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18Dec2017 Market Update: Dow Soars 168 Points Higher As Street Cheers Upcoming Tax Bill Vote, Nasdaq Tops 7,000 For First Time, WTI Crude And The US Dollar Fall Precipitously, Gold Trading At Highest Level Since Early December 2017

Written by Gary

The Nasdaq surpassed the 7,000-point mark for the first time in early afternoon today (SPY +0.7%), while the S&P and the Dow are trading at record levels. Investors are eagerly awaiting a vote on a bill that will cut corporate taxes.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are broadly higher today with shares in Mexico leading the region. The IPC is up 1.33% while Brazil's Bovespa is up 0.85% and U.S.'s S&P 500 is up 0.64%.

Traders Corner - Health of the Market

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Nasdaq tops 7,000 for first time on rising tax-cut hopes

(Reuters) - The Nasdaq surpassed the 7,000-point mark for the first time in early afternoon on Monday, while the S&P and the Dow were at record levels on rising optimism among traders that Republican promise of lower corporate tax rates would soon be a reality.

Exchange giant CME's bitcoin futures get tepid take-up in debut

NEW YORK/LONDON/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Bitcoin futures got a muted reception after their debut on CME Group late on Sunday, with volumes in the tens of millions of dollars in the first 12 hours of trading, as warnings about the risks of bitcoin sounded ever louder.

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.

Boeing-Bombardier dispute ramps up at U.S. trade hearing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co and Bombardier Inc battled on Monday over the U.S. planemaker's claim that its Canadian rival used billions of dollars in illegal government subsidies and dumped its newest jetliner in the United States below cost.

Odey adds to Sky disquiet following Disney's deal with Fox

LONDON (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Crispin Odey has argued that Sky should fetch a higher price following Walt Disney Co's $52 billion deal with Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. , adding to shareholder disquiet about the fate of the European broadcaster.

Buffett's latest milestone: Berkshire stock hits $300,000

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Berkshire Hathaway Inc's stock price touched $300,000 for the first time on Monday, reflecting investors' confidence in Warren Buffett's conglomerate despite four straight quarters of lower operating profit.

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

(Reuters) - 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, cementing its position as the leading U.S. regional gaming operator.

EU's top court to decide whether Uber is a digital app or a taxi service

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A debate in Europe over whether ride-hailing app Uber [UBER.UL] is merely a digital company or one providing transport services will be decided when the top European Union court hands down its verdict on Wednesday in a highly anticipated case.

Barclays proposes alternative Seadrill restructuring plan-court filing

OSLO (Reuters) - British bank Barclays Plc has submitted an alternative proposal to restructure Seadrill , the oil rig company said in a U.S. court filing.

The 5 Oil Factors To Watch In 2018

Authored by Nick Cunningham via,

Oil prices are set to close out the year somewhere around 15 percent up, and the oil market looks more stable than it has in years.

But what does 2018 have in store?

Most analysts believe more of the same - inventory declines, some shale growth, a gradual increase in the oil price and eventually an end to the OPEC deal. But a lot of uncertainty remains.

Here are 5 key issues to watch as we head into 2018.

#1 U.S. shale growth

There is no doubt that U.S. shale output is continuing to rise, but there is quite a bit of uncertainty about the magnitude of growth. Expectations have fluctuated over the course of 2017. At the beginning of the year, outlets like the EIA and IEA had very bullish predictions for shale output, with the EIA expecting U.S. output to average 10 million barrels per day in 2018.

As the year wore on, numerous red flags began to pop up that raised a lot of questions about the health of the shale industry. Drilling costs began to rise again; some shale companies ran into operational problems; drilling activity fizzled when oil prices dipped below $50 per barrel, a sign that the shale industry's breakeven prices (on average) were not as low as many thought; the rig count dipped; and investors began demanding more restraint and a slower pace of drilling. These problems seemed to suggest shale was sputtering.

However, more recently, data suggests shale is back on track, posting strong prod ...

Trump Takes Aim At China, Russia In Unipolar-World-Order-Defending National Security Strategy

President Trump is expected to release the new National Security Strategy for the United States this afternoon. We discussed the potential drivers behing his reportedly aggressive stance yesterday, but the bigger questions remain...

Will it rein in some of the global adventurism of the Bush and Obama presidencies?

Will it correct the gaping disconnect between what the White House says about places like North Korea and what the Secretary of State says?

Will the neocons successfully parlay the document into a road-map for more wars?

While initial reports showed Trump attacking China...taking a much tougher stance on China than previous administrations.

"The national security strategy is likely to define China as a competitor in every realm. Not just a competitor but a threat, and therefore, in the view of many in this administration, an adversary," said one person.

"This is not something that they just cooked up. Mar-a-Lago interrupted the campaign rhetoric, and Xi Jinping took a little gamble and came here and embraced Trump. Trump said 'fine, do something on North Korea and on trade', but that didn't work out so well."

It appears that Russ ...

Watch Live: 3 Confirmed Dead After Amtrak Train Derails, Plunges On To I-5 Freeway

Update: At least three people have been killed in today's train derailment, according to the Seattle Times.

Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer told news media that there were fatalities on the train and that motorists had been injured, but not killed. The full extent of the injuries is not yet known.

At least one train car fell on to the interstate below, as the photo above shows. Meanwhile, authorities say several vehicles on Interstate 5 were struck by the falling train cars when an Amtrak train derailed south of Seattle, and "multiple motorists" were injured on the roadway, according to the Associated Press.

Amtrak has also released this statement about service disruptions due to the accident:

Amtrak is aware of an incident with Train 501, Cascades service from Seattle to Portland. Emergency services are on the scene and Amtrak management is responding. Some injuries are reported.

Amtrak service south of Seattle is temporarily suspended. Service from Seattle to points north and east is continuing to operate.

Amtrak regrets any inconvenience. This information is correct as of the above time and date. Information is subject to change as conditions warrant.

Anyone can ...

Nasdaq Tops 7,000 For First Time Ever As VIX Crashes

Having passed 6,000 for the first time in April, Nasdaq has now soared 17% since then to surpass 7,000 today...

As soon as cash markets closed last Friday (quad witch), US equity futures spiked... then spiked again on Sunday night's open, and again at the US equity cash open this morning...

And VIX has been crushed this morning...

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.

Here's something most Americans probably agree on in the tax plan

The Republican tax bill would end tax-deductible "donations" for college sports season ticket holders.

Even the produce aisle isn't safe from 'Star Wars' branding

'Star Wars' lettuce is now available in your local supermarket.

Capitol Report: The Trump tax calculator — will you pay more or less?

It's finally here — on Friday, Republicans from both the House and the Senate agreed on a $1.5 trillion bill to cut taxes. Polling shows that most Americans don't expect the bill to benefit them. With this calculator, find out if that's the case.

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