Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to fall, impeachment enters new phase and Disney owns 2019 box office


U.S. stock futures pointed to modest losses at the Monday open following Friday's strong rally that erased the S&P 500's losses for the week. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are all riding three-day win streaks, and the S&P 500 is within 0.25% of its Nov. 27 record high. Small caps continue their recent rally, with the Russell 2000 now at its highest in 14 months. (CNBC)

* Investors bail on stock market rally, fleeing funds at record pace (WSJ)

Investors will be looking for clarity on the U.S.-China trade war today after a volatile week of trade headlines. The world's two largest economies are in talks to finalize a so-called phase one trade deal as 15% tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese imports are set to kick in Dec. 15. (CNBC)

China's Communist Party has reportedly ordered all state offices to remove foreign hardware and software within three years in a move which could hit major U.S. firms including Microsoft, Dell and HP. The policy has been dubbed "3-5-2" because the replacement of the technology will happen at a pace of 30% in 2020, 50% in 2021, and 20% in 2022. (CNBC)

No data is on today's U.S. Economic calendar. Recreational vehicle maker Thor Industries (THO) releases quarterly earnings this morning, while after-the-bell reports include Ascena Retail (ASNA), Chewy (CHWY), Stitch Fix (SFIX) and Toll Brothers (TOL). (CNBC)


House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said his panel will "presumably" present articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump this week. The committee will hear from lawmakers for and against impeachment today about the findings from their investigation into allegations that Trump led a campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate former VP Joe Biden. (NBC News)

Presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren is drafting a sweeping piece of legislation that would go far beyond breaking and blocking deals between companies and would exert more control over some of America's largest firms. It could regulate the behavior of U.S. companies, covering everything from the way these firms treat their competitors to how they set the prices of their products. (CNBC)

* Warren reveals details of past legal work, showing $2 million in compensation since 1980s (Reuters)
* Biden campaign attacks Trump policy on Saudi Arabia, North Korea (Reuters)

Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance." The reported test comes ahead of a year-end deadline North Korea has imposed for the U.S. to drop its insistence on unilateral denuclearization. (Reuters)

* North Korea calls Trump 'erratic' old man over tweets (AP)
* Former defense secretaries shed light on why Trump talks with North Korea failed (CNBC)

The Justice Department's internal watchdog will release a highly anticipated report today. It's expected to reject Trump's claims that the Russia investigation was illegitimate and tainted by political bias from FBI leaders. But it is also expected to document errors during the investigation that may animate Trump supporters. (AP)

* 'It's now or never': Russia and Ukraine hold peace talks in Paris (CNBC)
* Russia banned from Olympic Games over doping scandal (Reuters)

Amazon (AMZN) and Facebook (FB) are loading up on new office space in New York City, helping fuel an expansion of tech companies that's remaking a swath of Manhattan less than a year after Amazon dropped plans to build its second headquarters in the city's Queens borough. (WSJ)

Bezos says 'the country is in trouble' if big tech turns its back on the Pentagon: 'We are the good guys' (CNBC)

The future of the U.S. wireless industry is at stake as T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S) prepare to argue why their $26.5 billion merger should be approved over the arguments of state attorneys general. The federal trial begins today in Manhattan. (CNBC)

More than 600 institutional investors managing a whopping $37 trillion in client assets called today for governments to step up their efforts against climate change. The groups include the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the largest U.S. pension fund commonly referred to Calpers. (AP)


Snythorx (THOR) will be bought by French drug maker Sanofi (SNY) for $2.5 billion in cash. The deal for the California-based biotech firm is worth $68 per share, compared to Friday's close of $25.03. Swiss drug maker Roche has extended its offer for its takeover of U.S. biotech firm Spark Therapeutics (ONCE) to Dec. 16. Both U.S. and U.K. officials are still in the process of reviewing the $114.50 per share bid.

Skechers (SKX) should see earnings growth on pace with Nike (NKE), according to an article in Barron's. The paper points out that despite Skechers shares rising more than 75% this year, the shoe company still trades at just 16 times earnings compared to 30 for Nike.

Ericsson (ERIC) will pay more than $1 billion to resolve U.S. corruption probes, according to the Justice Department. Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm said some executives in certain markets acted in bad faith, calling the actions completely unacceptable.

PG&E (PCG) reached a $13.5 billion settlement with wildfire victims, helping the utility move closer to emerging from bankruptcy. State investigators determined earlier this year that PG&E equipment helped spark several wildfires over the past few years.

Adobe (ADBE) is buying 3D virtual reality software Oculus Medium from Facebook (FB) for an undisclosed amount, according to TechCrunch.


Disney's "Frozen II" continues to dominate the box office, both domestically and internationally, Disney's tally for the year hovers around $9.9 billion. This record smashes the $7.6 billion Disney posted in 2016, which had remained the highest a studio had ever earned in a year until 2019. (CNBC)

On the flip-side, the movie "Playmobil" was a box office disaster. It garnered less than $1 million in ticket sales over its opening weekend. The film seemed to suffer from poor marketing and a weak connection between kids and the brand. Internationally, the film has brought in just over $12 million. (CNBC)