Morning Brief: Doubts linger on Trump's $250 billion worth of China deals

What to watch today

Thursday kicks off with an update on the state of the U.S. labor market. At 8:30 a.m. ET, we’ll get the weekly report on initial jobless claims. Last week, that number fell to 229,000, which brought the four-week average down to a 44-year low of 232,500. “The four­-decade low level of initial jobless claims reflects how tight the U.S. labor market has become, yet sustained signs of accelerated wage growth are not yet present. With expectations for continued moderate U.S. economic expansion, the outlook for initial jobless claims will remain positive,” Wells Fargo economist Sam Bullard said. Economists expect the weekly number to tick up to 232,000.

Major quarterly earnings announcements will come from Nvidia (NVDA) and Disney (DIS). Disney earnings will be closely tracked for an update on the company’s ESPN unit, which has been at the center of political controversies in recent months as well as tried to combat the secular decline in cable subscribers. Macy’s (M) and Nordstrom (JWN) also announce earnings, which should give us further insight on how the online retail revolution has been disrupting traditional department stores.

Top news

Trump’s $250B China haul is big with little substance: The headline number is impressive. The reality, however, is that the roughly 15 agreements set to be unveiled on Thursday are mostly non-binding memorandums of understanding and could take years to materialize — if they do at all. [Bloomberg]

AT&T CEO says he has no intention of selling CNN: The statement by AT&T CEO and chairman Randall Stephenson comes after reports that the Justice Department demanded the company sell CNN before it would approve the Time Warner acquisition. [CNBC]

Senate bill to unwrap: The Senate version of the Republicans’ high-stakes tax overhaul is set to be unveiled with billions in tax cuts for people and corporations, repeal of the federal deduction for state and local taxes, and a likely compression of the personal income tax brackets from seven to four. [AP]

Adidas speeds ahead in China, N.America: German sportswear firm Adidas reported another strong quarter of growth in China and North America as it takes market share from rivals such as Nike, but its shares dipped as growth slowed in Europe and it stuck to its full-year outlook. [Reuters]

Panera to buy Au Bon Pain: JAB Holding Co., the investment firm backed by the billionaire Reimann family, is expanding its U.S. food empire. The firm’s Panera Bread business has agreed to acquire the Au Bon Pain bakery chain. [Bloomberg]

Walmart gears up for Black Friday: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said  its U.S. stores will feature color-coded sections for different product categories on Black Friday, as it prepares to compete for shoppers on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. [Reuters]

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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.