U.S. stock futures were pointing to a modestly lower Wall Street open on Monday after a powerful market rally Friday, fueled by the government's strong November jobs data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 337 points, nearly erasing the sharp declines in the early part of last week. The Dow stands less than 150 points, or about 0.5%, away from its closing record high on Nov. 27. Friday's rally also put the Nasdaq just shy of a positive week and 0.5% away from its Nov. 27 record. The S&P 500 was able to turn positive last week, and remains about 0.25% away from its all-time closing high on Nov. 27. In often a counterintuitive sign, The Wall Street Journal points out that investors are exiting stock funds at one of the most robust clips in decades, even as the stock market heads for its strongest year since 2013.
Investors will be looking for clarity on the U.S.-China trade talks this week, after a volatile stretch of headlines on the progress, or lack there of, being made on a "phase one" deal ahead of Sunday's deadline for new American tariffs on Chinese imports. China exports fell in November for a fourth consecutive month as Beijing demands tariff rollbacks as part of any trade agreement. In the tech conflict between the U.S. and China that's wrapped up in the trade war, China's Communist Party is ordering all state offices to remove foreign hardware and software within three years, the Financial Times reports. The move could hit major U.S. companies including Microsoft, Dell and HP.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos gave a dismal outlook for the nation if U.S. tech companies decide to not support America's war business. As Silicon Valley courts a closer relationship with the Pentagon, tech firms have faced backlash for pursuing lucrative Defense Department contracts. Last year, Alphabet's Google announced it was working with the U.S. military to analyze drone videos by using artificial intelligence. The controversial contract, dubbed Project Maven, caused thousands of employees to protest. "I know it's complicated," Bezo said, but he added, "We are the good guys, I really do believe that." Bezos' comments come on the heels of Amazon's decision to contest the Pentagon's cloud computing contract awarded to Microsoft.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said his panel will "presumably" present articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump this week. The New York Democrat told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that Trump asking Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden is "certainly abuse of power." Nadler's committee holds a hearing Monday to hear from both Democrats and Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee about the findings from their impeachment probe. The chairman kept the door open on whether Democrats will also ultimately cite the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Also Monday, the Justice Department's internal watchdog is expected to release findings that Mueller's Russia probe was valid despite some flaws.
As "Frozen II" continues to dominate the box office, both domestically and internationally, Walt Disney's tally for the year hovers around $9.9 billion, according to data from Comscore. That tally smashes the previous $7.6 billion 2016 record, also set by Disney, which had been the most a studio ever earned in a year. Disney's 2019 haul does not include the titles it acquired during its purchase of 20th Century Fox earlier this year. If those were counted, the number for the year would be nearly $12 billion. Of course, Disney's incredible performance comes ahead of the Dec. 20 release of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker." Disney has had five billion-dollar movies this year — "Avengers: Endgame," "The Lion King," "Aladdin," "Captain Marvel" and "Toy Story 4." Soon, "Frozen II" is expected to join that club.
— Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report