Thursday, December 21, 2017
What to watch today
Tax cuts are here.
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing an overhaul of the U.S. tax code that will substantially cut corporate tax rates and rejigger the individual tax code with cuts that will expire over the next decade. In remarks made on the South Lawn of the White House, President Donald Trump said it was “the largest tax cut in the history of our country.” And so with tax cuts coming to fruition, the major market catalysts of 2017 have wrapped up as we near the holiday weekend.
Following this move, the signature piece of legislation signed during Trump’s tenure, stocks — which have rallied for most all of 2017 — were little-changed.
As for what is left on the schedule in 2017, on Thursday the economic calendar brings investors a third estimate of third quarter GDP, initial jobless claims, and home prices from the FHFA.
Notable earnings expected for release on Thursday include Nike (NKE), ConAgra (CAG), Cintas (CTAS), CarMax (KMX), and Finish Line (FINL). Both Nike and Finish Line will be tracked for signs of strength or weakness in the athletic apparel space, with Finish Line’s commentary on the mall business, to which it has considerable exposure, could make headlines.
AT&T, other firms announce bonuses, raises on tax reform: AT&T (T) plans to give a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 employees as Republicans get closer to signing tax reform into law. CEO Randall Stephenson said that this tax reform “will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs.” He added that the company plans to increase its capital investment, which will create more jobs. Later, Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) and Wells Fargo (WFC) said they would raise minimum wage to $15 an hour. [Yahoo Finance]
Republican squabbles resurface on funding after unity on taxes: Republican euphoria over passage of a massive tax overhaul was tempered by a clash among GOP lawmakers over a stopgap spending plan to keep the government open. House leaders released a plan late Wednesday that would maintain funding for government operations through Jan. 19 and delay cuts to defense and non-defense spending known as sequestration. [Bloomberg]
Penske Media buys majority stake in Rolling Stone magazine: Penske Media Corp said late Wednesday it is buying a majority stake in Rolling Stone magazine from its New York-based publisher, Wenner Media. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed in a statement from the companies. The deal values Rolling Stone at more than $110 million, the Financial Times reported earlier, citing people briefed on the transaction. [Reuters]
Tax-free bitcoin-to-ether trading in U.S. to end under GOP plan: Investors in bitcoin and other virtual currencies would lose a lucrative tax break under the Republican tax bill that’s on its way to President Donald Trump’s desk. New limits in the bill would bar cryptocurrency owners from deferring capital gains taxes when trading one type of virtual currency for another — effectively closing a gray area in the tax code, experts say. [Bloomberg]
Yahoo Finance Originals
Morning Brief is taking a holiday break. It will resume Wednesday, Dec. 27.
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