Morning Brief

Futures higher ahead of final GOP tax bill as Street aims for positive week

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were sharply higher this morning ahead of today's expected unveiling of the final compromise GOP tax overhaul bill. On Thursday, the Dow hit an all-time intraday high before closing lower, breaking a 5-day winning streak. The Dow and S&P 500 were still higher for the month. But with Thursday's decline, the Nasdaq turned negative for December. (CNBC)

Software giant Oracle (ORCL) was around 6 percent lower in the premarket this morning after announcing weaker than expected guidance for growth of its cloud-computing business for the second consecutive quarter. However, quarterly earnings and revenue did beat estimates. (CNBC)

Cboe bitcoin futures were soaring about 10 percent this morning to $18,570, trading at about a 4 percent premium to the cash market for the digital currency on the Coinbase platform. (CNBC)

November industrial production is the most notable economic report of the day, out at 9:15 a.m. ET. Also out this morning: the New York Fed's Empire State manufacturing Index for December, set for release at 8:30 a.m. ET. (CNBC)


Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said he opposes the current GOP tax plan, while GOP Sen. Mike Lee is undecided on the legislation, adding uncertainty to the party's push to overhaul the U.S. tax system ahead of an expected vote next week. (CNBC)

* Cramer: Rubio's opposition shouldn't scare you out of stocks (CNBC)
* 25 companies to benefit the most from GOP tax plan (CNBC)

House Speaker Paul Ryan, currently tackling a GOP tax bill, is considering retiring after the 2018 midterm elections, according to Politico. But a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Republican called the report "pure speculation."

The FCC has voted to eliminate the Open Internet Order, better known as "net neutrality" regulations, which had called for treating all internet traffic equally. Streaming giant Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), and the Democrat Party are among those who vocally decried the repeal. (CNBC)

President Donald Trump spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the two leaders "discussed working together to resolve the very dangerous situation in North Korea," the White House said. (Reuters)

* Trump was offered a Putin meeting one month after launching presidential bid (Washington Post)

Firefighters in California continued to battle huge wildfires alongside power winds this morning. The fires claimed the life of one of their colleagues and torched more than 700 homes. Winds are expected to weaken today, the National Weather Service said. (Reuters)

The alleged driver who plowed his car into a crowd protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, has been charged with first-degree murder. The Aug. 12 collision left 32-year-old Heather Heyer dead and dozens injured. (USA Today)

A former intern of "Today," Addie Collins, detailed an alleged month-long affair with anchor Matt Lauer about 17 years ago. Lauer was fired late last month after allegations of sexual misconduct. (Variety)

* 5 new accounts of sexual misconduct hit actor Dustin Hoffman (USA Today)

CSX CEO Hunter Harrison has taken a medical leave of absence after complications from a recent illness. Jim Foote, the chief operating officer, will serve as acting CEO of the rail operator. Shares of CSX were losing nearly 10 percent in premarket trading this morning. (WSJ)

European airplane maker Airbus said CEO Tom Enders will step down in April 2019. Enders, who will have been at the helm of Airbus and defense firm EADS for 14 years, was quoted as saying Airbus needs "fresh minds for the 2020s" (AP)

Disney's (DIS) Bob Iger said the now official acquisition of much of Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) assets was "well worth" taking on some associated risk. Iger will remain as chairman and CEO of the company through 2021. (CNBC)


Hess (HES) shares were surging about 6 percent in the premarket after activist investor Elliott Management expressed frustration with the energy giant's "continuing underperformance." The Wall Street Journal said Elliott wants to either oust CEO John Hess or push him to sell all or part of the company. Hess and Elliott engaged in a contentious battle in 2013 that led to the addition of Elliott nominees to the board of directors.

Costco (COST) earned an adjusted $1.36 per share for its latest quarter, beating estimates by 2 cents, while revenue for the warehouse retailer was slightly above forecasts. Its comparable store sales jumped 10.5 percent, while comparable e-commerce sales surged 43.5 percent.

Adobe Systems (ADBE) came in 10 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.26 per share, while the design software company's revenue was also above Street forecasts. Adobe also raised its outlook for 2018.

Jabil Circuit (JBL) beat estimates by a penny with adjusted quarterly profit of 80 cents per share, while revenue was above estimates as well. The contract electronics manufacturer, one of Apple's biggest suppliers, also gave an upbeat current quarter forecast.


Disney's (DIS) "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" has only been out for a few hours, but it's already setting records. The film has become Fandango's top advance ticket-seller of the year, topping "Beauty and the Beast." (Variety)

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