Update On The Latest Business

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FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stocks mostly lower as US tax bill uncertainty weighs

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian share benchmarks were mostly lower today as uncertainty over U.S. tax reform legislation outweighed upbeat data from Japan.

Corporate sentiment in Asia’s second biggest economy is at an 11-year high, according to a quarterly survey. The Bank of Japan’s “tankan” business outlook based on a poll of more than 10,000 companies posted its strongest reading since late 2006, in the latest sign that the economy is gaining momentum.

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President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion U.S. tax overhaul was teetering on a knife-edge in the Senate, complicating Republican leaders’ goal of pushing it through Congress next week and shaking investor confidence. Senator Marco Rubio vowed to vote against the bill, which gives generous tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy, unless child tax credits are expanded.

Markets were digesting the impact of a raft of decisions by major global central banks over the previous day. The U.S. Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate for the third time this year as anticipated and indicated three more hikes are in store next year. Policymakers in China and Hong Kong followed suit with their own increases while the European Central Bank and the Bank of England kept their main rates on hold, as expected.

Major U.S. benchmarks ended lower yesterday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.4 percent to close at 2,652.01. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.3 percent to 24,508.66. The Nasdaq shed 0.3 percent to 6,856.53.

The dollar weakened against the yen and the euro.

Benchmark U.S. crude inched up, remaining just above $57 a barrel.

GLOBAL INEQUALITY

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Report: Rich to get still richer as world inequality grows

TOKYO (AP) — A report shows inequality stabilizing at high levels in most countries, despite gains among the poor in China and much milder disparities in incomes and wealth in Western Europe.

The World Inequality Report 2018 released Friday is based on a massive collection of data compiled by an international team of researchers that includes renowned economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez.

It shows inequality has soared since 1980 although the global top “1 percent” saw their share of global income slip slightly after the financial crisis, to just above 20 percent. It says inequality will likely widen in the future.

The data indicate the share of global income going to the bottom 50 percent has risen slightly in recent years, to 9.7 percent, thanks to gains in populous China and India.

ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD

Major business and economic reports scheduled for today

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve reports today on U.S. industrial production for November and Treasury releases international money flows data for October

Also, the Federal Reserve of New York releases its December survey of manufacturers in the state.

JAPAN-ECONOMY

Japan central bank survey shows business sentiment brighter

TOKYO (AP) — A quarterly business outlook survey by Japan’s central bank shows sentiment improved to its highest level in 11 years in a further upbeat signal for the economy.

The Bank of Japan’s “tankan” index for large manufacturers, released Friday, was 25 in December, up from 22 in September. It was the fifth straight quarterly improvement and the strongest reading since December 2006.

However, the forecast for the next quarter was less optimistic, at 19.

The economy has gathered momentum thanks to a recovery in exports in tandem with improved conditions in China, the U.S. and other major markets.

The tankan survey of 10,645 companies is viewed as a major indicator for the economy.

DISNEY-FOX

Disney buying much of Fox, will help it compete with Netflix

NEW YORK (AP) — Disney is buying a large part of Fox, including its movie and television studios, for about $52.4 billion, as the home of Mickey Mouse tries to meet competition from technology companies in the entertainment business.

Disney’s all-stock deal for the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox gives it the studios that produce the Avatar movies, “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family.” Murdoch will form a new company to keep the U.S. television networks, including Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and Fox Broadcasting. “The Simpsons” will continue to air on Murdoch’s Fox stations.

The deal also brings Marvel characters such as X-Men and The Avengers under one roof — Disney’s.

Disney will be in a better position to compete with the likes of Netflix when it launches ESPN- and Disney-branded streaming services in the coming years. Disney is also getting Fox’s regional sports networks and some international TV businesses.

Rupert Murdoch says what remains of his family’s business will be able to focus on American news and sports.

Murdoch’s new company will get national rights to Major League Baseball, the NFL, NASCAR and college sports through the Fox TV network and cable networks FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network.

CALIFORNIA MARIJUANA-LICENSES

California issues 1st licenses for its legal pot market

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California has issued its first business licenses for the state’s upcoming legal marijuana market.

Recreational pot sales for adults start in California on Jan. 1, joining the state’s long-running medical sales.

The state on Thursday authorized its first batch of temporary licenses for retailers and distributors for the new recreational marketplace.

The first license was awarded Pure CA, which does business as Moxie brand products. The company is known for its cannabis extracts.

The company also received a license for medical distribution.

Voters in 2016 enacted Proposition 64, which legalized recreational sales.

DELTA-OUTLOOK

Delta orders 100 Airbus jets valued at over $12.7 billion

UNDATED (AP) — Delta Air Lines has picked Europe’s Airbus over Boeing for a huge order of new jets.

Delta said Thursday that it will order 100 Airbus A321neo jets with a sticker price of $12.7 billion and take an option to buy another 100 jets, a deal that Chicago-based Boeing had hoped to land.

Financial terms of the order were not disclosed so it isn’t known how much Delta will actually pay Airbus. Airlines typically get huge discounts off the sticker price of new planes.

