Morning Brief

Wall Street aims to end this blockbuster year with a positive week

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were modestly higher this morning, a day after Wall Street rose for the first time in three sessions. The Dow was on pace for a sixth consecutive positive week, while the S&P 500 was hovering around breakeven and the Nasdaq was lower for the week. (CNBC)

With two trading days left in a year of outsized gains on hopes that President Donald Trump's policies will boost the economy, the Dow was up 25 percent in 2017, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up nearly 20 percent and almost 29 percent, respectively year-to-date. (CNBC)

Bitcoin fell 11 percent to around $13,672.16 this morning, marking the latest gyration following a major sell-off last week. The latest move came as the South Korean government said it would implement new rules to regulate cryptocurrency trading. (CNBC)

* Big bitcoin trading firm: Regulations are a good thing (CNBC)
* Bitcoin 'doesn't pass the smell test,' says Massachusetts securities regulator (CNBC)
* Ripple jumps 20% after new link to some Japanese credit card companies (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook saw his total compensation for 2017 jump by 47 percent, about the same percentage gain as the stock price this year, to $12.8 million. Other top executives got sizable raises for the fiscal year ending in September, as the company surpassed annual sales and profit goals. (CNBC)

* Global M&A activity surpasses $3 trillion for 4th consecutive year (FT)

Both Apple and Amazon (AMZN) are in separate discussions with Saudi Arabian officials on investing in that country, according to Reuters. Both companies already sell products in Saudi Arabia, but do so through third parties.

The final economic numbers for 2017 are out today, beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET with the Labor Department's release of weekly initial jobless claims. Then at 9:45 a.m. ET, the Chicago purchasing managers index for December is released. (CNBC)

Barrick Gold (ABX), Freeport-McMoran (FCX), Goldcorp (GG) and other gold-related stocks could get a boost today, as gold prices hit a one-month high on dollar weakness. (Reuters)


Bitter cold weather has taken hold of much of the northern U.S., and it's expected to stay for days to come. Forecasters warned of hypothermia and frostbite from arctic air settling in over the central U.S. and spreading east. (AP)

* Images from the record-breaking snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania (CNBC)

President Trump falsely claimed that he signed more legislation than any of his predecessors at this point, according to Politico. He has reportedly signed the fewest number of bills into law of any first-year president dating back to Eisenhower.

* Trump White House saw record number of first-year staff departures (WSJ)

Trump's lawyers in the Russia probe reportedly want to undermine the credibility of ex-advisor Michael Flynn if he alleges wrongdoing by top White House officials. Flynn pleaded guilty earlier this month to lying to the FBI. (Washington Post)

Republican Roy Moore has filed a lawsuit to try to stop Alabama from certifying Democrat Doug Jones as the winner of the Dec. 12 special election Senate race. Moore's attorney claimed there were irregularities during the voting and called for an investigation. (AP)

The IRS said people may be able to deduct their 2018 state and local property taxes only if they were assessed and paid during 2017. Prepaying based on estimated assessments won't be allowed. The GOP tax bill caps how much in property taxes people can deduct. (CNBC)

Islamic State claimed responsibility for today's suicide attack on a Shiite cultural center and news agency in the Afghan capital. The attacked killed at least 41 people attending a conference and wounded 48 others. (Reuters)

Crime in New York City has fallen to a level not seen since the 1950s. Crime in all categories, including murder, rape, assault, and robbery, was a total of 94,806 as of Sunday, below last year's record of 101,716. (NY Times)


Walt Disney (DIS) said power has been restored at the Disneyland theme park in California, following a power outage that lasted several hours. Despite outrage on social media, a Disneyland representative said the park does not plan to offer refunds to visitors as of now.

Nintendo (NTDOY) delayed the introduction of higher capacity 64-gigabyte game cars for its Nintendo Switch game console until 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal, due to technical issues. The current Switch cards can hold up to 32 gigabytes of data.

Becton Dickinson's (BDX) deal to acquire rival medical equipment maker CR Bard (BCR) was conditionally approved by China regulators, clearing the way for the $24 billion transaction to close. Becton would have to sell certain businesses.


You may want to buy a Powerball or Mega Millions ticket today. The jackpot prizes for both lottery games are currently over $300 million each. The next draw for Mega Millions is Friday. Powerball's next draw is on Saturday. (USA Today)

Starbucks (SBUX) is ringing in the new year and has debuted its "black and white mocha collection" for New Year's Eve, which pours espresso over dark chocolate and white chocolate mocha sauce. (TODAY)