Dow to slide after 600-point surge | Inside GM buyouts before job cuts | iPhone XR is best seller

BY THE NUMBERS

Futures were lower this morning, but the projected losses are mild compared to Wednesday's rally. The Dow surged 600 points and saw its best day in eight months after Fed chief Jerome Powell said rates are "just below" neutral. (CNBC)

* Trump cannot fire Fed Chairman Powell: Morgan Stanley (CNBC)
* Cramer: Stocks have one more hurdle before 'bullish promise land' (CNBC)

The Fed will release the minutes of its most recent meeting at 2 p.m. ET. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, and Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan all have public speaking engagements today. (CNBC)

The Labor Department is out with its weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. At the same time, October personal income and consumer spending numbers will released. October pending home sales are at 10 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

Retailers Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), Dollar Tree (DLTR), and Express (EXPR) are out with their quarterly earnings this morning. HP Inc. (HPQ), Ambarella (AMBA), Gamestop (GME), Palo Alto Networks (PANW), PVH Corp. (PVH), Splunk (SPLK), and VMware (VMW) issue earnings reports after today's closing bell. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

President Donald Trump told The New York Post he's not ruling out a pardon for his former campaign chief Paul Manafort. His remarks came after Robert Mueller and Manafort broke an agreement reached as part of a plea deal. (CNBC)

* Trump told Mueller he wasn't tipped to WikiLeaks, Trump Tower meeting on Clinton dirt (CNBC)

China is hoping for "positive results" in resolving a trade dispute with the United States at a G-20 summit in Argentina, the commerce ministry today, ahead of a closely watched meeting between the Chinese and U.S. leaders. (Reuters)

House Democrats have nominated Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to be the next House speaker, giving the longtime party leader a vote of confidence amid rebellion from some members of the caucus. She still needs to win a floor vote. (CNBC)

Saudi Arabia has signed a letter of offer and acceptance with the United States for Lockheed Martin's (LMT) THAAD missile system, a significant step forward in the $15 billion deal, a State Department spokesperson confirmed to CNBC.

Prosecutors and police searched Deutsche Bank premises today. The probe was in relation to suspicions that it helped clients set up offshore tax havens and didn't tell authorities of possible money laundering. (WSJ)

CNBC has learned that before General Motors' (GM) layoff announcement, GM had offered voluntary buyouts to 17,700 employees, citing stiff competition and a tough economy. GM announced 14,000 job cuts this week. (CNBC)

Apple's (AAPL) iPhone XR has been the company's best-selling model since it went on sale last month, according to a company executive who spoke to Reuters. The XR brings many key features but at a lower price point.

Facebook (FB) considered charging companies for access to its user data earlier this decade, according to court documents. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphatically told Congress earlier this year that "we don't sell data." (WSJ)

CVS Health (CVS) and Aetna (AET) have closed their $69 billion merger. CVS and Aetna announced the deal in December 2017 and received preliminary approval from the Department of Justice in October. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Walt Disney (DIS) raised its semi-annual dividend to 88 cents per share from 84 cents. The next dividend payment will take place on January 10 to shareholders of record as of December 10.

Altria (MO) is in talks to take a minority stake in e-cigarette maker Juul Labs, according to sources quoted by Dow Jones.

Micron Technology (MU) CEO Sanjay Mehotra told a Credit Suisse conference that the chip maker's fiscal first-quarter earnings would be at the high end of its prior guidance range. He also said tariffs will have a big impact on its gross margins but that the company is working to mitigate that impact.

Quest Diagnostics (DGX) lowered its 2018 revenue and earnings guidance, citing "volume softness" at its medical labs. The company said some of that softness was due to Hurricane Michael, the California wildfires, and the recent East Coast snowstorm.

Box (BOX) lost six cents per share for its latest quarter, one cent smaller than Wall Street had anticipated. The cloud storage company's revenue was above estimates, as it added more customers, and it gave an upbeat full-year forecast.

Guess (GES) earned an adjusted 13 cents per share for its latest quarter, missing consensus forecasts by three cents. The apparel retailer's revenue was in line with forecasts, and its U.S. comparable store sales came in above estimates. However, Guess also gave weaker than expected current quarter earnings guidance.

WATERCOOLER

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio flipped the switch last night to light the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree following a televised extravaganza that featured performances by Diana Ross and Tony Bennett. (AP)

WATCH:When the Dow closed above 1,000 for the first time in 1972