the U.S. and South Korea and U.S. threats of a preemptive war against Pyongyang have made the outbreak of war on the Korean Peninsula "an established fact," North Korea's foreign ministry said. (Reuters)

* US ambassador to the UN Haley: American participation in 2018 Olympics an 'open question' (USA Today)

A wind-whipped wildfire raged this morning into a wealthy Southern California neighborhood. The fires destroyed at least six homes, threatening hundreds more and scorching a building at a winery owned by billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch. (Reuters)

Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger will likely remain at the company beyond 2019 to oversee any potential merging of Disney and 21st Century Fox (FOXA) assets. Comcast (CMCSA) continues to pursue a deal with Fox, although Fox sees Disney's bid as superior, sources tell CNBC.

Months after Ford canceled plans to build a plant in Mexico and not move some vehicle production south of the border, the automaker said it planned to shift future production of an electric vehicle from Michigan to Mexico. (CNBC)

A Florida man was reportedly responsible for the large data breach at Uber last year and through a so-called "bug bounty" program normally used to identify small code vulnerabilities. (Reuters)

The NFL has agreed to give its commissioner, Roger Goodell, a contract extension despite Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reportedly working to derail the process. A memo sent to owners said Goodell has signed the deal. (CNBC)


Broadcom (AVGO) reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that beat the Street's expectations. It reported earnings of $4.59 a share, greater than the $4.52 expected. Revenue came in at $4.85 billion versus the $4.83 expected by analysts polled by Reuters. It also gave strong Q1 revenue guidance and raised its dividend.

Lululemon (LULU) beat Wall Street's estimates in its third-quarter results. Earnings came in at 56 cents a share, 4 cents above estimates. Revenue was $619 million versus $610 million expected. It also announced a $200 million stock buyback plan and delivered 2017 guidance above estimates.

Okta (OKTA) reported third-quarter quarterly results that beat Wall Street's estimates, sending its stock higher. Okta, which makes identity management software for clients, reported a loss of 19 cents per share on revenue of $68.2 million. Analysts expected a loss of 24 cents per share on revenue of $62.8 million, according to Reuters.


Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds is on board to star in a live-action Pokemon movie called "Detective Pikachu," according to Variety. Last year, Reynolds starred in Fox's American superhero film "Deadpool," which grossed around $800 million worldwide.

A little known Saudi prince has turned out to be the mystery buyer who paid a record $450.3 million for Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," according to documents reviewed by The New York Times.