Stocks set to open higher as Wall Street observes bitcoin and the Fed

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, as investors kept an eye on the latest bitcoin moves. Markets saw gains on Friday, with the Dow and S&P both seeing record closes. The Nasdaq also saw gains, posting it's third positive week in a row. (CNBC)

* Cramer's game plan: Be nimble in this unstable market (CNBC)

Bitcoin futures, trading under the XBT ticker symbol on the Cboe, faced their first test of how to handle volatility within hours of launching Sunday. After their launch, the new futures had climbed 10 percent and triggered at least two trading halts due to rapid price gains. (CNBC)

* How to give bitcoin as a gift this holiday (CNBC)
* Investors are dumping gold to buy bitcoin: strategist (CNBC)
* Trader who called bitcoin rally: Cryptocurrency will surge above $100,000 (CNBC)

There are no major speeches set to take place by the Federal Reserve this morning, but investors will be waiting for the upcoming monetary policy meeting by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). Many market participants expect a rate hike. (CNBC)

On the data front, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) will be released at 10 a.m. ET. This follows Friday's nonfarm payrolls data for November, which saw the U.S. adding 228,000 jobs during that period. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Southern California's largest wildfire, which has already destroyed nearly 800 structures, continued to grow this morning and was threatening about 18,000 structures, including celebrity homes in seaside communities of Santa Barbara County. Containment also fell back. (CNBC)

Republican Sen. Susan Collins, whose support was crucial in passing the Senate tax bill earlier this month, says she has not yet decided whether she will back the final measure negotiated by House and Senate leaders. (Reuters)

* Small investors face steeper tax bill under Senate proposal (WSJ)
* GOP is set to pass a tax cut nobody likes, pushed by a president they like even less (CNBC)

Megyn Kelly will conduct an interview today with three women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. In response, the White House said: "The president addressed these accusations directly during the campaign and we have no changes." (NBC News)

* Trump's accusers 'should be heard,' Nikki Haley says (NY Times)

The campaign of Roy Moore, the GOP candidate for senator in Alabama who's been accused of sexual misconduct with minors, appealed over the weekend to the president's supporters, saying a vote for Moore would be a vote for Trump's agenda. (Reuters)

President Trump demanded and received an apology from a Washington Post reporter over a photo of the crowd size of his rally in Florida. The reporter said he deleted the photo after another reporter "told me I'd gotten it wrong." (AP)

Trump spends a minimum of four hours watching TV per day, sometimes as much as twice that, according to a report by The New York Times, detailing the president's typical downtime inside the White House.

Violence flared near the U.S. embassy in Beirut over President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli security guard at Jerusalem's main bus station on Sunday, police said. (Reuters)

British Airways warned of more flight cancellations today after a snowstorm hit London over the weekend. The airline, which operates a hub out of London's Heathrow Airport, Europe's busiest, blamed the backup on low temperatures, requiring it to de-ice. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) is close to acquiring Shazam, the popular app that lets people identify any song, TV and more, according to TechCrunch, citing sources. The news came as Spotify reportedly continues towards a public listing.

Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOGL) are among companies that have expressed private concerns to Qualcomm (QCOM) about a Broadcom (AVGO) takeover, sources told CNBC. Both companies worried Broadcom may interfere with Qualcomm 5G investment.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Hospital system giants Ascension and Providence St. Joseph Health are in talks about combining, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing sources. The deal would dethrone the nation's largest pure hospital operator, HCA Healthcare (HCA).

GGP (GGP), one of the largest owners and operators of shopping centers, rejected a $14.8 billion buyout offer from its biggest shareholder, Brookfield Property Partners LP (BPY), according to Reuters. Brookfield is considering a new offer for GGP.

Eli Lilly (LLY) says its gastric cancer treatment met the main goal of preventing the disease from advancing. The drug failed, however, its secondary target of improving overall survival rates.

U.S. automaker Ford Motor's (F) says its sales fell about 8 percent year-over-year, following a 5 percent decline in October. The carmaker is looking to overhaul its strategy in the world's top automarket as it lags behind rivals.

Nokia (NOKIA-F) says Chief Operating Officer Monika Maurer will depart the company. Joerg Erlemeier, the senior vice president for Nokia Transformation, will be the new COO.

WATERCOOLER

The first reactions to writer-director Rian Johnson's "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" are in. The film, which is scheduled to officially hit theaters on Friday, was publicly unveiled at a gala world premiere in Los Angeles over the weekend. (USA Today)

Disney's (DIS) "Coco" maintained the top spot at the box office for the third weekend in a row, bringing in an estimated $18.3 million, according to ComScore. The "Justice League" came in second place again. (LA Times)