Modest rebound seen for US stocks

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were modestly higher this morning, even after the major averages fell in four of the past five sessions. The recent slide has left the Dow and S&P 500 about 0.5 percent below their record highs, with the Nasdaq about 1 percent shy. (CNBC)

Bitcoin was slightly lower this morning after the cryptocurrency rallied on Tuesday, recovering from a sell-off last week. With Tuesday's gains, bitcoin recovered more than 50 percent from a low of $10,400 hit on Friday. (CNBC)

* No, bitcoin isn't likely to consume all the world's electricity in 2020 (CNBC)

Oil prices remained near two-and-a-half-year highs this morning from the previous session as the market outlook for 2018 is relatively tight. Brent and WTI hit their highest levels since mid-2015 on Tuesday after Libya, North Sea pipeline outages. (Reuters)

* As oil passes major milestone, here's what 2018 could hold (CNBC)

Two economic reports are on schedule at 10 a.m. ET: The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence index and the National Association of Realtors' pending home sales data. The Mortgage Bankers Association's report on mortgage applications will not be issued today. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Apple (AAPL) faces multiple lawsuits in federal courts over its admission that it adjusts power in older phones to prevent possible shutdowns. The suits claim Apple defrauded iPhone users by slowing down their devices without warning. (Reuters)

Former President Barack Obama said today social media is causing people to be "cocooned in information" that reinforces their biases. He spoke in an interview with Prince Harry on the BBC's Today Program. (CNBC)

North Korea has reportedly developed a new, more advanced reconnaissance satellite and may be able to move it on a mobile launcher. The device could transmit data back to Earth, unlike previous North Korean satellites. (CNBC)

A gunman reportedly opened a fire in a pastry-making factory in Moscow today, killing one person and taking an unknown number as hostages, according to Russian state news agency RIA. At least two others have been wounded in the shooting, the report said. (Reuters)

Amazon (AMZN) is getting ready to make waves in 2018 by expanding its advertising efforts, especially on its search and video products, sources tell CNBC. It also has plans to increase advertising sales off its platform.

Elon Musk said Tesla (TSLA) will make a pickup truck "right after" the Model Y. The Tesla chief executive says he is "dying to build" the pickup and has been thinking about the design for almost 5 years. (CNBC)

* Elon Musk asked his Twitter followers for Tesla feedback ... here's what they said (CNBC)

The Library of Congress has announced it will no longer archive every single Twitter (TWTR) post. Beginning on December 31, the organization will be more selective and only collect tweets that it deems historically significant. (Gizmodo)

The FDA's food recall process for about 80 percent of the nation's food can take up to 10 months to get unsafe products off the shelves, a report finds. But Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says much has changed. (USA Today)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Harley-Davidson (HOG) is expanding its "Riding Academy" program to more dealerships, in an effort to stem declining sales by teaching more people how to ride motorcycles.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) expects to take a fourth-quarter charge of up to $2.5 billion stemming from U.S. tax law changes that will affect its deferred tax position. However, the energy producer said that overall, the changes will be favorable to its US operations.

Barclays (BCS) expects to take a write-down of about $1.34 billion due to the U.S. tax law changes, also due to the impact on its deferred tax position.

Chubb (CB) said it would see a one-time benefit of $250 million from U.S. tax law changes. The insurer cited lower corporate tax rates and more favorable tax treatment of repatriated earnings.

Apollo Global Management (APO) is being sued by Philip Falcone's hedge fund, Harbinger Capital Partners, accusing Apollo of concealing flaws in the ultimately unsuccessful wireless venture called LightSquared.

WATERCOOLER

This holiday season, rap star Kanye West gave wife and entrepreneur, Kim Kardashian, stocks from major U.S. corporations, including Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN) and Apple (AAPL). Kardashian explained the news in an Instagram post. (CNBC)