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Morning Brief

Stocks face pressure | GE shares pop 9% | Apple invests $1 billion in Texas

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were lower this morning after a positive day Wednesday. The Nasdaq has a three-day win streak. The Dow and S&P 500 are up in two of the past three sessions, although both are negative for the year. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) announced today it will spend $1 billion to build a new campus in North Austin, Texas, which will accommodate 5,000 employees. It is also investing $10 billion in new data centers in various U.S. locations. (CNBC)

* Apple now has dozens of doctors on staff, showing it's serious about health tech (CNBC)

General Electric (GE) shares were 9 percent higher this morning after J.P. Morgan upgraded it neutral from underweight and removed the stock from the firm's short idea list, saying GE has a more "balanced risk reward at current levels." (CNBC)

The Labor Department will release its weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. At the same time, the government will be out with November import and export prices. Separately, the European Central Bank holds a policy meeting today, followed by a policy statement at 7:45 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

Networking equipment maker Ciena (CIEN) is one of the few companies set to release earnings this morning, while Adobe Systems (ADBE) and Costco (COST) headline today's after-the-bell reports. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer and fixer for President Donald Trump, was sentenced to three years in prison for a range of crimes, including ones which helped cover up Trump's "dirty deeds" and put the president in legal peril. (CNBC)

* Prosecutors give National Enquirer publisher immunity over hush money to purported Trump lover (CNBC)

Billionaire and liberal philanthropist George Soros has been telling his aides that he may not back a candidate during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary as the potentially large field sorts itself out. (CNBC)

Rep. Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats who had tried to derail her bid to become House speaker announced they'd come to an agreement that would all but ensure her path to become the most powerful Democrat in government. (USA Today)

Canadian businessman Michael Spavor, who worked with North Korea, is missing in China, according to a Canadian official. The news came days after Chinese authorities detained a former Canadian diplomat. (Reuters)

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May won a crucial vote of confidence in her leadership last night. May won the leadership challenge by 200 votes to 117 votes against her in the ballot of Conservative members of parliament. (CNBC)

The holiday season is looking merrier for consumer electronics company Nintendo. That's thanks to a hot selling new "Super Smash Bros." game as well as early signs that its Switch console is selling better. (WSJ)

Japan's Softbank is planning to replace telecom equipment made by China's Huawei with hardware from Nokia (NOK) and Ericsson (ERIC), according to a report from Japan's Nikkei news service.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Tailored Brands (TLRD) reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.01 per share, seven cents above estimates. However, the parent of apparel chains Jos. A. Bank and Men's Wearhouse saw revenue miss estimates, and it lowered its full year guidance because of weakening comparable sales at Men's Wearhouse at the end of the third quarter.

Oxford Industries (OXM) fell three cents shy of estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 14 cents per share, while revenue missed forecasts as well. The maker of the Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer apparel brands gave weaker than expected current quarter guidance and also cut its forecast for comparable store sales.

The Justice Department has ended a probe in SeaWorld Entertainment's (SEAS) response to a critical 2013 documentary. In an SEC filing, the theme park operator said the Justice Department did not intend to take any action against the company. Earlier this year, SeaWorld agreed to a $4 million penalty to settle charges that it had misled investors, while its former CEO James Atchison agreed to pay more than $1 million.

Tractor Supply (TSCO) was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Deutsche Bank, which cites a number of factors including the farming supplies maker's moves to increase profit margins.

Mondelez (MDLZ) agreed to sell its Kraft-branded cheese business in the Middle East and Africa to Denmark's Arla Foods for an undisclosed amount.

WATERCOOLER

Google released its 2018 "year in search" lists of what internet users sought out this year. Marvel Studios' superhero blockbuster "Black Panther" scored as the top-trending entertainment search. Here's the list from Variety.