Top Stories
Top Stories
Morning Brief

Stocks mixed | US and China talk trade | Apple trolls rivals

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were mixed this morning, with market focus largely attuned to trade talks between Chinese officials and their American counterparts. Friday's surge propelled the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq to their first two-week streak in nearly two months. (CNBC)

* Dow jumps more than 700 points, propelled by Fed chief's comments and a blowout jobs report (CNBC)

However, ahead of Monday's trading session on Wall Street, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq were still firmly in correction territory. The S&P 500, on Christmas Eve, hit a bear market, dropping 20 percent from its 52-week high. (CNBC)

Bridgewater, the world's largest hedge fund founded by Ray Dalio, posted returns for 2018 that not only outperformed benchmark indexes for various asset classes, but also many of its peers. The firm's flagship Pure Alpha fund finished the year reportedly returning 14.6 percent net of fees. (CNBC)

Shares of Loxo Oncology (LOXO) were surging about 65 percent after Eli Lilly (LLY) said it would by the biotech for about $8 billion in cash. Lilly is buying into a portfolio of targeted medicines to treat cancer driven by genetic mutations. (Reuters)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

President Donald Trump's evolving definition of a border wall animated negotiations to end a partial government shutdown. But House Democrats moved to pass individual bills to reopen targeted departments that handle critical functions like tax refunds and food stamps. (NY Times)

Federal workers braced for missing their first paychecks as shutdown negotiations showed little sign of progress. About 420,000 employees, deemed essential, are working without pay, while 380,000 have been placed on unpaid leave, or furlough. (WSJ)

China's foreign ministry said today that both Beijing and Washington are expressing a will to work together on trade. Those comments come as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish leads a working team in China in talks set to conclude tomorrow. (CNBC)

This timeline shows how the US-China trade war led to the latest round of talks in Beijing (CNBC)
US and North Korean officials reportedly met in Hanoi to discuss second Trump-Kim summit (Reuters)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong celebrated today the ground breaking of the electric automaker's first non-U.S. factory. Tesla said the factory in Shanghai "will allow the company to localize production of Model 3 and future models sold in China." (CNBC)

Huawei unveiled today a next-generation chipset for servers. Huawei is keen to show it's pushing ahead with business despite major political headwinds, including the arrest of its CFO in Canada and continued privacy accusations from the U.S. and other nations. (CNBC)

Apple posted a huge advertisement on the side of a hotel that overlooks the Las Vegas Convention Center, where rivals Google and Amazon are set to have a huge presence at this year's CES. The ad reads, "What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone." (CNBC)

Apple announced a partnership with Samsung, one of its fiercest rivals. Soon, customers who own select Samsung smart TVs will be able to access iTunes movie and TV content. AirPlay 2 support will let iPhone and iPad owners send content from their screens to the TVs, too. (CNBC)

* Wall Street bankers don't think Apple will buy anything big, but here's what they'd recommend (CNBC)

Amazon is set for a bull run in 2019 as shares could surge more than 20 percent, according to a new report from Pivotal Research Group. Analyst Brian Wieser initiated coverage of Amazon with a $1,920 price target for the end of the year, roughly 21 above the stock's current level. (CNBC)

* Salesforce's Marc Benioff unplugged for 2 weeks, and had a revelation that could change his industry (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Private-equity firm Apollo Global Management is reportedly working on an offer to acquire General Electric's aircraft leasing operations, which are worth as much as $40 billion. Apollo's bid interest comes as GE's new Chief Executive Officer, Larry Culp, works on a turnaround.

Activist investor Starboard Value has acquired a stake in discount store operator Dollar Tree and is asking the company to sell its Family Dollar business, according to The Wall Street Journal.

California utility company PG&E, according to a Reuters report, is exploring filing some or all of its business for bankruptcy protection as it faces billions of dollars in liabilities related to fatal wildfires in 2018 and 2017.

Susan Zirinsky, longtime producer of "48 Hours" on CBS, will replace David Rhodes as the president of the network's news division in March. It's the latest major personnel change since CEO Leslie Moonves was forced out in September over accusations of sexual misconduct.

WATERCOOLER

The 76th Golden Globes last night, which saw a string of upsets, culminated with the Freddie Mercury biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody" winning best drama, over another movie about musicians: Bradley Cooper's much more heavily favored "A Star Is Born." (AP)

* 7 must-know moments from Sunday's Golden Globe Awards show (USA Today)
* The worst and best dressed stars at the Golden Globes (USA Today)

In its third straight weekend atop the box office, ticket sales for "Aquaman" pushed over $940 million worldwide, becoming the highest grossing worldwide release in the DC Comics extended universe. (Box Office Mojo)