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18Dec2017 Market Close: Wall Street Closes At New Historic Highs, WTI Crude And US Dollar Settle Lower While The Climbing Gold Index Takes A Breather At The Close

Written by Gary

All three benchmarks achieved record closing highs today (SPY +0.7%), as progress on rising tax-cut hopes excites investors. Congress is expected to vote as early as Tuesday on a plan that would slash the federal corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street climbs on rising tax-cut hopes; Nasdaq breaks above 7,000

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks traded at record highs on Monday afternoon as the Republican tax plan, which is set to cut corporate tax rates, moved closer to passage.

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.

GM urges judge to throw out disputed ignition switch deal

(Reuters) - Lawyers for General Motors on Monday urged a federal bankruptcy judge in Manhattan to throw out a settlement that would require the company to pay $1 billion to car owners suing over faulty ignition switches.

BMW electric cars hit 100,000 sales target

BERLIN (Reuters) - BMW said on Monday it had hit its target of selling 100,000 electric cars this year around the world, benefiting from strong demand in western Europe and the United States for models such as the i3 and the 2-series plug-in hybrid Active Tourer.

Italy's Monte dei Paschi names new chairwoman to help steer recovery

SIENA, Italy (Reuters) - Italy's fourth-biggest bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena , rescued from the brink of collapse by a state bailout, has named a new chairwoman and board to help steer a course to recovery.

Wall Street Bonuses Set To Shrink Again This Year

Bankers were thrilled last year when Wall Street bonuses climbed for the first time in years after falling more than 15% in 2015. But unfortunately, even with equity markets around the world at record highs in 2017, volatility across asset class plunged this year - with the Dow seeing its least volatile year on record by some measures - has plunged, decimating bonus pools across asset classes, Bloomberg said.

As bank earnings have portended, a drop in trading revenue across asset classes over the past year will likely lead to cutbacks in the bonus pool for equity and fixed income traders.

However, the disappointment was widely anticipated, and traders have probably been bracing for light bonus checks all year. Just last year, Wall Street investment banks saw earnings from their fixed-income trading businesses rise for the first time in four years. But the drop in volatility this year has weighed on trading profits across the industry.

At Bank of America Corp., rates traders are likely to see bonus pools shrink by as much as 10%, according to people briefed on the discussions. Those teams at JPMorgan Chase & Co., the world's biggest trading bank, are set for declines of about 5%, according to

Taxes, Balance Of Payments, & The USDollar Paradox

Authored by Bryce Coward via Knowledge Leaders Capital blog,

Investors were finally treated yesterday to some of the most important compromise provisions to come out of the House-Senate conference on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Among them were:

21% corporate rate

Reduction of the top wage rate to 37%

20% deduction on pass-through income

Full corporate expensing of capital investments for the next five years

Repealed corporate AMT

Mandatory one-time tax on corporate cash held overseas (taxed at 15%) and foreign-domiciled PP&E purchased with foreign earnings taxed at 10%

$10K deduction on individual state, local, and property taxes

Mortgage interest deduction on the first $750K of a mortgage

Doubling of the estate tax exemption

Lower individual rates are temporary and will be phased out over time

Net, net, this tax reform bill could a few very notable things from a macroeconomic and balance of payments perspective if economic agents obey the incentives.

First, on the margin it incentivizes capital investment in the United States by, at least temporarily, raising the return on invested capital for owners of said capital.

Second, it will add about $1tn of debt to the nation's balance sheet over the next ten years after taking into consideration the boost to growth the bill could generate.

When considering the possible effects of changes to the tax code and budget deficits it's useful to recall some fundamental identities of national income accounting.

First, an individual's income (i) can only be allocated in any of three ways: consumption (C), savings ( ...

"Miss Germany" Mistress Sues Married Hedge-Funder: "Promised An Ostrich Farm, Gave Me An STD"

A 31-year-old former beauty queen is suing her married ex-beau, claiming the hedge fund manager gave her an STD and renegged on promises to leave his wife and buy his much-younger mistress a Ugandan ostrich farm.

It's hardly a surprise that a messy high-profile divorce with this many lewd details has garnered extensive coverage from the world's tabloids, including the New York Post and the Daily Mail.

The plaintiff, former Miss Germany International Aline Marie Massel, 31, revealed the alleged seamy details of her two-year illicit relationship with Autonomy Capital CEO Robert Charles Gibbins in new court documents.

According to her lawsuit, Massel first met Gibbins at Le Bilboquet French bistro in New York City back in June 2014.

Aline Marie Massel

During their first encounter, she claims that Gibbins, 47, told her that he was unmarried and wooed her with promises to buy her the farm mentioned above.

"He promised to buy a large estate for them in Canada called the Royal Antler... and an ostrich farm in Uganda," according to court papers.

Gibbins showered his mistress with gifts during the two-year affair, including a Faberge purse, while taking her for Japanese massages in Midtown Manhattan and flying to the World Cup in Brazil, her suit says.

Mass ...

Hedge Funds Abandon Gold To Chase Bitcoin

Since the beginning of December, gold and bitcoin have drastically diverged.

For the first 11 months of this year, gold and bitcoin were largely positively correlated (albeit low at 0.25). That changed at the start of December...

As it seems gold's relative tranquility was shunned in favor of Bitcoin's chaos...

And hedge fund managers dumping their gold positions and, as the chart below shows, piling into digital gold...

Who knows how long this regime shift will last, but we do note that Gold/Bitcoin is at a critical level of overbought-ness once again...

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.

These five moves in the stock market will result from tax reform

Investors need to be aware of cross-currents in the next few months, writes Nigam Arora.

Trump Today: Trump Today: President says Amtrak train derailment shows need for infrastructure plan

President Donald Trump said Monday an Amtrak train derailment showed the need to approve an infrastructure plan, outlined a new national security strategy, and said Republicans will do "very well" in elections next year.

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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