Morning Brief: GOP tax plan hits a snag

Friday, December 15, 2017

What to watch today

Investors will be closely watching developments out of Washington, D.C. into the weekend, however, as Thursday brought new challenges for Senate Republicans trying to get a deal on tax reform done by the end of 2017. Republican Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) added new wrinkles to the current progress on getting a tax bill to President Donald Trump’s desk by the end of the year. Rubio, who had previously discussed his displeasure with the bill leaving out an expansion to a child care tax credit, said Thursday he opposes the current deal while Lee said he is undecided. Tennessee Senator Bob Corker has also not said if he supports the current version of the bill. Senate Republicans can only afford to lose two votes to still pass the measure.

The economics calendar will give investors readings on manufacturing activity in New York State and industrial production in the U.S. while the earnings calendar has no major reports due out.

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Top news

Here’s what you can expect now that the FCC has killed net neutrality:  The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 Thursday to scrap all of its existing net-neutrality rules. The vote to kill net neutrality will first lead to protracted litigation. Should FCC’s plan survive that, internet providers will be free to block sites as long as they say they’ll do that. ISPs say they won’t (and there’s zero long-term business logic for them doing so), but this regulatory rollback will also enable them to engage in less-obvious mischief that the government may not be able to punish until years later. [Yahoo Finance]

Trump’s grade on the economy drops: In the latest Yahoo Finance Trumponomics Report Card, President Donald Trump’s grade on the economy drops from an A- in November to a B for December. That’s a two-notch downgrade. The main reason is weak earnings, which have barely risen this year. [Yahoo Finance]

Rich will get still richer unless policies change: Global inequality has stabilized at high levels in recent years, the World Inequality Report 2018 said Friday, despite gains among the poor in China and much milder disparities in incomes and wealth in Western Europe. It shows inequality has soared since 1980 although the global top “1 percent” saw their share of global income slip slightly after the 2008 financial crisis, to just above 20%. [AP]

Goldman wants a 100% margin on some bitcoin futures trades:  Goldman Sachs Group Inc. demanded some clients set aside funds equal to the full value of their bitcoin futures trade as a condition for clearing the transaction, according to people familiar with the investments. The demands deterred some clients from seeking to clear trades through the bank and led them to take their business elsewhere. [Bloomberg]

Oracle topped Wall Street targets, but the stock fell: Oracle reported strong quarterly results after the closing bell on Thursday afternoon, beating Wall Street expectations. It reported quarterly revenue of $9.63 billion, up 6.2% year-over-year. Even so, the stock was down more than 4% in after-hours trading. [Business Insider]

Jedi Stormtroopers invade TCL Chinese Theaters to deliver Red Robin Gourmet Burger Bars to fans waiting in line for the highly anticipated movie premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews/AP Images)

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The Morning Brief provides a quick rundown on what to watch in the markets, top news stories, and the best of Yahoo Finance Originals.