Morning Brief: Oil prices near 2015 highs

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

What to watch today

Trading volume should continue to be light as many investors continue to enjoy the holiday season. Though, we are in the midst of the “Santa Claus rally,” which covers the final five days of the trading year and the first two of the next. During this seven-day period, the S&P 500 has gained an average of 1.35%, the second-best among all seven-day periods possible during the year, according to LPL Research.

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) will continue to be on radars as the cryptocurrency recoups some of last week’s losses.

On the economic calendar, we’ll get new reads on pending home sales and consumer confidence. Both reports are scheduled to cross at 10:00 a.m. ET.

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Top news

Oil remains near 2015 highs on tight market outlook: Oil prices on Wednesday remained near two-and-a-half year highs from the previous session as the market outlook for 2018 is relatively tight, although the gradual resumption of flows through a major North Sea pipeline prevented crude from rising. [Reuters]

Homeowners in high-tax states race to beat property tax cap:  Homeowners in states with the highest property taxes are looking to prepay 2018 bills ahead of a $10,000 cap on the deduction for state and local levies, including property taxes, in the GOP tax overhaul President Donald Trump just signed. [Bloomberg]

Harbinger Capital sues Apollo Global Management over LightSquared losses:  Philip Falcone’s hedge fund said it was defrauded by Apollo Global Management LLC into pouring $2 billion into the ill-fated wireless venture formerly known as LightSquared Inc. Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners filed a lawsuit in New York state court Thursday accusing Apollo of concealing flaws in a planned telecommunications network that ran into regulatory roadblocks years later, driving LightSquared into a costly bankruptcy. [The Wall Street Journal]

Uber working on a deal to sell auto-leasing business: Ride-hailing company Uber is working on a deal to sell its U.S. auto-leasing business Xchange Leasing to startup digital car marketplace Fair, according to a person familiar with the matter. In September Uber said it was shutting down the auto-leasing business, which had heavy losses. [Reuters]

Former President of the United States Barack Obama, left is interviewed by Britain’s Prince Harry for the BBC Radio 4 Today program that he guest edited. Obama told Prince Harry in an interview broadcast Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, that he felt serene the day he left the White House despite the sense that much important work remained unfinished. (BBC Radio 4 Today/PA via AP)

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