Amazon, Tesla, PG&E, China Trade, Federal Reserve - 5 Things You Must Know Monday

U.S. stock futures slip ahead of what is set to be a major week of event risks; the Federal Reserve meets Tuesday and Wednesday; Amazon grows its New York footprint.
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Here are five things you must know for Monday, Dec. 9:

1. -- Stock Futures Slip as Investors Play It Cautiously

U.S. stock futures slipped Monday ahead of what is set to be a major week of event risks as investors reset expectations for growth and trade following a stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs report and weakening China exports.

The Federal Reserve will meet Tuesday and Wednesday for its final session of the year, while Christine Lagarde will chair her first meeting as president of the European Central Bank on Thursday. That same day, voters in Britain will head to the polls for their third national election in four years with the aim of delivering a majority government that can unlock the country's current Brexit deadlock.

In addition, House Democrats could vote on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump this week.

Each of these events comes amid a run-up to what could be a significant increase in U.S. tariffs on China-made goods, which are set to kick in on Dec. 15 and will include around $160 billion in consumer items such as toys and cellphones. 

The mid-December tariff deadline comes amid a protracted slowdown in China exports, which fell for a fourth consecutive month in November, narrowing China's trade surplus with the United States to around $24.6 billion.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 25 points, S&P 500 futures declined 3.10 points and Nasdaq futures were down 10 points.

Stocks closed higher Friday with the Dow jumping more than 300 points after the Labor Department said U.S. employers added 266,000 jobs in November, well above estimates of 184,000. The report also showed unemployment falling to a 50-year low. 

2. -- Fed Meeting Is This Week's Calendar Highlight

The economic calendar in the U.S. Monday is bare. But Tuesday and Wednesday the Federal Open Market Committee will meet and is expected to hold interest rates steady, breaking a string of rate cuts at three straight central bank meetings.

The press conference from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday could still be significant, however, since his comments following the announcement on rates could influence the tone for the U.S. economy in 2020.

Earnings reports are expected Monday from Toll Brothers (TOL) - Get Report, Chewy (CHWY) - Get Report, Stitch Fix (SFIX) - Get Report and Casey's General Stores (CASY) - Get Report.

3. – Tesla's Elon Musk Cleared in Defamation Lawsuit

A Los Angeles jury found that Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report CEO Elon Musk didn't defame a cave diver he insulted on Twitter last year.

After deliberating for less than three hours, the jury determined that Musk's characterization of Vernon Unsworth as "sus" and a "pedo guy" in Twitter posts didn't constitute defamation.

The feud between Musk and Unsworth started last year, when Unsworth criticized Musk for sending an unsolicited mini-sub to aid in the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand. The mini-sub was not used in the rescue, and Unsworth described it as a PR stunt in a television interview.

Musk then lashed out at the cave diver on Twitter, calling him "sus" (suspicious) and a "pedo guy."

Musk's defense attorneys argued that Musk's tweets were not meant to be taken literally, and that "pedo guy" is simply shorthand for "creepy old guy."

4. -- Amazon Grows Its New York Footprint

Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report is growing its footprint in New York just not in the borough of Queens and without any subsidies.

About a year after canceling plans to open up a new headquarters in the borough, the company said it has leased a 335,000-square-foot office in Midtown Manhattan, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

The Queens plan included $3 billion in state and local incentives to lure a large Amazon headquarters complex to the city, but the company nixed the plan amid political backlash over the incentives, choosing instead to expand in Virginia, near Washington D.C. The company's home headquarters are in Seattle. 

The new Manhattan space, which is in the Hudson Yards area, will house 1,500 employees. Amazon already has 3,500 employees in its New York City tech hub, according to the Journal, and several thousand more in fulfillment centers in the area.

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5. -- PG&E Reaches $13.5 Billion Settlement With Wildfire Victims

PG&E (PCG) - Get Report reached a tentative $13.5 billion settlement resolving all major claims related to the deadly wildfires in California in 2017 and 2018.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection in January under the weight of $30 billion in liabilities tied to the fatal wildfires. 

The utility said the deal, which still requires court approval, represents a key step in leading it out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. PG&E’s case is the largest utility bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The settlement is expected to resolve all claims arising from a series of deadly Northern California wildfires in 2017 and a fire in 2018 that killed 85 people and leveled the town of Paradise. 

PG&E shares rose 26.94% in premarket trading to $12.25.