December 21, 2017 Market Outlook

Trump Scores First Major Legislative Victory

The Republican-led legislative branch of the U.S. government finally succeeded in sealing President Donald Trump’s first legislative gave triumph since assuming the presidency last January.

The final approval came on Wednesday at the House of Representatives where the Republicans won, 224-201, in favor of a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax bill. The bill passed the Senate, 51-48, during voting at the early hours of the same day.

The timetable for signing by Trump has yet to be announced. According to White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, the schedule would depend on whether automatic spending cuts prompted by the legislation could be waived.

AT&T Adds $1B for Capital Spending After Tax Bill Approval

Immediately following Congress’ approval of the GOP tax reform plan, AT&T (T) announces its intention to increase capital spending in the United States by $1billion in 2018.

The company also promised to grant a $1,000 special bonus to their domestic employees numbering more than 200,000. If U.S. President Donald Trump signs the bill before Christmas, the bonuses will be paid out to the employees during the holiday season.

FedEx Sees Increase in Annual Profits with New Tax Bill

The shipping giant FedEx sees a potential increase in annual profits by nearly $1.5 billion when the tax bill is signed into law. The blue-chip company reported its latest quarterly earnings on Tuesday prior to the final voting on the tax legislation.

FedEx told investors in its earnings release that its annual profits could increase by $4.40 to $5.50 a share in 2018. The increase will be triggered by the change in valuating deferred tax liabilities as well as the cut in the corporate tax rate to 21%. The company added that the lower tax rate on a stand-alone basis will push earnings higher by $1 a share.

U.S. Not Bending On Tariff Decisions versus Canada

The U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday is not backing down in its tiff with Canada. On Wednesday, the department upheld its earlier tariff decisions against Canadian plane maker Bombardier. The action is likely to intensify the trade quarrel between the United States and Canada and the U.K.

The American aerospace giant Boeing is claiming they were harmed by the new Bombardier plane. Boeing is alleging that Bombardier unfairly aided from bailout subsidies from the Canadian federal and provincial governments. Those funds allowed Bombardier violated U.S. trade rules because the said funds allowed them to sell its new C Series airliner to Delta Air Lines (DAL) at “absurdly low prices.”


Walmart Testing Cashier-Less Store Concept

Project Kepler is the new cashier-less store concept being experimented by Walmart (WMT). The veteran retailer “aims to reimagine the in-store shopping experience with the help of technologies like computer vision.”

This project by Walmart would see their stores operate without checkout lines or cashiers much the same way Amazon.com Inc.’s (AMZN) ultra-modern Amazon Go store is planning to implement and make available to the public.

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