Market Today: Boeing Welcomed in China, Apple Design Chief Exits

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Boeing (BA, Financial) received a warm reception from a Chinese aviation official, signaling a potential boost for its business in the crucial Chinese market. The company's shares saw an uptick of 2.7% following the news, outperforming the S&P 500's gain. This development comes as Boeing seeks to resume deliveries of its 737 Max jetliner in China, which had previously grounded the aircraft after safety concerns.

In a significant corporate shake-up, Apple (AAPL, Financial) is set to lose its vice president of product design, Tang Tan, in February. This departure is seen as a blow to the tech giant, as Tan played a pivotal role in the design of key products like the iPhone and Apple Watch. Apple's hardware engineering division is reportedly reshuffling responsibilities to manage the transition.

Cryptocurrency-related stocks such as Coinbase Global (COIN, Financial), Microstrategy (MSTR, Financial), and others are under a volatility watch, with the market eyeing potential short squeeze opportunities. GameStop (GME, Financial) also saw increased options trading volume amid corporate governance news. Meanwhile, the FDA's approval of Vertex Pharmaceuticals' (VRTX, Financial) gene therapy for sickle cell disease, developed in partnership with CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP, Financial), marks a milestone in gene-editing treatments, despite a dip in their shares.

Elon Musk's social media company X is exploring partnerships with ad platforms, including a potential tie-up with Amazon (AMZN, Financial), to attract small and mid-sized businesses. This comes after a significant loss of advertisers and public criticism by Musk of various entities, including Walt Disney (DIS, Financial).

The U.S. job market showed mixed signals, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by 199K in November, surpassing expectations. The unemployment rate edged down to 3.7%, with sectors like health care and manufacturing seeing job gains. This data has led to a reassessment of the Federal Reserve's potential rate cuts.

JetBlue (JBLU, Financial) awaits a judge's decision on its proposed acquisition of Spirit Airlines (SAVE, Financial), with expectations for a ruling early next year. This follows the Department of Justice's lawsuit to block the merger, which JetBlue has attempted to mitigate with a divestiture plan.

In the energy sector, Endeavor Energy Partners is considering a sale that could value the Permian basin's largest privately-held oil and gas producer at up to $30 billion. Exxon Mobil (XOM, Financial), Chevron (CVX, Financial), and ConocoPhillips (COP, Financial) are potential bidders mentioned in relation to this sale.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is taking its time to decide on the Albertsons (ACI, Financial) and Kroger (KR, Financial) merger, with no immediate decision expected. This comes as the companies await regulatory approval for their $25 billion deal.

Paramount Global (PARA, Financial) saw its shares surge amid speculation of a potential sale, with Skydance Media reportedly showing interest in the company's assets. This could lead to a significant shake-up in the media industry.

Eli Lilly (LLY, Financial) announced a 15% increase in its quarterly dividend, reflecting confidence in its financial position and future prospects. Mondelēz (MDLZ, Financial) maintained its quarterly dividend, signaling stability in its operations.

Sunnova Energy (NOVA, Financial) faced scrutiny from congressional Republicans over a $3B loan guarantee, leading to a drop in its stock price. Concerns were raised about the company's sales practices and consumer complaints.

Nvidia (NVDA, Financial) and YTL Power International (YTLPF, Financial) plan to invest over $4B in an AI data center in Malaysia, showcasing the growing importance of AI infrastructure in the region.

Retail giant Costco Wholesale (COST, Financial) saw its stock dip slightly, potentially ending its six-day winning streak. Despite this, the company has shown strong performance throughout the year.

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