Morning Brief

Stocks set to rise | Trump searches for new chief of staff | Musk: I don't respect the SEC


U.S. stock futures were pointing to a gain at Monday's open on Wall Street following the worst week for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq since late March. The Dow and S&P plunged about 4.5 percent each. The Nasdaq fell nearly 5 percent. (CNBC)

* Asia stocks decline, led by a 2% drop in Japan; Europe under pressure (CNBC)

Heading into the new week, the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq were all on three session losing streaks. Friday's sharp sell-off knocked the Dow and S&P 500 negative for the year. However, the Nasdaq was still up nearly 1 percent for 2018. (CNBC)

On Monday's economic calendar, the Labor Department issues its October JOLTS report at 10 a.m. ET. The monthly measure of job opportunities and labor turnover has been showing job openings at or near record levels in recent months. (CNBC)

The European Court of Justice said this morning the U.K. can cancel Brexit without asking for permission from other European Union member states. The decision followed a non-binding opinion supplied to the judges by a senior legal officer last week. (CNBC)

* Sterling plummets on reports UK government could pull Parliament's vote on Brexit (CNBC)


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is one of the advisors to President Donald Trump under consideration to be the next White House chief of staff, now that John Kelly is set to leave at the end of the year. (CNBC)

* Nick Ayers rules out role as new White House chief of staff (CNBC)

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he considers March 1 a "hard deadline" to reach a trade deal with China, and that new tariffs will be imposed otherwise. (Reuters)

Trump and congressional leaders are racing against a deadline next week to avert a partial government shutdown. The biggest dispute is funding for the president's border wall. (NY Times)

President Trump's son-in-law and key advisor Jared Kushner recently offered Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman advice on how to handle the outrage over the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. (NY Times)

British banks Standard Chartered and HSBC were reportedly among financial institutions misled by Chinese technology giant Huawei into funneling illicit payments from Iran. (WSJ)

* Japan's top three telcos to shun Huawei, ZTE network equipment (Reuters)

Both Nissan and the automaker's former chairman Carlos Ghosn have been charged by Japanese prosecutors over financial misconduct. Ghosn was arrested in November for under-reporting his compensation. (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) would consider buying the factories General Motors (GM) said it intends to idle, CEO Elon Musk said in an interview that aired on "60 Minutes" Sunday night.

* Musk: 'I have no respect for the SEC' (CBS)

Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google revealed its vision for a massive development in its home city of Mountain View, California, outlining plans for a combination of office, retail, public and residential space. (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) has dismissed several workers in the U.S. and India for allegedly inappropriately accessing internal data that was being misused by disreputable merchants. (WSJ)

Uber has filed paperwork for an initial public offering, taking a step closer to a key milestone for one of the most closely watched and controversial companies in Silicon Valley. Rival Lyft filed for its IPO last week. (Reuters)

Ten years ago this week, with a global financial meltdown in full swing, Bernard Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme came to light. Here's what became of Madoff's inner circle since then. (CNBC)


Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded FedEx (FDX) shares this morning, citing the abrupt departure of the head of the company's Express unit last week.

Facebook (FB) increased its stock buyback authorization by $9 billion, on top of a previously authorized $15 billion. The embattled stock has dropped about 22 percent for the year.

Gilead Sciences (GILD) named Roche executive Daniel O'Day as its new chief executive officer as of March. Gregg Alton will serve as interim CEO from January to March. The drugmaker said in July that CEO John Milligan would step down at the end of this year.

A potential merger between Deutsche Bank (DB) and Commerzbank would have the approval of Germany's finance ministry, according to a Bloomberg report.

Yelp (YELP) is under fire from longtime shareholder SQN Investors. The Wall Street Journal reports that SQN is planning to send a letter to the online review company pushing the board to add new members and consider all options to get the business back on track, including a sale.

Papa John's (PZZA) founder John Schnatter has engaged a financial adviser to help him review alternative for increasing shareholder value, according to an SEC filing.


Disney's (DIS) "Ralph Breaks the Internet" topped the domestic box office for the third weekend in a row. The animated sequel brought in another $16.2 million in ticket sales for a $140 million haul since opening over Thanksgiving. (Variety)