Morning Brief

Stocks set to move higher as Disney-Fox deal dominates

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were higher this morning after Wednesday's sell-off that took the Dow and Nasdaq off their best levels of the session and pushed the S&P 500 to a lower close. The Dow did manage to post another record closing high with its fifth straight gain. (CNBC)

Walt Disney (DIS) has agreed to acquire many parts of 21st Century Fox in a deal worth more than $52 billion in stock. The transaction gives Disney a wide range of assets including Nat Geo, Asian pay-TV operator Star TV, Fox's movie studios, stakes in Sky and Hulu, and regional sports networks. (CNBC)

It's a busy day for economic numbers, with three different reports to at 8:30 a.m. ET, including weekly initial jobless claims, November retail sales, and November import and export prices. (CNBC)

The Fed hiked interest rates for the third time in 2017 following its December meeting. Central bankers forecast three more rate increases in 2018. The Fed has raised rates two other times since 2006, once in December 2016 and the other time in December 2016. (CNBC)

At her post-meeting news conference, Fed Chair Janet Yellen gave guarded commentary about crytocurrenices, which some say is one of the biggest financial bubbles of all time. Yellen said at bitcoin is "not a stable source of value" and is "a highly speculative asset." (CNBC)

* Yellen says high stock market value does not mean it's overvalued (CNBC)

There are signs that the rise in U.S. crude oil supply will likely continue into 2018, the IEA says, and upset rivals who are cutting back. Preliminary weekly data suggests that U.S. production increased further into early December. (CNBC)


House and Senate negotiators, which have scrambled to push a major tax plan, have reached a deal. The two chambers hope to pass a joint plan and send it to President Donald Trump's desk before Christmas. (CNBC)

* Trump: Americans will see 'bigger paychecks beginning in February' if GOP finishes tax bill by Christmas (CNBC)

The Federal Communications Commission is due to vote today on net neutrality rules despite an outcry. The rules barred broadband providers from blocking or slowing down access to content or charging consumers more for certain content. (Reuters)

* Net neutrality rules are likely doomed, but the debate isn't going away (CNBC)

Sen. John McCain has been hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center where he's being treated for "normal side effects of his ongoing cancer therapy." McCain, who missed votes on Monday and Tuesday, plans to return to work "as soon as possible," a statement said. (USA Today)

GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore released a video message on YouTube in which he appeared to refuse to admit defeat and railed against "immorality" in the nation. Moore, who has denied multiple sexual assault allegations, looks to have lost the Alabama Senate election race. (CNBC)

* Trump's unexpected reaction after Alabama loss: Magnanimity (Politico)
* Why black voters backed Jones: 'It's a matter of character' (NY Times)

PBS has announced it is "indefinitely" suspending distribution of the late-night talk show "Tavis Smiley" amid sexual misconduct allegations. Smiley says he was shocked and plans to "fight back." (Washington Post)

* Music Mogul Russell Simmons Is Accused of Rape by 3 Women (NY Times)
* Harvey Weinstein responds to Salma Hayek calling him her 'monster' (USA Today)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said today he will run for president in early 2018 as an independent candidate, breaking with the United Russia party. He did not expand on the reasons for running as an independent. (CNBC)

Fire lines have been established around nearly a third of one of the largest wildfires in California history, but danger remains. The National Weather Service extended warnings through Friday of extreme fire danger conditions throughout much of Southern California. (AP)

Wells Fargo (WFC) has reportedly laid off about 60 employees in its mortgage division. The big bank's cuts came as it continues to reshuffle parts of its business after regulatory scrutiny about its practices. (WSJ)

Target (TGT) is planning to acquire same-day delivery service platform Shipt, a rival to Instacart, for $550 million in cash. Shipt will continue to work with other retailers despite being owned by Target. (CNBC)

Instead of waiting two weeks between paychecks, Walmart (WMT) workers can now use an app to access a portion of wages for hours they have already worked. (NY Times)

T-Mobile (TMUS) is making a foray into television, announcing it is acquiring Layer3 TV. CEO John Legere says the company is going to "fix the pain points" of television "and bring real choice to consumers across the country." (CNBC)

Federal investigators are pursuing at least one criminal investigation into ride-hailing giant Uber, according to court documents. (NY Times)


Pier 1 Imports (PIR), a shadow of its former glory, was losing more than a quarter of its stock market value this morning. The retailer reported quarterly profit of 9 cents per share, 2 cents below estimates. Revenue did beat forecasts, but Pier 1 gave weaker than expected current quarter guidance. CEO Alasdair James said November sales momentum has been fading this month.

Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) will cut its workforce by more than a quarter, give up many of its manufacturing plants, and suspend its dividend on ordinary shares in a much-anticipated overhaul to help pay back its massive debt. The stock was up about 12 percent in premarket trading.

Nordson (NDSN) came in five cents above estimates, reporting adjusted quarterly profit of $1.38 per share, with revenue also beating forecasts. The industrial equipment manufacturer also forecast a sales increase of 30 to 34 percent for the first quarter of 2018.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) announced an order for 100 Airbus A321neo jets, with an option for 100 more. It's a deal seen as a major win for Europe's Airbus and a loss for U.S. rival Boeing (BA).


Beginning tomorrow, Cheetos-flavored popcorn mixed with crunchy Cheetos pieces will now be available at select Regal Cinemas nationwide. The bright-orange, crunchy, puffed corn snack will comes in a giant 32-ounce container. (TODAY)

A one bedroom penthouse condo is for sale in Miami, and the seller will only accept the cryptocurrency bitcoin. It's the first property that's listed for sale where the seller only wants cryptocurrency, according to Redfin. (CNBC)