Morning Brief: Battle over who will lead US consumer agency

Monday, November 27, 2017

What to watch today

Retailers will remain in focus as consumers continue their holiday season shopping on Cyber Monday. On Friday, retail stocks led the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to all-time highs as shoppers spent $7.9 billion online on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a 17.9% jump from a year ago. Amazon’s (AMZN) 2.6% gain on the day sent CEO Jeff Bezos’ net worth north of $100 billion.

In the week ahead, the economic calendar will have some of the usual month-end data like auto sales. Other economic highlights should include The Conference Board’s consumer confidence reading on Tuesday, the second look at third quarter GDP on Wednesday, and the aforementioned November reading on auto sales due out Friday.

On the earnings side, things will be noticeably slower, with highlights coming from Kroger (KR), Jack in the Box (JACK), Workday (WDAY), Ulta Beauty (ULTA), and Barnes & Noble (BKS).

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Top news

Suit seeks to stop Trump from naming CFPB chief: The government official President Donald Trump wants to pass over as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is asking a federal court to block the president’s appointment. Leandra English, who was elevated to the position of interim director of the CFPB by its outgoing director, filed a lawsuit Sunday night and asks for a declaratory judgment and a temporary restraining order to block White House budget director Mick Mulvaney from taking over the bureau. [AP]

Meredith to buy Time in Koch-backed deal: U.S. media company Meredith Corp  will buy Time Inc, the publisher of People, Sports Illustrated and Fortune magazines, in a $1.84 billion all-cash deal backed by conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. The deal is a coup for Meredith, which held unsuccessful talks to buy Time earlier this year and in 2013. [Reuters]

Bitcoin in sight of $10,000:  The digital currency’s vertiginous ascent showed no signs of stopping on Monday, with the cryptocurrency soaring to another record high just a few percent away from $10,000 after gaining more than a fifth in value over the past three days alone. [Bloomberg]

Exxon Mobil chief revamps refining, chemical operations:  Exxon Mobil Corp Chief Executive Darren Woods is reorganizing the company’s refining and chemical operations, part of a push to boost profits amid volatile oil and natural gas prices, a spokeswoman said. The changes at the world’s largest publicly traded oil producer are the most sweeping to date by Woods. [Reuters]

OPEC battle with US for oil supremacy nears day of reckoning:  The U.S. shale revolution is on course to be the greatest oil and gas boom in history, turning a nation once at the mercy of foreign imports into a global player. That seismic shift shattered the dominance of Saudi Arabia and the OPEC cartel, forcing them into an alliance with long-time rival Russia to keep a grip on world markets. So far, it’s worked — global oil stockpiles are draining and prices are near two-year highs. But as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia prepare to meet in Vienna this week to extend production cuts, ministers have little idea how U.S. shale production will respond in 2018. [Bloomberg]

Yahoo Finance Originals

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The best Cyber Monday deals


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The Morning Brief provides a quick rundown on what to watch in the markets, top news stories, and the best of Yahoo Finance Originals.