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Morning Brief

Stocks to extend gains | Deadline to save Sears looms | Netflix releases interactive movie

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning after a Thursday rally that was particularly notable. The Dow erased a mid-afternoon 611 point loss and both the Dow and Nasdaq posted their biggest intraday comebacks in a decade. (CNBC)

* European markets bounce back after heavy losses; miners gain (CNBC)

Sears' likely last shot at survival is a $4.6 billion proposal, put forward by Chairman Eddie Lampert, to buy the company out of bankruptcy through his hedge fund, ESL Investments. He's staring down today's deadline. (CNBC)

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index is out at 9:45 a.m. ET. The National Association of Realtors is out with its report on pending home sales for November at 10 a.m. ET. The Energy Department is scheduled to be out with its holiday-delayed report on oil and gasoline inventories at 11 a.m. ET, if the report is not affected by the government shutdown. (CNBC)

U.S. cannabis retailer Green Growth announced it would make a hostile takeover bid for Aphria in an all-stock deal valuing the Canadian pot producer at $2.06 billion. Green Growth said it reached out to Aphria last week. (Reuters)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Congress has so far failed to break an impasse over President Donald Trump's demand for $5 billion to build the barrier, and no votes are scheduled yet. The partial government shutdown will likely extend into the new year. (CNBC)

Democratic megadonor Bernard Schwartz said he's had private dinners and meetings with House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and other party officials to propose a unified economic policy platform for 2020 hopefuls. (CNBC)

CNBC has learned billionaire Mike Bloomberg is prepared to spend well over the $100 million he put into his last campaign for New York City mayor if he runs for president in 2020.

More wild weather is forecast for today across the nation: an ongoing blizzard in the north-central U.S. and flooding rains in the Southeast. (USA Today)

A transformer explosion at an electric power station in the New York City borough of Queens last night led police officials to warn people to avoid the area, after social media users posted images of a bright light on the horizon. (Reuters)

Facebook's (FB) Instagram suddenly pushed a new feature to its app yesterday that introduces horizontal scrolling, similar to its stories feature. Instagram's head of product later said the release was an accident. (CNBC)

Blue Apron (APRN) announced it is partnering with WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers. Through the partnership, Blue Apron will pay WW a fee for subscriptions it secures as a result of the arrangement, according to the Journal.

Amazon.com (AMZN) and Walmart (WMT) could be impacted by new restrictions on foreign e-commerce companies operating in India. New rules that make inventory management for those companies more difficult will go into effect on Feb 1. (TechCrunch)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Procter & Gamble (PG) and IBM (IBM) separately announced that former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault will retire from the boards of both companies. Both exits are effective February 13.

Lockheed Martin (LMT) was awarded a $712 million defense contract to develop advanced hardware for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

Spirit Airlines (SAVE) was on time more often than any other U.S. airline in October, according to new government data, and its flights have been on time about 81 percent of the time this year. That's in contrast to Spirit's general reputation of drawing more complaints from consumers than any other airline.

The Justice Department will not step up its investigation of Comcast's (CMCSA) 2011 purchase of CNBC parent NBCUniversal, according to a report in the New York Post.

First Republic Bank (FRC) will join the S&P 500 prior to the opening of trade on January 2. First Republic will replace SCANA Corp. (SCG), which is in the process of being acquired by Dominion Energy (D).

Dell Technologies (DELL) will begin trading today on the New York Stock Exchange, returning the computer maker to the public markets. That follows the buyout of Dell's tracking shares in software maker VMWare (VMW). The stock is rated "overweight" in new coverage at J.P. Morgan Chase with a price target of $60 per share.

Philip Morris (PM) is the subject of positive analyst comments at Piper Jaffray, which said the current price level for the tobacco producer's stock represents a buying opportunity given strong underlying earnings growth.

WATERCOOLER

Streaming giant Netflix (NFLX) released a new interactive episode of "Black Mirror" today that allows users to choose how the story develops and ends. The "choose your own adventure" episode is called "Bandersnatch." (CNBC)