Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, Jan. 2:
1. -- Stock Futures Rise as U.S. Dollar Slumps
European stocks fell as a slumping U.S. dollar lifted the value of regional currencies and pressured equities amid firming global metals prices and renewed signs of economic strengthening.
The dollar index, a measure of the greenback's strength against a basket of six global currencies, traded at 91.84, the lowest since mid-September and more than 1.5% from the level it was trading at just prior to the Christmas break.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average starts the new year at 24,719, after falling 0.48% on Friday, Dec. 29. The index gained 25.2% in 2017, the S&P 500 jumped 19.7%, and the Nasdaq rose 28.2%.
2. -- BP to Take Tax Reform Hit
BP PLC (BP) said Tuesday its fourth-quarter earnings will be hit by a one-off charge from recent changes in the U.S. tax code that will see the corporate rate fall to 21% from 35%, but added that future earnings will be positively impacted by the tax reforms.
The U.K. oil giant forecast said the roughly $1.5 billion charge will be taken in the fourth quarter of 2017. BP said details of final actual charge will be released on Feb. 6, when it issues its earnings report.
BP shares traded in London fell more than 1%.
3. -- Natural Gas Prices Soar as Cold Snap Grips U.S.
Natural gas prices rose to the highest levels in nearly a month on Tuesday as Americans braced for another record-breaking day of low temperatures amid one of the worst cold snaps in decades.
Natural gas futures for February delivery traded more than 4% higher than their closing prices on Friday in early European hours, taking benchmark prices to $3.09 per British Thermal Unit, the highest since Dec. 4.
4. -- Apple Offers Replacement Batteries Immediately
Apple Inc. (AAPL) announced on Dec. 30, that its iPhone battery-replacement discount would go into effect immediately, rather than in late January.
A few days earlier, Apple apologized and said it would offer discounted battery replacements for older model iPhones after users discovered that the company's operating system updates deliberately slowed down the devices. It also cut the price of its iPhone battery-replacement services for anyone with an iPhone 6 or newer device to $29 from $79, and promised an iOS update in early 2018 that will "give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone's battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance." The battery offer lasts through the end of 2018.
"We expected to need more time to be ready, but we are happy to offer our customers the lower pricing right away,' said an Apple spokeswoamn, who added that "initial supplies of some replacement batteries may be limited."
Apple shares rose 0.5% in premarket trading.
5. -- 'Star Wars' Tops 'Beauty and the Beast'
On the last day of the calendar year, Walt Disney Co.'s (DIS) "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" surpassed "Beauty and the Beast" as the top grossing film in North America in 2017.
According to studio estimates on Sunday, "The Last Jedi" added $52.4 million over the weekend bringing its domestic total to $517.1 million. "Beauty and the Beast," also a Disney release, grossed $504 million for the year.
Shares of Disney rose 0.4%.
This story has been updated.
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