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Morning Brief

Stocks to soar | It's D-Day for Sears | Trump to address nation about wall

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning after a choppy trading session Monday that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average close up nearly 100 points. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all saw their fourth positive day in five. (CNBC)

* European stocks hit a 3-week high (CNBC)
* Asian stocks mixed as US-China trade talks continue (CNBC)

CNBC has learned Sears is planning to announce its decision on Chairman Eddie Lampert's bid to save the company this morning. Sears believes Lampert's bid is short, and the two parties have been unable to come to a resolution.

Samsung Electronics surprised the market with an estimated 29 percent drop in quarterly profit in Q4 due to, it said, lackluster demand in its memory chip business and competition in the smartphone segment. (CNBC & Reuters)

* Samsung is getting into robots (Axios)
LG warns profits likely fell 80 percent in fourth quarter (Reuters)

On the data front this morning, the latest monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, is expected to publish at 10 a.m. ET. Consumer credit figures for November are expected to be published later in the session. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

President Donald Trump said he will address the nation from the Oval Office tonight at 9 p.m. ET. He is expected to discuss the standoff over his proposed border wall that has shut down chunks of the federal government. (CNBC)

A Trump administration official said that federal income tax refunds would indeed go out despite a large part of the government being shut down. The IRS is still working on contingencies if the shutdown continues. (CNBC)

China approved five genetically modified (GM) crops for import today, the first in about 18 months. The approvals were granted while a U.S. trade delegation is meeting with its counterparts in the Chinese capital this week. (Reuters)

Turkey's President Recep Erdogan issued a blunt put-down against White House national security advisor John Bolton over his pledges to ensure Turkish non-aggression against Kurds who fought against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria. (CNBC)

A bill rejected last year by California's outgoing governor, Jerry Brown, has been reintroduced in the legislature and would limit the number of guns Californians can purchase to just one per month. (CNBC)

* New California Gov. Gavin Newsom sets tone with attacks on the Trump administration (CNBC)

A new preliminary estimate published today showed that a steep drop in coal use wasn't enough to offset rising carbon dioxide emissions. America's emissions rose by 3.4 percent in 2018, the biggest increase in eight years. (NY Times)

Nissan Motor's ousted Chairman Carlos Ghosn declared his innocence in his first public appearance since his arrest in November, telling a Tokyo court on Tuesday that he was wrongly accused of financial misconduct. (Reuters)

Read the full statement from Nissan's Ghosn (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) announced it will offer to deliver packages right into your garage beginning early this year. The service is called Key for Garage, and joins Amazon's Key for Home and Key for Car services. (CNBC)

Amgen (AMGN) Chairman and CEO Bob Bradway told CNBC's Jim Cramer that the company's decision to cut the cost of its cholesterol drug by 60 percent was due to patients unable to pay for its pricey treatment.

STOCKS TO WATCH

J.P. Morgan (JPM) was downgraded by Jefferies from buy to hold. The firm said the bank's revenues could fall short of consensus expectations.

Union Pacific (UNP) hired a new chief operating officer. Jim Vena, who previously worked for Canadian National Railway, will begin as COO effective Jan 14. Separately, the company was upgraded to outperform from sector perform at RBC Capital Markets.

NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast (CMCSA) and the parent company of CNBC, told Axios it plans to reduce the amount of advertisements it serves during prime-time even more as it looks to push away from old ad models.

Lennar (LEN) was upgraded by KeyBanc from sector weight to overweight. KeyBanc also announced a $50 per share price target for the home construction company.

WATERCOOLER

Marvel dropped a new trailer of the soon to be blockbuster "Captain Marvel" during the College Football Playoff National Championship. It shows Captin Marvel taking on Skrulls, the alien species that has come to take over Earth in the film. (The Verge)