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Morning Brief

Stocks seek more gains | Fed Chair Powell speaks | Trump threatens GM


Futures were higher this morning, possibly giving Wall Street a shot at erasing its November losses with three trading days remaining. The Dow is down 1.5 percent for the month, the S&P 500 down 1.1 percent, and Nasdaq 3.1 percent lower. (CNBC)

* Cramer: Volatility charts suggest now is the time to buy into stocks (CNBC)

Today's marquee event is a lunchtime speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. His speech will be followed by a Q&A session, and there's little doubt investors will be focused on any insight into future monetary policy. (CNBC)

* Trump attacks Powell: 'I'm not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay' (Washington Post)

Economic numbers will also be part of today's investment landscape, with the government set to release its second look at third quarter GDP at 8:30 a.m. ET. The government will be out with new home sales figures for October at 10 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

Weekly mortgage applications rise 5.5% as homebuyers edge back in (CNBC)

Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), J.M. Smucker (SJM), and Tiffany (TIF) are out with quarterly earnings this morning, while Guess (GES) and La-Z-Boy (LZB) are among the handful of companies set to release their numbers after today's closing bell. (CNBC)


Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith will win Mississippi's Senate election, holding a GOP seat despite comments that stoked racial tensions in the state and sparked backlash from donors, NBC News projects.

Trump escalated his public threats against General Motors (GM), saying he will consider cutting all subsidies to GM after the company announced plans earlier this week to slash production at several American plants. (CNBC)

Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort strongly denied a report that he had secretly met with Julian Assange several times in the WikiLeaks founder's refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in recent years. (CNBC)

The New York Times reported a lawyer for Manafort repeatedly briefed Trump's lawyers on his client's discussions with federal investigators after Manafort agreed to cooperate with the special counsel Robert Mueller.

The Trump administration is spending at least $72 million to send troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, nearly double what the White House requested for fiscal 2019 to hire additional immigration judges to hear the backlog of court cases. (CNBC)

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko warned Russia will face serious consequences if it attacks its neighbor Ukraine, days after Russia seized Ukrainian navy ships and their crew members claiming they had entered Russian waters illegally. (CNBC)

With discounts starting early and more days to shop before Christmas this year, fewer people turned out for the five-day shopping extravaganza that runs from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday, the National Retail Federation said. (CNBC)

A former Facebook (FB) employee, who is black, accused the company of having 'a black people problem' in a note published publicly. Mark Luckie said black people aren't represented proportionately in its staffing. (CNBC)

YouTube is planning to make all future original programming available to users for free with advertising, as the video streaming unit of Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google seeks a bigger audience for shows and movies. (Reuters)

Google employees wrote an open letter calling for the company to cancel Project Dragonfly, an effort to create a censored search engine in China. The project has drawn criticism from human rights groups and politicians. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH (CRM) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 61 cents per share, beating consensus estimates by 11 cents. The business software maker's revenue also beat forecasts, but it gave a mixed outlook. Salesforce's current quarter earnings guidance is below expectations, but it is forecasting 2020 revenue above consensus as more companies subscribe to its cloud-based service.

Sleep Number (SNBR) will have to face a defamation lawsuit first filed 11 years ago by rival mattress retailer Mattress Firm. A federal appeals court has revived the lawsuit, overturning a dismissal by a lower court judge.

Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) is recalling certain combinations involving its blood pressure drug valsartan in the U.S. That follows the detection of an impurity that could cause cancer, although the FDA said there that Teva had not received any reports of adverse events related to the issue. (AMZN) has begun selling software that scrutinizes medical records for information that could be used to generate more effective treatment as well as cut costs.

Alaska Air (ALK) was added to the "Conviction Buy List" at Goldman Sachs, which points to several positive factors for the airline including a favorable 2019 cost outlook.

Nutanix (NTNX) lost 13 cents per share for its fiscal first quarter, less than half of the 27 cent loss that analysts had anticipated, and the cloud software provider also saw revenue come in above estimates. However, the company did give weaker than expected current quarter guidance.

Campbell Soup (CPB) could name food industry veteran Mark Clouse as its next CEO, according to the Wall Street Journal quoting people familiar with the food company's search. Clouse had been CEO of Pinnacle Foods prior to its acquisition by Conagra Brands (CAG). Clouse is said to be the leading candidate, although the paper says there's no guarantee he'll ultimately be chosen or that he'll accept the job.

Whirlpool (WHR) was downgraded from "outperform" to "neutral" at Credit Suisse, which notes that a solid pricing environment for appliances appears to be already reflected in Whirlpool's stock price.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) and American Airlines Group (AAL) were rated "positive" in new coverage at Susquehanna Financial, which also assigns "neutral" ratings to United Continental (UAL) and Southwest Airlines (LUV). It rates Delta the best among legacy carriers helped by a structural advantage provided by its Atlanta hub, and it feels American has strengthened its overall network.


Some Burger King restaurants in Green Bay, Wisconsin, are selling a new Whopper — dubbed the Green Bay Whopper Sandwich — that comes with eight slices of American cheese. It's received mixed reviews. (TODAY)