Morning Brief: IRS issues guidance on prepaying 2018 taxes

Thursday, December 28, 2017

What to watch today

Just two more days. That is all that is left on the trading calendar for 2017, capping what has been a stellar year for U.S. stocks with the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq each set to score investors total returns of over 20% for the year.

On the economic calendar on Thursday, the main highlight will be the weekly report on initial jobless claims, though this figure has been sitting near generational lows for the last several months save for a few noisy readings around Hurricane Harvey and Irma.

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Top news

IRS says 2018 property taxes may be deductible only if assessed and paid in 2017: The IRS said Wednesday that people may be able to deduct their 2018 state and local property taxes only if they were assessed and prepaid during 2017. The guidance comes after President Donald Trump last week signed into law sweeping tax reform legislation that caps how much in property taxes people can deduct. [CNBC]

Apple CEO Cook gets 74% bonus boost:  Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook received a 74% increase in his annual bonus for fiscal 2017 as the iPhone maker posted higher revenue and net income, after a rare decline a year earlier. Cook’s incentive pay totaled $9.33 million for the year ended Sept. 30, the company said Wednesday in a regulatory filing.  [Bloomberg]

Bitcoin drops as South Korea says exchange closures are possible:  Bitcoin resumed its tumble on Thursday after South Korea said it was eyeing options including a potential shutdown of at least some cryptocurrency exchanges to stamp out a frenzy of speculation.South Korea has been ground zero for a global surge in interest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as their prices surged this year, prompting the nation’s prime minister to worry over the impact on Korean youth. [Bloomberg]

Dollar heads for worst year since 2003: The dollar reached its lowest level in a month versus the euro on Thursday as an earlier slide in Treasury yields and year-end rebalancing flows weighed on the currency that’s heading for its worst year in more than a decade. The greenback declined against all its Group-of-10 peers after benchmark U.S. Treasury yields fell by the most since September on Wednesday. [Bloomberg]

Flattening US yield curve nears decade lows in final 2017 push: The spread between the yields on 2-year and 10-year Treasuries narrowed to just 50.6 basis points Wednesday, close to the decade low reached on Dec. 6. While a small part of the more than six-basis-point narrowing is a function of the market shifting to a new benchmark 2-year note, the move is nonetheless one of the biggest single-session shifts of 2017. [Bloomberg]

Bitter cold weather takes hold of northern U.S. Rochelle Carlotti, 28, shovels steps near her home after a record snowfall on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, in Erie, Pa. The National Weather Service office in Cleveland says Monday’s storm brought 34 inches of snow, an all-time daily snowfall record for Erie. (Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News via AP)

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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.