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Morning Brief

Stocks set to drop | Key China data miss | Ditch your phone for $100K

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a sharply lower Friday open on Wall Street, with weak economic data from China to blame. If the selling were to get much worse by the close, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq could swing to declines for the week. (CNBC)

* UBS predicts a S&P 500 rally next year that's 20% higher than current levels (CNBC)
* Record $46 billion pulled from US-based stock funds this week (Reuters)

Stocks in Asia sank overnight, with the markets in China off 1.5 percent and in Japan down 2 percent. The sell-off spilled over into European trading as well after China reported November industrial production and retail sales that missed expectations. (CNBC)

With the world's second-largest economy starting to show signs of slowing as the U.S. trade war continues, Beijing confirms a temporary halt to its additional 25 percent tariffs on vehicles made in America. The move brings the tariffs back to pre-trade-war levels. (CNBC)

* Tesla cuts China prices after tariff drop on US-made cars (Reuters)

On the U.S. economic calendar this morning, November retail sales and industrial production are out at 8:30 a.m. ET and 9:15 a.m. ET, respectively. October business inventories are released at 10 a.m. ET. There are no earnings reports out today. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Starbucks (SBUX) shares were under pressure after its announcement that same-store sales growth would remain steady at between 3 to 4 percent annually over the long term, even as it expands delivery options and nearly doubles stores in China. (CNBC)

Wedbush Securities began coverage of Tesla shares with an outperform rating, saying Elon Musk's electric vehicle and energy storage company is now in the top echelon of 21st century technology companies. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) will push software updates to users in China, in a bid to avoid the impact of a court ban on some of its iPhone models there. The ban stemmed from alleged infringement of patents held by chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM). (Reuters)

* Top Apple analyst cuts Apple iPhone shipment estimates by 20% (CNBC)

Sears, which filed for bankruptcy protection in October and has been closing dozens of stores, said same-store comparable sales increased 4.3 percent in the recently completed quarter, reversing years of declines. (WSJ)

Michael Cohen, former Trump personal lawyer, said in an interview he doesn't believe the president's defense of his alleged role in hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison. (CNBC)

* Trump inauguration spending under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors (WSJ)

The open enrollment period to get health insurance next year through the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it's commonly known, ends Saturday for most Americans, but a few states will allow people to buy coverage after the deadline. (CNBC)

Britain's embattled Prime Minister Theresa May will go back to London empty-handed, after racing to Brussels to try to get a few more concessions from the EU on Brexit. The U.K. Parliament is legally scheduled to vote on the withdrawal agreement before Jan. 21. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Costco reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.61 per share, one cent shy of estimates, although revenue did beat forecasts. Costco's same-store sales were higher by 8.8 percent during the quarter, matching forecasts.

Adobe earned an adjusted $1.90 per share for its latest quarter, beating estimates by two cents, while the software maker's revenue was slightly above Street forecasts. The maker of popular software like Photoshop and Acrobat also raised its revenue forecast for the full year.

Belmond (BEL) agreed to be bought by French luxury goods maker LVMH for $3.2 billion including assumed debt, or $25 per share for the Bermuda-based luxury hotel operator. That's about a 40 percent premium to where Belmond closed Thursday.

WATERCOOLER

Could you actually ditch your smartphone for a year? Vitaminwater wants to find out, and it's willing to part with $100,000 if someone can rise to the challenge. (CNBC's Make It)