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5 Things to Know in the Business World Today


January 17, 2018 by Lorcan Roche Kelly

(Bloomberg) —

 Republicans edge towards funding deal, Bitcoin looks like a bursting bubble, and Wall Street earnings season begins. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Extend and… extend?

House Republicans are close to agreeing a short-term funding bill that would keep the government open through Feb. 16, with the proposal including an extension to the Children’s Health Insurance Program in the hope that will be enough to spur sufficient Democrat support. A vote on the proposal is likely tomorrow. Elsewhere in Washington, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation continues, with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon subpoenaed for a meeting later this month.

Bitcoin fizzle

Bitcoin’s 23 percent crash has some calling time on the speculative mania that drove the cryptocurrency close to $20,000 last month. The digital token was trading at $10,355 at 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time, with peers in the line of fire, as investors mull what may pop the bubble once and for all.

Bank earnings

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reports fourth-quarter results before the bell this morning, with analysts expecting adjusted earnings per share of $4.90. The bank’s fixed-income trading will be one of the key measures watched, with any effects from tax reform likely to drive headline financial performance. Bank of America Corp. also reports today.

Stocks slip

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.1 percent, while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.2 percent lower as the yen rose against the dollar. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.1 percent lower at 5:45 a.m., as ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said the monetary authority is in no rush to change stimulus plans. S&P 500 futures added 0.2 percent, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.554 percent and gold was slightly higher.

Canada rate decision

There’s excitement north of the border today as the Bank of Canada’s rate decision due at 10:00 a.m. is expected to deliver the third increase since July following this month’s surprisingly strong jobs data. The one fly in the ointment is the risk of a possible U.S. withdrawal from Nafta talks, which may prompt a “hawkish hold’’ by the BoC.



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