Morning Brief

Wall Street on track to open higher after Trump and GOP celebrate their tax win

Key Points


After recently rallying to record highs in anticipation of Capitol Hill passing tax reform, the U.S. stock market was on track to open higher. Futures were rising after the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq fell modestly on Wednesday. (CNBC)

Bitcoin on Coinbase was relatively steady this morning but prices have dropped more than 15 percent in the two weeks since bitcoin futures launched on the CME and Cboe. Meanwhile, E-Trade (ETFC) joins others in allowing customers to trade Cboe bitcoin futures.. (CNBC)

* Ron Paul: Bitcoin is the biggest bubble of them all, and it's the Fed's fault (CNBC)
* Man accidentally tossed $127 million in bitcoin and officials won't allow a search (CNBC)

PG&E (PCG) shares were falling about 10 percent in the premarket after the company suspended its dividend. The Pacific Gas & Electric parent also warned that it could be held liable for deadly wine country wildfires in California, which caused more than $9 billion in damage. (CNBC)

Three separate economic reports are out at 8:30 a.m. ET. The government issues weekly initial jobless claims and the third-and-final-look at third quarter GDP, and the Philadelphia Fed releases its December manufacturing index. (CNBC)

Earnings reports out this morning include the latest numbers from Accenture (ACN), CarMax (KMX), Conagra Brands (CAG), Finish Line (FINL), Hovnanian (HOV), Paychex (PAYX), and Rite Aid (RAD). Dow component Nike (NKE) issues its quarterly numbers after this afternoon's closing bell.


President Donald Trump called the massive Republican tax cut bill "an amazing experience." But it won't likely be signed by the president until next year. The measure consists of massive, permanent tax cuts for corporations, and more moderate, temporary tax cuts for individuals. (CNBC)

In the hours after Capitol Hill approved the tax cut plan, Boeing (BA) and AT&T (T) were among the handful of companies that quickly announced plans to share some of the proceeds with their employees and spend on infrastructure. (CNBC)

* Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bancorp unveil minimum wage hikes after tax bill passage (CNBC)
* Sen. Schumer says tax plan to boost share buybacks and dividends, not wages (CNBC)

Lawmakers hope to approve a spending bill today as the clock ticks toward a potential federal government shutdown this weekend. Meanwhile, an $81 billion disaster aid bill faced a potential separate vote. (AP)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would bring an immigration bill to the floor by the end of January if lawmakers and the White House can reach a compromise. The groundwork is being laid on a deal impacting so-called dreamers. (Politico)

The U.S. Commerce Department has finalized duties of nearly 300 percent on passenger jets made by Bombardier, a win for Boeing (BA), which lodged the complaint against its Canadian rival. (CNBC)

South Korean guards fired up to 20 warning shots at North Korean troops searching for a soldier who had defected today, after officials in the South confirmed the latest defection across the heavily militarized border. (Reuters)

A car was deliberately driven into pedestrians in the Australian city of Melbourne today, injuring up to 14 people with some in a critical condition, though the motive was not known, police said. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) acknowledged that it does take measures to reduce power demand in its older phones, which can have the effect of slowing performance. Apple said those steps are needed to prevent those phones from shutting down under certain circumstances. (CNBC)

China's ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has raised over $4 billion in its latest round of funding, posing a challenge to its U.S. rival Uber in its efforts to branch out overseas. (CNBC)

Facebook said employment ads that target younger users are not discriminatory if they're part of a broader recruitment campaign aimed at multiple age groups. (CNBC)

Netflix's (NFLX) new fantasy thriller "Bright," starring actor Will Smith, debuts tomorrow to streaming company's 109 million customers. "Bright" will also be released initially in two theaters in the United States and 10 in Britain. (Reuters)


Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) reported quarter profit of 44 cents per share, beating estimates by 7 cents, while the housewares retailer's revenue was slightly above forecasts. Comparable store sales did fall by 0.3 percent, but that was a smaller drop than the consensus estimate of a 2.4 percent decline.

Walmart (WMT) is developing new services aimed at high-end consumers, according to Recode. The report also said the retail giant is working on stores without checkout lines or cashiers, like Amazon's (AMZN) Amazon Go stores.

Nokia (NOK) signed a multi-year smartphone patent licensing agreement with China's Huawei, echoing actions it had already taken with companies like Apple, Samsung, and LG. Nokia's significant patent catalog stems from the era when it was a significant player in the mobile handset business.

Sony (SNE) has struck a new royalty deal with YouTube for music videos and user clips, according to a Bloomberg report. Jefferies said the agreement will likely give a significant boost to Sony's music-related earnings.


Winter is here. The winter solstice, which marks the longest night and fewest hours of daylight of the year, arrives this morning at 11:28 a.m. ET. It is the precise moment at which the Northern Hemisphere is tilted farthest from the sun. (USA Today)