Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Jan. 3:
1. -- Wall Street Chases More Records
Early indications suggested another record run for U.S. stocks on Wednesday with contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 44 points, or 0.18%, while those linked to the S&P 500 gained 4.25 points. The Stoxx 600 Europe index, the region's broadest measure of share prices, rose 0.29%.
U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, Jan. 2, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both starting off the new year with record closes. The S&P 500 rose by 0.83% and the Nasdaq jumped 1.5%. The Nasdaq closed above 7,000 for the first time.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a gain of 0.42% on Tuesday.
Commodity prices were spiking Wednesday as the U.S. braces for a major "bomb cyclone" snowstorm that could bring airports and roads to a standstill up and down the eastern seaboard.
2. -- U.S. Rejects Sale of MoneyGram
The U.S. rejected the sale of money transfer company MoneyGram International Inc. (MGI) to Chinese billionaire Jack Ma's Ant Financial Services Group.
MoneyGram and Ant Financial failed to obtain approval for the $1.2 billion deal from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States despite "extensive efforts to address the committee's concerns," the companies said in a statement.
"The geopolitical environment has changed considerably since we first announced the proposed transaction with Ant Financial nearly a year ago," said MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes. "Despite our best efforts to work cooperatively with the U.S. government, it has now become clear that CFIUS will not approve this merger."
Why the U.S. government rejected the deal wasn't clear, but it does indicate a heightened American scrutiny of Chinese investment.
Ma is the founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) .
MoneyGram shares fell 5.1% in premarket trading on Wednesday.
3. -- Car Sales in U.S. Expected to Fall
New car sales in the U.S. last month are projected to fall nearly 7% from a year earlier, according to estimates from Kelley Blue Book. Every major automaker is expected to report declines, Kelley Blue Book said.
Gene Munster, the famed tech analyst, has predicted that Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) could buy Target Corp. (TGT) in 2018. But Benjamin Lau of Apriem Advisors, which covers retail stocks, said Target is much more likely to be an acquirer rather than get acquired this year.
"I don't know what Amazon would get out of the deal or how Amazon would pay for Target," Lau told TheStreet.
Munster, a well-known tech analyst and founder of Loup Ventures, wrote this week in his annual predictions note that he thought Amazon and Target would be a hand-in-glove fit.
Target shares rose 3.7% on Tuesday after word of Munster's prediction spread. The stock gained 0.55% in premarket trading on Wednesday.
5. -- Airlines to Pay Bonuses After Tax Bill
American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL) and Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) said they will pay employees bonuses of $1,000 each, as the airlines benefit from lower corporate income tax rates under the U.S. tax bill signed by Donald Trump last month.
This article has been updated from 6:10 a.m. ET.
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