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Flat open seen ahead of the Fed's decision

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were flat this morning as the Federal Reserve appeared poised to raise rates today. The Dow and S&P 500 have been up for four straight days after setting closing record highs Tuesday. The Nasdaq fell yesterday for the first time in five days. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) this morning announced the second investment from its $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund, committing $390 million to Finisar. Finisar will use the money to re-open a shuttered plant in Sherman, Texas, and create 500 jobs. (CNBC)

* Apple's up 43,000 percent since its IPO, and could soon surpass $1 trillion in market cap (CNBC)

The two-day Fed meeting concludes today with its interest rate decision and policy statement at 2 p.m. ET, followed by Fed Chair Janet Yellen's news conference at 2:30 p.m. ET. The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates later today. (CNBC)

The government isdue to release the November Consumer Price index figures at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Mortgage Bankers Association released its report on mortgage applications at 7 a.m. ET, while the Energy Department will unveil its oil and gasoline inventories report at 10:30 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

In a stunning rebuke to President Donald Trump, Democrat Doug Jones is projected to be the apparent winner of Alabama's Senate election, upsetting scandal-ridden Republican Roy Moore in one of America's deepest red states. (CNBC & NBC News)

* Moore refuses to concede Alabama Senate race: 'It's not over' (CNBC)
* Senate Republicans savage Steve Bannon after Moore's loss (CNBC)
* Trump congratulates Democrat Doug Jones on 'hard fought victory' (CNBC)

The current version of the GOP's tax plan features a 21 percent corporate rate, sources told CNBC. It also would feature a top individual tax rate of 37 percent and allow homeowners to deduct mortgage interest on loans up to $750,000.

* Trump to make final tax push as Republican negotiators near deal (Reuters)
* Rand Paul says he cannot vote to add more to 'massive' US debt with spending bill (CNBC)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, backing away from a key U.S. demand that Pyongyang must first accept that giving up its nuclear arsenal would be part of any negotiations. (Reuters)

A group of Republican members of the House have introduced five bills that they said will provide "relief" from Obamacare-related taxes. The bills could end up being attached to year-end spending legislation that Congress is taking up this month. (CNBC)

Two FBI agents insulted President Trump before he took office, calling him an "idiot," NBC News has confirmed. The agents, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, exchanged text messages about the future president during the 2016 campaign, NBC reports.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has fired back at Trump after the president attacked her for calling for an investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct against him. Gillibrand said she would not be silenced. (Reuters)

An out-of-control California wildfire crept closer to the upscale hillside community of Montecito earlier this morning. The fires, which have so far destroyed 904 structures, including 691 homes, came despite calmer winds. (Reuters)

Disney (DIS) and 21st Century Fox (FOXA) are on a "glide path" for a Thursday deal announcement. Disney and the Rupert Murdoch-controlled media company became the sole suitor after Comcast (CMCSA) dropped its bid for the majority of Fox assets. (CNBC)

The most Googled search term of 2017 in the U.S. and globally was Hurricane Irma, the storm that slammed into Flordia in September, Google (GOOGL) revealed. Former "TODAY" show host Matt Lauer, accused of sexual misconduct, came in second. (USA Today)

David Marcus, head of Facebook's Messenger service, is joining the board of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. Coinbase is currently the most popular app on Apple's App Store, according to data by market insights firm App Annie. (CNBC)

Private spaceflight company Blue Origin, the firm owned by Amazon's (AMZN) Jeff Bezos, has successfully launched and landed its tourist vehicle after a year away from test flights. (The Verge)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Western Digital (WDC) and Japan's Toshiba have settled their long-running dispute over Toshiba's planned sale of its memory chip unit to Bain Capital for $18 billion. The two companies had been long-time partners in the operation of the Japanese chip plant.

Toyota (TM) President Akio Toyoda said he wants electrified vehicles and hybrids to account for 50 percent of the automaker's sales by 2030. Toyoda made his statement at a news conference announcing an expansion of Toyota's battery partnership with Panasonic.

AT&T (T) is testing powerline-based high-speed internet service in Georgia as well as a non-U.S. location. The Georgia test is taking place in a rural area, although the company said it could potentially be instituted in more populated area as well.

Verifone Systems (PAY) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 44 cents per share, beating estimates by a penny, while the payment systems company also saw revenue beat forecasts. However, the shares came under pressure after its outlook fell short of analyst estimates.

MongoDB (MDB) lost 44 cents per share in its first quarterly earnings report following its October initial public offering. The database company's loss was four cents smaller than expected, while its revenue beat forecasts.

TiVo (TIVO) was downgraded to "neutral" from "buy" at B. Riley/FBR, which doesn't think the DVR maker's issues with Comcast (CMCSA) will be resolved quickly. The two sides are in a patent dispute involving technology contained in Comcast set-top boxes.

WATERCOOLER

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