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Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Jan. 11:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were slightly higher Wednesday while European and Asian shares rose ahead of a press conference by President-elect Donald Trump, his first since July.
Trump could provide details Wednesday on his policy positions, including infrastructure spending plans and policies intended to boost job growth. The press conference begins at 11 a.m. EST at Trump Tower in New York.
Ahead of the press conference, Russia denied it had compromising material on Trump, calling the claims an "absolute fabrication" and an attempt to damage U.S.-Russian relations, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the report, which claimed that Russia has material that could be used to blackmail Trump, as "pulp fiction," according to Russian news agencies.
Classified documents that the heads of four U.S. intelligence agencies presented last week to Trump included claims that Russian intelligence operatives have compromising information about him, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Tuesday.
Trump, responding in a tweet on Tuesday, called the reports: "FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!"
Separately, Rex Tillerson, the Exxon Mobil (XOM) executive who is Trump's pick for secretary of state, will have his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. He's likely to be grilled about his ties to Russia.
2. -- U.S. stocks ended Tuesday mixed, with the Nasdaq enjoying a record close for its third day in a row and the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting pause again on moves toward 20,000.
The S&P 500 ended flat and the Dow fell 0.16%, finishing at 19,855. The Nasdaq added 0.36% and ended the day with a new record close of 5,551. The index has risen for six consecutive sessions.
As for Wednesday, the economic calendar in the U.S. includes Crude Inventories for the week ended Jan. 6, at 10:30 a.m. EST, while New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley will speak about banking culture at a symposium in New York at 1:20 p.m.
3. -- Boeing (BA) said in an internal memo seen by Reuters that it would conduct involuntary layoffs of engineers, part of a cost-cutting drive as the company responds to increasing competition amid slowing aircraft sales.
The reductions at the aerospace and defense company also include dozens of job categories eligible for voluntary layoffs in Washington state, southern California and South Carolina, Reuters reported.
Boeing didn't indicate in the memo the number of reductions the company planned. Vice Chairman Ray Conner and Commercial Airplanes Chief Executive Officer Kevin McAllister said last month that Boeing would continue job cuts in 2017, Reuters noted. Boeing cut more than 10,800 jobs in 2016.
"While we have made good progress, more changes are needed to ensure our long-term future," John Hamilton, vice president of engineering at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, wrote in the memo, Reuters reported.
"We continue to operate in an environment characterized by fewer sales opportunities and tough competition," Hamilton added.
Tesla posted a message on its website saying that Lattner had been hired as vice president of Autopilot software but didn't say when he would start work at the electric-vehicle maker. Apple confirmed the departure.
Lattner most recently served as a senior director in the developer tools department at Apple and was best known for introducing Swift, a programming language that made it easier for software developers to write apps for iOS, according to Reuters.
5. -- Volkswagen (VLKAY) shares were rising by 2% in Germany even as the carmaker confirmed it was close to agreeing to a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over its emissions-rigging scandal.
Volkswagen said Tuesday it was in advanced talks to settle the criminal case by pleading guilty to unspecified charges and paying $4.3 billion in criminal and civil fines, a sum far larger than any recent case involving the auto industry.
The carmaker has reached a $15 billion civil settlement with environmental authorities and car owners in the U.S. under which it agreed to buy back up to 500,000 vehicles. The company also faces an investor lawsuit and criminal probe in Germany. About 11 million VW vehicles worldwide were equipped with software that turned on emissions controls when engines were being tested by the Environmental Protection Agency, then turned them off during normal driving, according to the Associated Press.