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18Dec2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Dow Futures Rise 155 Points As Tax Plan Optimism Boosts Sentiment, Oil Prices Are Climbing After Nigerian Oil Unions Launched A Strike, Gold Futures Are Also Climbing

Written by Gary

The US equities main benchmarks are set for a strong positive open (SPY +0.6%) with new historic highs in the making as investor optimism runs high over an overhaul of the U.S. tax system.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are broadly higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 1.57% while France's CAC 40 is up 1.20% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.51%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Stock futures gain on rising tax bill hopes, corporate dealmaking

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Monday, set to push Wall Street to new records, buoyed as the long-awaited tax overhaul plan looked set for legislation and by a flurry of year-end dealmaking topping $10 billion so far.

Campbell Soup to buy snacks maker Snyder's-Lance for $4.87 billion

(Reuters) - Campbell Soup Co will buy Pretzels and Cape Cod chips maker Snyder's-Lance Inc for $4.87 billion as it looks to expand its snack business amid sagging soup sales.

Casino operator Penn National to buy Pinnacle in $2.8 billion deal

(Reuters) - U.S. casino operator Penn National Gaming Inc said on Monday it would buy Pinnacle Entertainment Inc in a cash and stock deal valued at about $2.8 billion to create a larger-scale gaming platform.

Hershey to buy Amplify Snack in $1.6 billion bet on healthy snacks

(Reuters) - U.S. candy maker Hershey Co said on Monday it would buy SkinnyPop popcorn maker Amplify Snack Brands in a deal valued at $1.6 billion, including debt, to gain a firmer footing in the fast-growing market for healthy snacks.

CSX falls on CEO death; investors seek turnaround clarity

(Reuters) - CSX Corp's shares slipped more than 5 percent on Monday on news of Chief Executive Hunter Harrison's death, leaving investors worried about the No.3 U.S. railroad's turnaround plan under acting CEO Jim Foote.

German Vonovia climbs property ladder with $6.1 billion Buwog deal

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Vonovia , Germany's biggest residential property company, has agreed to buy Austrian counterpart Buwog in a cash deal valuing the latter at 5.2 billion euros ($6.12 billion), the two companies said on Monday.

Thai beer magnate extends SE Asia push with $4.8 billion Sabeco deal

Ho CHI MINH CITY/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Thai Beverage has won an auction to buy a majority stake worth $4.84 billion in Vietnam's top brewer Sabeco , a lofty deal that adds a major asset to the beer-to-property empire of Thai magnate Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi.

Apple ups iPhone prices in India as tax increase makes imports costlier

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Apple Inc has increased the prices of most of its iPhone models sold in India after the government last week raised taxes on imported phones in a bid to boost domestic manufacturing.

Thales' 4.8 billion-euro bid for Gemalto gets thumbs up from investors

PARIS (Reuters) - Shares in defense group Thales rose on Monday after chipmaker Gemalto accepted the French company's 4.8 billion euro ($5.66 billion) takeover bid to create a leader in digital security.

Women's March Organizer Linda Sarsour Accused Of Enabling Sexual Assault Of Female Employee

Feminist activist and Women's March organizer, Linda Sarsour, has been accused of enabling the sexual assault of a female employee who worked for her in 2009 at the Arab American Association, two sources "directly familiar" with the matter tell the Daily Caller.

Linda Sarsour

According to Sarsour's accuser Asmi Fathelbab, a 37 year old New York native and devout Muslim - a man named Majed Seif who lived in the same building as the Arab American Association began stalking Fathelbab. Asmi tells the Daily Caller that one of Seif's favorite activities was "sneaking up on her with a full erection."

"He would sneak up on me during times when no one was around, he would touch me, you could hear me scream at the top of my lungs. He would pin me against the wall and rub his crotch on me."

"depending on what floor I was on, you could hear me scream at the top of my lungs."

"It was disgusting," Fathelbab told the Caller. "I ran the youth program in the building and with that comes bending down and talking to small children. You have no idea what it was like to stand up and feel that behind you. I couldn't scream because I didn't want to scare the child in front of me. It left me shaking."

