Dow eyes 25,000; Bitcoin futures; Brexit decisions

1. Dow 25,000 watch: The Dow Jones industrial avera...

Posted: Dec. 18, 2017 9:59 AM
Updated: Dec. 18, 2017 9:59 AM

1. Dow 25,000 watch: The Dow Jones industrial average might hit yet another milestone this week, especially if Congress passes the package of tax cuts that has seriously fired up Wall Street.

The Dow has hit plenty of records since President Trump took office, passing 24,000 just three weeks ago.

The index has nearly quadrupled since the financial crisis low, with most of the gains occurring prior to Trump's election.

U.S. stock futures were pointing higher on Monday.

2. Bitcoin futures: CME, the derivatives marketplace, kicked off electronic bitcoin futures trading on Sunday, a week after futures trading began on the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

Investors see the involvement of top financial institutions as a sign of growing mainstream acceptance -- even as government officials, business leaders and economists continue to warn against investing in it.

The digital currency is still extremely volatile. It jumped to within a few hundred dollars of the $20,000 mark on Sunday before slipping back sharply. By early Monday, it was trading well below $19,000.

3. Brexit decisions: What kind of relationship does Britain want with the EU, its biggest export market?

Prime Minister Theresa May will discuss the vital question with cabinet members on Monday. There are two camps: Those who want to negotiate continued easy access to EU markets, and those who want to break free from EU regulation even if it means accepting new barriers to trade.

Both scenarios come with risks and consequences that are likely to upset factions within May's Conservative party.

The pound edged up to trade above $1.33.

4. Global market overview: European markets were in positive territory. Asian markets ended mixed.

U.S. crude futures gained 0.5% to trade at $57.50 per barrel.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.6% on Friday. The S&P 500 gained 0.9% and the Nasdaq jumped 1.2%.

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5. Companies and economics: The European Commission is set to launch a formal probe into Ikea's tax affairs, according to reports in the Financial Times and Politico.

Eurozone inflation data is expected at 5:00 a.m. ET

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6. Coming this week:
Monday -- Official trade date for Bitcoin futures on CME
Tuesday --
Fedex, Darden and Carnival earnings
Wednesday -- General Mills earnings
Thursday -- Nike earnings; Final estimate on 3Q U.S. GDP
Friday --
El Gordo lottery in Spain

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