Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to rise, Cyber Monday shopping and Trump leaves for NATO summit


U.S. stock futures were pointing to a strong open, putting Wall Street's December prospects more in line with history than recent trends. December is, on average, the best month of the year for the S&P 500, but the benchmark index fell more than 9% in December 2018 with similar losses for the Dow and Nasdaq. (CNBC)

The first economic reports of the month come out at 10 a.m. ET, with the Institute for Supply Management issuing its November manufacturing index and the government releasing figures for October construction spending. No earnings reports of note are out today. (CNBC)

A private survey today in China showed a brighter spot for the world's second largest economy as Washington and Beijing remain locked in a long-drawn trade dispute that's weighed on sentiment. Chinese manufacturing activity expanded more than expected in November. (CNBC)

* China repeats call for rollback of US tariffs and demands Canada release Huawei CFO (AP)

China's Foreign Ministry has suspended the review of requests by U.S. military ships and aircraft to visit Hong Kong in response to legislation passed by U.S. lawmakers in support of protesters. The Chinese government also sanctioned a U.S.-headquartered NGO for supporting extremist, violent activities in Hong Kong. (Reuters)


Black Friday shoppers spent $7.4 billion online, the second largest internet shopping day ever, marking the biggest sales day ever for Black Friday. It trailed only last year's Cyber Monday's $7.9 billion for the No. 1 spot of all-time in online revenue, though today's Cyber Monday could reach a new high. (CNBC)

* Retailers readjust as online sales soar (WSJ)

The White House says it will not participate in the House Judiciary Committee's first impeachment hearing on Wednesday but left open the possibility that it may take part in future proceedings. However, the House Intelligence Committee still has to vote Tuesday on Chairman Adam Schiff's impeachment report, which will make a case for the congressional removal of President Donald Trump. (NBC News)

* Judiciary Committee gives Trump deadline to call witnesses, present evidence in impeachment hearings (CNBC)

Trump leaves today for a NATO summit in London and he is under pressure from PM Boris Johnson to resist the temptation to wade into the British election campaign coming up Dec. 12. Trump's often commented on the nation's politics, but with Johnson leading polls, the prime minister wants Trump to avoid involvement. (Reuters)

* Russia is not the only pressing issue that NATO has to deal with (CNBC)

Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock, the two-term governor of Montana, dropped out of the presidential race today after falling short of qualification requirements for multiple debates and failing to collect notable support in polling. Joe Sestak, a former U.S. representative from Pennsylvania, ended his campaign yesterday. (NBC News)

The Supreme Court is set to hear today its first major Second Amendment case since 2010. The dispute, over a since-repealed New York City handgun regulation, comes amid heightened criticism of the nation's uniquely permissive gun laws. A decision is expected by July, in the midst of the 2020 presidential election. (CNBC)

The chair of a two-week climate summit attended by nearly 200 countries warned at its opening today that those refusing to adjust to the planet's rising temperatures "will be on the wrong side of history." Chile's environment minister said that the Dec. 2-13 meeting needs to lay the groundwork for moving toward carbon-neutral economies. (AP)

Hundreds of flights were canceled and thousands delayed for travelers heading home after the Thanksgiving holiday as a deadly winter storm moved to the Northeast on Sunday, packing one last punch of snow and ice. The National Weather Service predicted more than a foot of snow in swaths of upstate New York and New England. (AP)


Las Vegas Sands (LVS) and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) are on watch following new figures showing gambling revenue in Macau fell 8.5% in November compared to a year earlier, due to slower economic growth and the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) reached a tentative four-year labor deal with the United Auto Workers union, following similar agreements with U.S. rival Ford (F) and General Motors (GM).

General Electric's (GE) GE Healthcare division holds an investor meeting today, hoping to spark new interest in a unit that is seen as key to the company's ongoing turnaround plan.

Splunk (SPLK) was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Goldman Sachs, which points to a number of positive trends for the data analytics company.

Macy's (M), Kohl's (KSS) and Nordstrom (JWN) are popular targets among short sellers, as they focus on brick-and-mortar retailers. Financial data firm S3 Partners tells the Wall Street Journal that short positions against the SPDR S&P Retail ETF hit 441% of the fund's available shares.


Disney's "Frozen II" continued to dominate the box office, hauling in $124 million domestically during the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The animated feature outpaced 2013′s "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" to become the highest-grossing film over that holiday period. (CNBC)