Dow futures lower | Sterling rises on Brexit news | Marlboro maker in pot talks

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were lower this morning, continuing the erosion off the highs of yesterday's session, even though the day ended with gains. Investors are displaying caution over uncertainty involving the trade talks with China. (CNBC)

* Cramer explains how to profit from China's trade concessions (CNBC)
* The thing the bond market most feared is beginning to happen (CNBC)

Sterling quickly rose against the U.S. dollar after the legal advisor for the European Union's top court said today that the U.K. can cancel Brexit without asking for permission from other EU member states. (CNBC)

Earnings out this morning include Dollar General (DG), HD Supply Holdings (HDS) and Movado Group (MOV), while Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), MongoDB (MDB) and Marvell (MRVL) issue their numbers after today's closing bell. (CNBC)

No economic data is on the schedule for today, but there is one Fed speaker with New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams making a public appearance in New York at 10 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

CNBC has learned Sheldon Adelson, the biggest Republican donor, wants key GOP fundraising groups to shape up after this year's midterm wipeout in the House or risk losing his support for the 2020 election cycle.

The White House issued a correction stating that a truce between the U.S. and China actually began on December 1. The statement came hours after Trump's chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow said it would begin on January 1. (Axios)

* Trump's trade talks with China are back on — but it's not clear who will lead them (CNBC)

Paul Manafort, the former campaign chief of President Donald Trump, attempted to broker a deal between Washington and the government of Ecuador over Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, according to a New York Times report.

* Trump demands stiff prison sentence for his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen (CNBC)

A new filing today could detail how former Trump advisor Mike Flynn has been helping investigators since pleading guilty a year ago, the Wall Street Journal reported, providing a window into the special counsel probe.

Central American migrants stuck on the threshold of the U.S. in Mexico breached the border fence, risking almost certain detention by U.S. authorities but hoping the illegal entry will allow them to apply for asylum. (Reuters)

Six former Facebook employees who left the company within the last two years told CNBC they've experienced a rise in contact from current company employees to inquire about opportunities or ask for job references.

A federal judge is considering halting the integration of CVS Health (CVS) and Aetna (AET) — even though the two companies closed their merger. The judge pointed to concerns from groups about reduced competition. (CNBC)

A source told CNBC that Marlboro cigarette maker Altria (MO) is in early stage talks to acquire Canadian cannabis producer Cronos (CRON), as it seeks to diversify its business beyond traditional smokers.

Furniture retailer Ikea announced it will shrink its typically massive store to open its first location in Manhattan with a new "city center" format in 2019. It plans to open 30 small-format stores over the next three years. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Toll Brothers (TOL) reported quarterly earnings of $2.08 per share, well above consensus estimates of $1.83. Revenue also beat forecasts as Toll sold more homes at higher prices, and the luxury home builder said key metrics like deliveries and backlog were at its highest in over a decade.

RH (RH) earned an adjusted $1.52 per share for its third quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.27. The Restoration Hardware parent also saw revenue beat estimates, and it raised its current quarter earnings and revenue guidance. The furniture retailer said its revenue was negatively impacted this past quarter by tariff-related delays.

Cirrus Logic (CRUS) cut its fiscal third quarter guidance due to weakness in the smartphone market. The chip-maker is a key supplier of audio chips for Apple's (AAPL) iPhones.

Boeing (BA) could see Lion Air cancel jet orders in a dispute between the two over a 737 crash in late October, according to sources quoted by Reuters. No final decision has been made over the $22 billion in orders still scheduled to be delivered to Lion Air.

Amgen's (AMGN) multiple myeloma treatment known as AMG420 received a "fast track" designation from the Food and Drug Administration, speeding up its path to possible approval. The biotech company said seven of 10 patients given the second highest does of the drug responded to treatment, with four having no detectable cancer.

Liberty Media (LMCA) is preparing to seek a 35 percent stake in radio station operator iHeartMedia, according to the New York Post. The paper said Liberty's John Malone wants to combine iHeart with his other music properties like SiriusXM (SIRI) and Live Nation (LYV).

Waste Management (WM) got a double upgrade from Goldman Sachs, which moved the waste processing company's stock rating to "buy" from "sell" based on several factors including valuation. It also raised the price target on the stock to $107 from $84.

WATERCOOLER

Good news for concerned fans of "Friends." The NBC sitcom that has enjoyed a second life on streaming services is not disappearing from Netflix (NFLX) next month, the company's chief content officer announced. (NBC News)