US Stocks Set To Open Lower With Tax Bill In Focus

U.S. stocks look set to open notably lower on Friday as investors await the Senate’s vote on tax reform legislation. Republicans are eyeing a crucial final vote today for a tax overhaul package expected to boost GDP by about 0.8 percent over a decade.

Besides the special focus on the GOP tax reform bill, investors also eye economic reports on manufacturing activity and construction spending as well as speeches by St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan for further clues to growth and rate outlook.

The dollar eased and gold edged higher while oil extended overnight gains after a decision by the world’s biggest oil producers to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018.

Asian stock markets gave up early gains to end mixed after a private survey showed that activity in China’s vast manufacturing sector fell in November to the weakest pace in five months.

The Caixin manufacturing PMI dropped to 50.8 from 51.0 in October, signaling a slight slowdown in economic activity.

Elsewhere, Eurozone manufacturing activity expanded notably in November underpinned by production and new orders, survey data from IHS Markit showed.

The final factory Purchasing Managers’ Index rose from 58.5 in October to 60.1 in November, its best reading apart from April 2000’s series-record high.

The U.K. manufacturing sector expanded at the fastest pace in more than four years in November, with the IHS Markit PMI climbing to 58.2 from revised 56.6 in October.

European stocks were trading mostly lower, with banks pacing the declines after a delayed vote on U.S. tax reform.

In corporate news, Twitter (TWTR) announced that Twitter Lite, the space-saving version of Twitter’s main app, is now available in the Google Play Store in 24 more countries.

Japanese conglomerate Toshiba Corp. and Western Digital Corp (WDC) are close to settling their legal dispute, the Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

CNBC reported that Amazon (AMZN) is in exploratory talks with makers of generic drugs about the online retailer’s potential entry into the pharmacy space.

by RTT Staff Writer

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