Futures higher ahead of all-important US jobs data

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock index futures were higher this morning, a day after the Dow broke above 25,000 for the first time following strong jobs data. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also saw fresh record highs. At current levels, the Dow is on pace for its best week in a month. (CNBC)

Investors will be waiting for the December employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, due out at 8:30 a.m. ET. The latest nonfarm payrolls report is expected to show the U.S. economy adding 190,000 jobs in the last month. (CNBC)

In addition to the December jobs report, the non-manufacturing ISM report on business and factory orders are both set to be released at 10 a.m. ET. International trade data is due out at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Fed's Patrick Harker is expected to comment on the economic outlook at the 2018 ASSA Annual Meeting today in Philadelphia. Meantime, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester is expected to speak in Philadelphia as well. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

A tell-all book about President Donald Trump's White House will hit shelves today despite a demand from Trump's lawyer for an apology and retraction of material. The book features comments from ex-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. (CNBC)

The Trump administration is reportedly seeking nearly $18 billion from Congress to construct more than 700 miles of barriers along the Southwest border. Trump campaigned on a promise to build a wall and that Mexico would pay for it. (WSJ)

President Trump reportedly directed his counsel to urge Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Justice Department's investigation into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. (AP)

A powerful blizzard battered the Northeast this week, knocking out power for tens of thousands of people and snarling travel. The wintry weather has been blamed for at least 14 deaths in the past few days, including in North Carolina and Texas. (Reuters)

The massive winter storm is moving out of the Northeastern U.S. region, but flight disruptions will continue through the end of the week. Airlines have canceled more than 4,600 flights because of the storm and more delays are expected. (CNBC)

North Korea has accepted South Korea's offer for talks on January 9, according to Reuters, citing Seoul's Unification Ministry. The bilateral discussions will reportedly focus on the Winter Olympics as well as "other issues of mutual interest."

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has announced the space exploration company will launch its biggest rocket yet, called the Falcon Heavy, at the end of the month. He also revealed that the rocket would carry out a test fire next week. (CNBC)

Uber's cofounder and former CEO Travis Kalanick is planning to sell $1.4 billion of stock in the company, or 29 percent of his stake, a source familiar with the arrangement told CNBC.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Sears Holdings (SHLD), the parent company of Sears and Kmart stores, told its employees that it will be closing more than 100 additional stores this year. Macy's (M) also revealed the locations of 11 stores that it will be closing in 2018.

Apple (AAPL) said it will be releasing more software updates to protect against recently disclosed security vulnerabilities. Updates are forthcoming for Apple's Safari browser for macOS and iOS.

GoPro (GPRO) is cutting about 200 to 300 jobs in its aerial products division this week, according to TechCrunch. The job cuts are part of a bigger restructuring in the company.

WATERCOOLER

The last season of award-winning medieval fantasy series "Game of Thrones" will be released during 2019. HBO did not specify the month it would release, but said it would be a six-episode season. (NBC News)