IN THE NEWS TODAY
Firefighters battled several intense wind-driven wildfires this morning that have swept across densely populated Southern California. The fires destroyed at least 500 structures and chased 190,000 people from their homes. (Reuters)
Israeli police deployed reinforcements in and around Jerusalem's Old City today, in anticipation of Palestinian protests over the Trump administration's recognition this week of the contested city as the Israeli capital. (AP)
The Senate has passed a stop-gap spending measure to continue funding the federal government through Dec. 22, preventing a government shutdown. The spending bill will now be sent to Trump for his signature. (CNBC)
President Trump plans to move forward with an infrastructure plan in January, White House officials say. Observers expect a proposal involving $200 billion in spending that's designed to spur as much as $800 billion in state, local, and private sector spending. (CNBC)
* Worst fears of corporate tax cut opponents showing signs of coming true (CNBC)
Trump's approval rating hits a new low of 32 percent, according to the latest Pew Research Center poll. Meanwhile, the Pew poll showed 59 percent believe senior Trump officials probably had "improper" contact with Russia (CNBC)
Rep. Trent Franks, a conservative Arizona Republican, said he would resign his seat after congressional officials learned he had asked two female employees to bear his child as a surrogate. (The Washington Post)
* Ethics panel expands probe into GOP Rep. Farenthold of Texas (AP)
* Minnesota's lieutenant governor seen as most likely Sen. Franken replacement (CNBC)
A new accuser has come forward to speak out about Kevin Spacey, alleging the American actor groped him under a table at a Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo 10 years ago. Netflix (NFLX) fired Spacey last month after sexual misconduct allegations. (USA Today)
Walmart (WMT) is making its biggest push yet for its order online, pick up in store service. The big-box retailer will qualify more items on Walmart.com for same-day pickup in stores. Orders can be picked up in stores until 6 p.m., local time, on Christmas Eve. (CNBC)
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon expects to offer more price discounts to its banking customers who buy multiple products. It's a similar way that Amazon.com (AMZN) gives extras to its Prime subscribers, Dimon explained. (Reuters)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Disney (DIS), in discussion with 21st Century Fox (FOX) for assets, has nominated two new board members. Safra Catz, CEO of Oracle (ORCL), and Francis deSouza, CEO of biotech firm Illumina (ILMN) are expected to join Disney's board on February 1.
Hedge fund Elliott Management is pushing for change at Alexion Pharmaceuticals to boost its stock price, including exploring a sale, The New York Times reports. Elliott could reportedly start a proxy fight for board seats if Alexion fails to offer more aggressive financial performance guidance. (ALXN)
A unit of Caterpillar (CAT) admitted to cheating customers by performing unnecessary repairs on railcars, The Wall Street Journal reports. The unit also pleaded guilty to dumping parts, including brake shoes, in the ocean to hide evidence.
Alphabet's (GOOGL) YouTube plans to introduce a paid music streaming service in March, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.
Entertainment Weekly issued a first look at Marvel's upcoming superhero film "X-Men: Dark Phoenix," a follow up to the 2016 blockbuster "X-Men: Apocalypse." The film is scheduled for release on Nov. 2, 2018.