5 things to know before the stock market opens on Monday

Stocks are on a tear ahead of the last full trading week of the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an intraday record high on Friday as investors welcomed expectations that the Federal Reserve could begin cutting interest rates next year as inflation cools. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all posted seven-week winning streaks. With few economic indicators due this week, results from FedEx on Tuesday and Nike on Thursday could help boost markets in the coming days. Follow live market updates here.

Japan-based Nippon Steel agreed to buy US Steel for $14.9 billion including debt. Shares of US Steel jumped following the announcement Monday morning. The price of $55 per share is about 40% higher than U.S. Steel’s closing price on Friday. The company was up for sale as sales and profits fell, but could now benefit from rising steel prices and the resolution of the United Auto Workers strikes in the US

Some of Israel’s European allies are calling on the country to agree to a ceasefire and restart hostage negotiations with Gaza after the Israeli military said it mistakenly killed three hostages. The deaths heightened humanitarian concerns over Israel’s nearly two-and-a-half-month offensive in Gaza, which has killed more than 18,700 Palestinians and displaced a large portion of the population, according to Gaza’s health ministry. Hamas militants killed about 1,200 Israelis and took nearly 250 people hostage in their attack on Israel on October 7. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will visit Israel this week as the Biden administration – a key ally and donor of military aid – expresses growing concern over civilian casualties in Gaza.

Weight loss and diabetes medications entered the public consciousness in 2023 as the awareness and use of Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro increased. Next year will bring big changes for the patients who want access to the expensive treatments, for the companies that make them and for the competitors trying to get into the booming segment. Novo Nordisk, maker of Wegovy and Ozempic, and Eli Lilly, maker of Mounjaro and the recently approved Zepbound, will both seek to address supply issues caused by rising demand and expand use of their drugs. Pfizer will decide whether to move forward with launching its own once-daily weight loss pill. And watch for big drugmakers to buy or partner with smaller companies to enter the market.

General Motors’ recent ventures outside of its core business have been difficult. Cruise could be the next to fall by the wayside. After an October accident in San Francisco in which a self-driving cruise vehicle dragged a pedestrian who had been struck by another vehicle, the Robotaxi Unit suspended road operations and began an investigation. The problems culminated last week with Cruise laying off 24% of its workforce, or 900 employees, and laying off nine company executives. GM has publicly expressed hope of salvaging the business segment, as CEO Mary Barry said this month that the automaker is “very focused on righting the ship” at Cruise.

—CNBC’s Hakyung Kim, Annika Kim Constantino and Michael Wayland contributed to this report.

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