Tesla, Oil Prices, Uber, Salesforce and Facebook - 5 Things You Must Know Monday

U.S. stock futures rise amid continued optimism over trade developments between the U.S. and China but U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria unsettle investors; Tesla delivers the first cars made at its China factory; Uber gets approval to buy Middle Eastern rival Careem.
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1. -- Stock Futures Rise, Oil Gains on U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria

U.S. stock futures were rising Monday amid continued optimism over trade developments between the U.S. and China but U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria unsettled investors and boosted crude oil prices.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18 points, futures for the S&P 500 gained 2.15 points and Nasdaq futures were up 3.50 points.

The U.S. military strikes late Sunday, carried out in response to the killing of an American contractor and four U.S. servicemen working at an Iraqi military base, reportedly killed as many as 25 Kataib Hezbollah fighters and could trigger renewed tensions between Washington and Tehran heading into the new year.

Oil prices extended gains as traders bet the military action would slow Iraqi exports.

West Texas Intermediate crude contracts for February edged up 0.58% to $62.08 a barrel.

The Dow and the S&P 500 closed at record highs again Friday but the Nasdaq slipped 0.17% to end its 11-day winning streak.

2. -- International Trade, Home Sales Data Expected Monday

The economic calendar in the U.S. Monday includes International Trade in Goods for November at 8:30 a.m. ET, Chicago PMI for December at 9:45 a.m. and Pending Home Sales for November at 10 a.m.

Nio (NIO) - Get Report, the Chinese electric vehicle company, reported a fiscal third-quarter loss narrower than expected, and said revenue jumped 25% and vehicle deliveries rose more than 35%.

3. -- Tesla Delivers First Cars Made at China Factory

Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report delivered its first cars built in China on Monday to 15 customers who are employees of the electric vehicle maker.

Deliveries from Tesla's gigafactory in China started just 357 days after construction of the $2 billion plant began. The company had said previously that it wanted to begin deliveries from the plant beginning at the end of January.

Tesla confirmed last week it received loans from Chinese banks that would be used for the Shanghai car plant. The plant, Tesla's first outside of the United States, will help the company reach its goal of producing 1,000 Model 3 sedans each week that will be sold in China, the world's biggest car market.

Tesla previously imported all the cars it sold in China

“From now onwards China-made Model 3 vehicles will start running on China’s large streets and small lanes,” said Tao Lin, a Tesla vice president, at a ceremony Monday.

Tesla shares have risen more than 29% so far this year.

4. -- Uber Gets OK From Egypt to Buy Rival Careem

Uber Technologies (UBER) - Get Report received approval from Egypt’s Competition Authority to acquire Middle Eastern ride-hailing rival Careem Networks for $3.1 billion.

Uber announced the acquisition of Careem in March. The deal is expected to close in January.

“We welcome the decision by the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) to approve Uber’s pending acquisition of Careem,” a spokesman for Uber told Reuters. “Uber and Careem joining forces will deliver exceptional outcomes for riders, drivers, and cities across Egypt.”

Approval from Egyptian regulators came after Uber agreed to abandon exclusivity provisions with partners and intermediaries and reduce barriers to entry into the market, Reuters noted.

5. -- Salesforce's Benioff Calls Facebook the 'New Cigarettes for Our Society'

Marc Benioff, the founder and co-CEO of Salesforce.com (CRM) - Get Report, said the world is suffering from a "crisis of trust" and he criticized Facebook (FB) - Get Report for being part of the problem.

"Well, you can see Facebook is the new cigarettes for our society. It's something that badly needs to be regulated," he told CNN on Sunday. "They're certainly not exactly about truth in advertising. Even they have said that. That's why we're really in squarely a crisis of trust, when the core vendor themselves cannot say that trust is our most important value. Look, we're at a moment in time where each one of us in every company has to ask a question: What is our highest value?"

Benioff in the past has called for Facebook to be broken up and he told CNN he expects that to happen to the social media giant.

"I expect a fundamental reconceptualization of what Facebook's role is in the world," Benioff said. 

A Facebook spokesperson pushed back on Benioff's criticism, telling CNN that "while some may see antitrust action as a catch-all solution to address all social policy, the fact is that antitrust law is not intended to punish a company because you disagree with its leadership, dislike the product, or to impose liability where companies are seeking to compete vigorously - and even win - on the merits."

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