Morning Brief

Wall Street's rally is set to roll on with the Dow poised to beat its 1995 yearly records haul

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were sharply higher this morning, following record closing highs by the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq on Friday. The Dow could set an all-time high for record closes today. It has posted 69 this year, tying the record set in 1995. (CNBC)

CME, the world's largest futures exchange, launched its own bitcoin futures on Sunday. The January contract went negative in early trading, falling about 3.8 percent shortly after debuting, but it stabilized around 19,645 this morning. (CNBC)

* Analyst who predicted bitcoin's rise now sees it hitting $300,000-$400,000 (CNBC)

Hershey (HSY) this morning officially announced a deal to acquire SkinnyPop's parent Amplify Snack Brands (BETR) for $1.6 billion or $12 per share, a 71 percent premium to Friday's close. CNBC had reported on Sunday that a transaction was in the works.

Campbell Soup (CPB) is in advanced talks to buy snacks maker Snyder's Lance (LNCE), sources familiar with the matter told CNBC. A deal worth $50 per share or nearly $4.9 billion could be announced as soon as this week.

Just one economic report is on Monday's agenda, with the National Association of Home Builders releasing its monthly sentiment index at 10 a.m. ET. Forecasts call a reading of 70 for December, unchanged from a month ago. (CNBC)


Top Republicans said over the weekend they expected Congress to pass a tax code overhaul this week. A Senate vote is expected as early as tomorrow and President Donald Trump could sign a bill by the end of the week. (Reuters)

* Tax bill added a last-second provision that could enrich Trump and GOP senators (CNBC)
* One Republican explains why he's shrugging off the economists on taxes (CNBC)

Republican Sen. John McCain returned home to Arizona after being hospitalized for side effects from chemotherapy treatment for brain cancer. McCain will not be present for the final vote on the GOP tax bill expected early this week. (CNBC)

For the first time in at least 11 years, more than half of the public rates the economy as good or excellent, according to the CNBC All-American Economic Survey. Additionally, the economic outlook could also improve President Trump's approval rating.

Democrats have their biggest advantage in congressional preference in nine years, according to NBC News. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that 50 percent of registered voters say they want a Democratic-controlled Congress.

President Trump is poised to outline a new national security strategy today, reversing warnings on climate change and more. Once the plan is fully implemented it could sharply alter the United States relationship with the rest of the world. (AP)

* Trump: National security means economic security (USA Today)

Trump says he has no intention to fire Robert Mueller even after a transition team lawyer claimed the special counsel obtained emails unlawfully. Mueller obtained tens of thousands of emails from the Trump transition team as part of the Russia probe. (CNBC)

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have been hit with a lawsuit alleging illegal omissions on their public financial disclosure forms. The lawyer says that they failed to identify the assets owned by investment funds they had stakes in. (Politico)

The United Nations Security Council is reportedly expected to vote today on a draft resolution calling for the withdrawal of Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Reuters)

Calming winds helped firefighters slow the spread of a California wildfire over the weekend that already ranks as the third largest in state history. The fires scorched 270,000 acres along the scenic Pacific Coast north of Los Angeles. (Reuters)

Georgia Power announced early this morning that power had been fully restored to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International after a sudden power outage. Passengers at the airport were left in the dark when the lights went out. (AP)

Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson over the weekend that he will sell the NFL team after the season amid allegations. He's facing an investigation that accuses him of sexual misconduct and using racist language at work. (Reuters)

MSNBC host Chris Matthews was accused of inappropriate jokes and comments about a female employee in 1999, a spokesperson confirmed to NBC News. The woman was paid separation compensation.

Health insurer Humana (HUM) is in advanced talks to acquire acute care provider Kindred Healthcare (KND) in partnership with private equity firms, a source told Reuters. It follows CVS Health's (CVS) agreement to acquire Aetna (AET) for $69 billion.

Amazon (AMZN) is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire Massachusetts-based cybersecurity software company Sqrrl. The deal could be north of $40 million, but the two companies have additional details to figure out. (Axios)

Chinese electric vehicle start-up Nio launched its first mass-produced model over the weekend, in a market marked by competition with companies such as Tesla (TSLA). The new ES8 sport utility vehicle is about half the starting price of the Tesla Model X in China. (CNBC)


Twitter (TWTR) shares surged after the stock was upgraded to "overweight" from "neutral" at JPMorgan Chase, which called the social network one of its top mid-cap ideas for 2018. The firm thinks Twitter's offerings are improving and will lead to user and revenue growth.

Procter & Gamble (PG) appointed Nelson Peltz to its board of directors following a high profile proxy fight. The company said it held discussions with Peltz about a board seat because the shareholder vote was very close and that a large number of shareholders had voted for Peltz to be appointed.

CSX (CSX) Chief Executive Officer Hunter Harrison has died following complications from a recent illness. The railroad operator had announced Friday that Harrison was taking medical leave, and had appointed Chief Operation Officer Jim Foote as acting CEO.

AT&T (T) and the Justice Department held unsuccessful talks to settle their dispute over AT&T's proposed acquisition of Time Warner (TWX), according to a court filing. The Justice Department is suing to stop the $85 billion deal because of competitive concerns.

Akamai Technologies (AKAM) is seeing its shares jump following news that activist investor Elliott Management took a 6.5 percent stake. Elliott contends that shares in Akamai – which develops internet content delivery technology – are undervalued.


The Disney (DIS) blockbuster "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" rocketed to a debut of $220 million at the North American box office. It was the second-best opening ever, behind only its predecessor, "The Force Awakens." Including the U.S. haul, "Jedi" made $450 million globally. (AP & Reuters)

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