The Tax Bill

Last week Congress passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut and the largest structural overhaul of the tax system since 1986. The Senate passed the tax-overhaul bill, 51-48 Wednesday 20th after it swiftly passed through the House on a 227-203 vote on Tuesday 19th. The measure then headed to President Donald Trump for his signature on Friday 22nd. The Republican plan offers deep tax cuts for businesses, lower rates for many individuals and a narrower estate tax. Corporate shareholders, business owners, and most households are to see a reduction in taxes in the next couple of years. On the other hand, there will be those who suffer from the cuts, including some households living in regions where state a

Oil Prices On The Rise

Oil prices pushed higher on last week, after U.S. government data showed a larger-than-expected drop in U.S. Oil stockpiles. The price of light sweet crude oil for February delivery rose 0.6% to $57.92 a barrel and Brent oil, gained 0.5%, to $64.14 a barrel. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, crude stockpiles fell by 6.5 million barrels in mid-December. “Since the demand for gas is so inelastic, gas prices are one of the main drivers of consumer sentiment, and the price of gas depends on the price of oil” said Keith Knutsson of Integrale Advisors. Analysts say the decline in the U.S. stockpile was largely due to refineries increasing production in the last couple of wee

Manufacturing Expansion

U.S. manufacturing activity slowed modestly for the second straight month in November, but the reading still shows a favorable factory sector. On Friday, the Supply Management Institute said its manufacturing index fell to 58.2 in November, but remained solidly in growth mode. A reading above 50 indicates activity is expanding across the factory sector, while a number below 50 signals contraction. The slowdown of the sector’s expansion was driven by a decrease in inventories and a slower rate of growth in deliveries from export order and suppliers. Employment growth cooled just slightly. On the other hand, other components of the index showed strength for manufacturing. Overall new orders ar

Senate Passes Tax Code Revision Bill

The Senate passed sweeping revisions to the U.S. tax code on Saturday after Republicans secured enough votes to pass the measure. The revision bill included $1.4 trillion in tax cuts, lowering the corporate rate to 20% from 35%, restructures international business tax rules and temporarily lowers individual taxes. The bill passed 51-49, with all but one Republican voting for it and all Democrats voting against. The only Republican to vote against the bill, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, expressed his opposition before the vote, stating worries it would expand budget deficits. The bill’s ultimate passage would mean a great deal to republicans, marking a legislative victory for President Don

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