1. Shutdown for Christmas? Republicans scored a big win this week by passing a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax system.
But they'll need to act quickly to avoid a government shutdown.
Congress must pass a stopgap funding bill before midnight on Friday, or risk an embarrassing closure of government agencies.
Republicans in the House and Senate -- who have competing legislative priorities -- were still at loggerheads over a potential deal on Wednesday evening.
One potential outcome is another short-term budget extension that will keep funding at current levels.
2. Election in Catalonia: The Spanish autonomous region of Catalonia will choose a new local government on Thursday.
The vote was called in October when Madrid took control the Catalan government after lawmakers there made a unilateral declaration of independence.
The saga has taken a toll on Spanish markets and revived fears about the stability of the eurozone.
3. Brexit weakness: The number of cars manufactured in Britain fell 4.6% in November, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Domestic demand for cars declined more than 28% from the previous year, while exports rose 1.3%.
The industry group blamed a lack of clarity over Brexit for the weakness.
The British government has not said what kind of a trade deal will it seek with the EU -- its biggest trading partner -- after it leaves the bloc in March 2019.
4. Global market overview: U.S. stock futures were flat.
5. Earnings and economics: CarMax, ConAgra and Finish Line will publish earnings before the open. NIKE will follow after the close.
The final estimate of third quarter U.S. GDP will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists are expecting growth of 3.3%.
U.S. data on initial claims will be published at the same time.
The Bank of Japan left key interest rates unchanged at its meeting.
6. Coming this week:
Thursday -- Nike earnings; Final estimate on 3Q U.S. GDP
Friday -- El Gordo lottery in Spain
- Shutdown threat; Catalonia vote; Brexit bites
- 'Like the Civil War without the bombs': Catalonia's messy vote
- Catalonia decides: Spain's troubled region votes in knife-edge election
- 5 things for December 22: Shutdown, UN, Catalonia, Papa John's, life expectancy
- Brexit breakthrough; U.S. jobs report; Shutdown averted
- Separatist parties in Spain's Catalonia win majority in election
- Catalonia's ex-leader Carles Puigdemont just can't win
- This was the year Brexit began to bite
- China GDP; U.S. shutdown threat; IBM earnings