Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow set to add to Tuesday's record close

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BY THE NUMBERS

The Dow was set to open higher Wednesday, one day after the 30-stock average closed at a record high. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq on Tuesday also closed at records on optimism around Pfizer's vaccine rollout in the U.K. and coronavirus stimulus talks in Washington. (CNBC)

* JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon says he wouldn’t touch Treasurys with a 10-foot pole at these rates (CNBC)

The S&P 500 saw its first close over 3,700 as Wall Street has gotten off to a strong start in December in a continuation of November's rally. So far this year, which included a monumental plunge to coronavirus lows in March, the Dow was up 5.7%; the S&P 500 was up nearly 14.6%; and the Nasdaq was up over 40%. (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, the Labor Department releases its latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey at 10 a.m. ET and it's expected to show 6.3 million job openings in the U.S. as of the end of October. The government is out with wholesale inventories for October at 10 a.m. ET. Economists expect an increase of 0.9%. (CNBC)

* Mortgage rates set 14th record low of the year, driving even more refinance demand (CNBC)

DoorDash is set to debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The U.S. food delivery firm late Tuesday priced its initial public offering at $102 per share, above the revised target range of $90 to $95. The offering gives DoorDash a value of about $38 billion. DoorDash is the first IPO in a late-year consumer technology wave that includes the expected debut of Airbnb on Thursday. (CNBC)

Online stock trading app Robinhood, which is favored by younger investors and has seen newfound popularity during the pandemic, picked Goldman Sachs to lead preparations for an IPO, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The offering could come next year with a value of more than $20 billion.

IN THE NEWS TODAY

The Trump administration jumped back into Capitol Hill talks on new Covid-19 stimulus. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made a $916 billion offer to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi late Tuesday. The California Democrat said the White House plan includes direct payments to Americans but eliminates a $300 per week federal unemployment benefit boost supported by bipartisan negotiators. (CNBC)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday recommended putting aside legal protection for businesses from Covid lawsuits and state and local government funding roadblocks and pass a bill that includes the areas of agreement. The Kentucky Republican said the tougher issues can be handled after the new year. (AP)

People who have a history of "significant" allergic reactions should not receive the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, U.K. drug regulators said Wednesday. The U.K., which started its mass vaccination drive Tuesday, became the first country to approve the Pfizer vaccine. (CNBC)

* Pfizer Covid vaccine trial participants warn of intense symptoms after second shot (CNBC)

As the FDA gets ready to meet Thursday on Pfizer's emergency use application and Moderna's next week, United Arab Emirates health authorities said data from human trials there of a Chinese vaccine showed 86% efficacy. It's unclear on how that rate was calculated. (CNBC)

* Roche joins Moderna to include antibody test in Covid vaccine trial (Reuters)
* Sens. Warren, Smith tell Azar they discovered ‘significant gaps’ in Covid testing (CNBC)

The coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford has become the first to have its late-stage trial results independently reviewed and published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. The study, published Tuesday in The Lancet, confirmed an average effectiveness of 70%. It also confirmed 62% efficacy for two full doses and 90% efficacy for the half-dose and then full-dose regimen. (CNBC)

* AstraZeneca Covid vaccine to immunize the planet ‘more effectively,’ Lancet editor says (CNBC)

The Supreme Court denied a request by Republicans to reverse President-elect Joe Biden's victory in Pennsylvania. The top court rejected a petition from Trump ally Rep. Mike Kelly. The Pennsylvania Republican lawmaker argued that virtually all of the state's mail-in ballots were unlawful. (CNBC)

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit directly to the Supreme Court, seeking to invalidate presidential election results in four swing states that helped secure Biden's victory over Trump. The suit, which legal experts quickly dismissed as political theater, claimed "unlawful election results." (CNBC)

Biden is defending his decision to nominate retired four-star Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to be his Defense secretary. Austin left the Army just four years ago, and he would require a special congressional waiver in order to bypass the seven-year rule. Biden is set to introduce Austin today in Wilmington, Delaware. (CNBC)

* House approves defense bill with veto-proof margin (AP)
* GOP senators ram through last-minute Trump nominee for FCC (CNBC)

Cybersecurity company FireEye (FEYE) said its systems were breached by hackers in what it said was a highly sophisticated attack by a foreign government. FireEye said the attacks primarily sought information about government clients. Shares of FireEye dropped over 8% in premarket trading. (CNBC)

Penumbra (PEN) accused short-seller Quintessential Capital Management of making "baseless" allegations, after Quintessential said the medical device maker was misleading doctors and questioned the veracity of Penumbra's scientific research. Penumbra said it's reviewing its options on further responses. (CNBC)

Shares of SoftBank listed in Japan climbed by as much as 7% on Wednesday after Bloomberg reported that the Japanese tech fund is considering going private. The strategy involves gradually buying back outstanding shares until founder and CEO Masa Son has a big enough stake to squeeze out the remaining investors.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Campbell Soup (CPB): The food maker reported quarterly profit of $1.02 per share, 11 cents a share above estimates. Revenue topped forecasts as well. Campbell also raised its quarterly dividend by 6% to 37 cents per share.

United Natural Foods (UNFI): The wholesale grocery distributor earned 51 cents per share for its latest quarter, shy of the 74 cents a share consensus estimate. Revenue came in short of forecasts as well. United Natural Foods reported a slight increase in profit margins during the quarter, but also saw expenses increase from a year earlier.

Chewy (CHWY): Chewy lost 8 cents per share for its latest quarter, smaller than the 13 cents a share loss that Wall Street was anticipating. The pet products retailer's revenue beat analysts' forecasts. Chewy also issued an upbeat outlook.

Hasbro (HAS): The toymaker was rated "buy" in new coverage at Citi, which notes Hasbro's strong brand portfolio and its ability to integrate its toy brands into movies and digital offerings.

JinkoSolar (JKS): The China-based solar equipment maker announced plans to sell up to $100 million in American Depositary Shares through an "at-the-market" equity offering program.

GameStop (GME): GameStop posted a quarterly loss of 53 cents per share, smaller than the 85 cents a share loss that analysts had been forecasting. The videogame retailer's revenue was below estimates, however, with the pandemic closing stores and competition from digital game-sellers intensifying.

Disney (DIS): Wells Fargo upgraded Disney to overweight from equal weight on growing confidence in the company's streaming business, saying total subscribers could nearly triple over the next five years.

Roku (ROKU): Citi raised its price target on the streaming video device maker's stock to a Wall Street-high $375 per share from $220, while maintaining a buy rating. Citi is raising its estimate of expected value per active account, and sees several catalysts on the rise including new distribution agreements.

WATERCOOLER

McDonald's (MCD) franchisees said they'll raise prices for the restaurant chain's "Happy Meals," if McDonald's goes ahead with a plan to end a $300 per month subsidy used to offset the cost of the toys included with the meals. (WSJ)