Atlanta-based Delta announced the order just before beginning its annual meeting with investors.

CEO Ed Bastian told investors that travel demand remains strong both on international and U.S. routes. He said Delta expects fourth-quarter revenue for every seat flown one mile — a measure of ticket demand and average fares — to rise about 4 percent from a year ago, up from Delta’s previous forecast of 2 to 4 percent.

But costs for fuel and labor are rising, too. Bastian said Delta’s fourth-quarter operating margin will be around 11 percent, at the low end of the company’s previous prediction.

YELLOWSTONE MINING

Montana Republican gets behind Yellowstone mining ban

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte is sponsoring legislation to withdraw land near Yellowstone National Park from future mining, after describing an identical Senate measure as “dead on arrival” in the House.

Gianforte spokesman Travis Hall said the Republican has been working with other lawmakers to make sure the bill introduced Thursday can pass. Hall would not give further details.

The measure would remove public lands north of the park from future mining claims. An identical bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat, had stalled.

Two companies are seeking to develop gold mines north of Yellowstone.

Local residents and businesses say the projects could pollute waterways and discourage tourism.

BREXIT

EU’s Tusk warns of bruising Brexit battle ahead, urges unity

BRUSSELS (AP) —The EU is set to give the go-ahead today for talks to start on the post-Brexit trade relationship with Britain and European Union chief Donald Tusk warns of a bruising battle ahead.

As all 28 EU leaders, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, arrived in Brussels for a summit meeting, Tusk urged the EU-27 to continue to present a united front in the Brexit talks.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that “a lot still needs to be solved and time is pressing.”

Since the EU nations have widely diverging economic relations with Britain — Germany sells a lot of cars to Britain while Spain wants British tourists — and different aspirations on the future relations, maintaining unity might become difficult.

The anticipated decision to authorize the second stage of the Brexit talks follows last week’s agreement on matters the EU wanted settled first. These related to Britain’s exit bill, the need to maintain an open and frictionless border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and the rights of citizens’ in each other’s territories.

In the draft summit statement, which could be modified before Friday, the leaders emphasize the importance of organizing a transition period, probably of around two years, to ease Britain out of the EU from 2019.

EUROPE-SUMMIT

EU nations bicker over migration policy as summit opens

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union nations are bickering openly over migration policy in an east-west divide centered on several nations that refuse to accept refugee quotas.

The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia announced that they planned to spend around 35 million euros ($41 million) to beef up EU borders after the four countries — known as the “Visegrad Four” — were criticized for failing to show solidarity with the rest of the bloc.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte still thought it was “shameless” and said shirking responsibility by not taking in their share would wither the EU.

Greece and Italy have had to play host to tens of thousands of migrants who have landed there after crossing the Mediterranean or Aegean seas, severely stretching the two countries’ resources. They have called for help from EU partners.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said there have been complaints that eastern members were happy to get aid from their richer western partners but unwilling to live up to their part of the bargain of being in a joint endeavor.

BITCOIN SEIZURE

US prosecutors move to cash in on $8.5M in seized bitcoin

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — U.S. attorneys in Utah prosecuting a multimillion-dollar opioid drug-ring are moving quickly to sell seized bitcoin that’s exploded in value to about $8.5 million since the alleged ringleader’s arrest a year ago.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah cites the digital currency’s volatility in court documents pressing for the sale. The bitcoin cache was worth less than $500,000 when Aaron Shamo was arrested on drug charges, but the value of the digital currency has skyrocketed since then.

Bitcoin was created as a digital alternative to the traditional banking system, and is prone to swings in value based on what people believe its worth.

Spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch says that for federal prosecutors in Utah, sales of seized assets like cars are routine, but bitcoin is new territory.

Shamo is accused of selling pills containing the powerful opioid fentanyl on the dark web — an area of the internet often used for illegal activity — to thousands of people all over the U.S., at one point raking in $2.8 million in less than a year.

The 500,000-pill bust ranked among the largest of its kind in the country, and authorities also found $1 million of cash stuffed into trash bags.

IVANKA TRUMP-STORE

Ivanka Trump store to open in Trump Tower lobby

NEW YORK (AP) — An Ivanka Trump-branded store is opening in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, selling handbags, jewelry and candles.

A representative for the first daughter’s brand says the store opened Thursday on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue will add shoes and clothes next year.

Trump, who is now an assistant to her father, President Donald Trump, gave up day-to-day management of her brand this year. Her ownership still allows her to profit off her rising profile, which has prompted criticism from ethics experts.

After the election the brand became politically charged. Department store Nordstrom stopped selling Ivanka Trump clothing, citing declining sales, which caused shopper boycotts. President Trump criticized Nordstrom, while a top adviser urged shoppers to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff.”

News of the store opening was first reported by Bloomberg.

This is source I found from another site, main source you can find in last paragraph

Source : https://federalnewsradio.com/sports-news/2017/12/update-on-the-latest-in-business-617/

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