Friday, December 15, 2017
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Market Digest Online FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2017: U.S. stocks closed lower on Thursday as Wall Street awaited the final version of Congress' tax overhaul plan. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 76 points after reaching an all-time intraday high earlier in the session. The index also snapped a five-day winning streak. The S&P 500 declined 0.4 percent, with health care and materials as the worst-performing sectors. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.3 percent. Republican Sen. Mike Lee was undecided on whether to support the tax bill, while Sen. Marco Rubio currently opposes it.

"This market has been going in lockstep with the progress made in the tax bill," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR. "When you see bumps in the road, you're going to get some volatility."

Wall Street has been eagerly awaiting the tax bill, which if passed would slash the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

In corporate news, Disney said Thursday it will pay $52.4 billion in stock to buy Fox's movie studios, network Nat Geo, and Asian pay-TV operator Star TV, among other assets. The acquisition bolsters Disney's plans to become a dominant streaming service platform, making it a bigger threat to Netflix.

"While this deal has been rumored for the past few weeks, Iger & Co. making the deal official this morning is a transformational event for the future of the content and streaming landscape in our opinion," said Dan Ives, head of technology research at GBH Insights.

"We view this as a 'home-run deal' for Disney and while its an aggressive acquisition with a high price tag, in our opinion this is the right move at the right time as the marriage of these assets creates a much more formidable Disney," Ives said. Shares of Disney gained 2.8 percent, while Fox shares shot up nearly 6.5 percent.

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