When Fathelbab went to Linda Sarsour to report the sexual assaults, she was dismissed and shame ...

Frontrunning: December 18

Bitcoin Takes Bigger Wall Street Stage With Smooth CME Debut (BBG)

Trump targets China and Russia on national security (Reuters)

Panthers owner to sell team amid misconduct allegations (Reuters)

Prosecutors Treat Opioid Overdoses as Homicides, Snagging Friends, Relatives (WSJ)

U.S. taxpayers rush to claim deductions under threat from tax bill (Reuters)

This One Weird Tax Trick Could Shrink the Trade Deficit (WSJ)

Sweeping Rewrite of Tax Code Sets Up Years of Challenges (Reuters)

Wall Street Bonus Pools Look Shallow in Unexciting Trading Year (BBG)

Police search Finnish reporter's home after security article (Reuters)

South Africa ANC vote too close to call, markets on edge (

'Gold Strengthens Public Confidence In The Central Bank' - Bundesbank

'Gold Strengthens Public Confidence In The Central Bank' - Bundesbank

- 'Availability of gold strengthens public confidence in the central bank's balance sheet' say Bundesbank
- Bundesbank has Audited Reserves amounting to almost 3,400 tonnes, around 68% of Bundesbank's reserve assets
- Bank taken series of steps to increase transparency around Germany's gold holdings
- Germany has second largest gold holdings in the world; U.S. believed to be largest
- Transparency important and all central banks should follow the Bundesbank lead

Editor: Mark O'Byrne

GoldCore: Bundesbank Gold Reserves

SocGen: "Every Bit Of Good News - Including Tax Reform - Is Now Priced In"

The global stock market is just a few days from entering the history books, largely thanks to the constantly priced in tax reform. As SocGen calculates, and barring any end of year sell-off, the MSCI World index is set to record it first ever year of posting a positive total return in every single month and will hit a remarkable sequence of 14 months of positive returns.

And, as we noted in our morning wrap note, spurring the US on has been the prospect of the much promised tax cuts, with US corporation tax set to be cut to 21% from its current headline rate of 35%. Mechanically this would imply a significant boost for US EPS numbers were it not for the fact that actual tax rates are significantly lower. Top-down numbers, compiled using actual tax revenue from the BEA national accounts, suggests that the effective paid tax rate is already at 21%, and this is similar to SocGen's own bottom-up calculations using cash tax paid from report and account cash flow statements. As SocGen's Andrew Lapthorne writes in a note this morning, "Yes, tax rates from the P&L are higher, but not much higher at 25%, implying a 4% boost to net income once the reforms are passed. So positive, yes, but not dramatically so."

Which brings us back to the constant pricing in of not only tax reform but every and any form of good news. This may be a problem, because as the French bank calculated one month ago, more than all of tax reform has already been priced in, to wit:

Since Trump's election, the S&P 500 has rise ...

Get Your Groceries Online, Find Your Profits Elsewhere

Investors can expect more deals between supermarket groups and the tech industry as online orders grow.

Get Ready for Next Year's Big Tax Stimulus

There were several surprises for investors when Republicans unveiled their final tax bill Friday, but the most significant is that they add up to a bigger boost to economic growth next year.

Are China's Two Biggest Companies Nearing an E-Commerce Showdown?

A new transaction joins China's second-and-third biggest business-to-consumer e-commerce sites.

Market Extra: Bitcoin futures trade near $20,000 in debut on world's biggest exchange

Futures trading for bitcoin on the CME starts well above $20,000, quickly pulls back to under $19,000 and then recovers to $19,590. But this may be the week the cryptocurrency hits $20,000 for real, say analysts.

One sure-fire prediction for 2018: Americans will take on even more debt

Consumers have an increasingly complex relationship with credit.

CryptoWatch: Why bitcoin won't displace Visa or Mastercard soon

Don't expect to buy your morning coffee with bitcoin soon.

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