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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’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.
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.
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.
What we've been reading
This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- Trump passes cognitive test and is ``fit for duty’’ doctor says.
- Traders pay through the nose to bet the S&P 500 will snap higher.
- New U.S. tax rules are a gift to Europe.
- Who’s afraid of QE’s end? Not these emerging European economies.
- Forget consumer welfare. This antitrust movement targets power instead.
- Your psychiatrist will see you now Mr. Central Bank.
- Free speech, tech turmoil, and the new censorship.