Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Dec. 20:
1. -- U.S. stock futures suggested Wall Street would rebound on Wednesday, Dec. 20, as investors awaited the passage of a sweeping U.S. tax bill.
The U.S. Senate passed the GOP-led bill in the wee hours Wednesday by a vote of 51 to 48, along party lines.
The House of Representatives will reconsider the $1.5 trillion tax cut on Wednesday. The House approved the bill on Tuesday, Dec. 19, but the vote will have to be repeated because of a procedural snag pointed out by Senate rules-makers.
Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill at the earliest opportunity, giving his administration its first major legislative victory after almost 11 months in office.
Stocks finished lower on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumping 0.15% after the House initially passed the bill whose benefits for corporations and wealthy Americans have helped drive U.S. equity markets to records in recent days.
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2. -- Uber Technologies Inc. should be regulated as a transport company, the European Court of Justice on Wednesday, a decision that opens the ride-hailing company up to tougher regulation.
The long-awaited decision by Europe's highest court found that Uber operated like a traditional taxi firm, not a digital service.
The ruling means that Uber will have to work more closely with national and local governments that set the rules governing car and transport services in Europe.
Uber "must be classified as 'a service in the field of transport' within the meaning of EU law," the court said Wednesday. "Member States can therefore regulate the conditions for providing that service."
Uber said the ruling will not change the way it operates in Europe. The company is under pressure in the U.K. -- in September, London refused to renew Uber's operating license over safety concerns, a decision which it is now appealing.
3. -- Red Hat Inc. (RHT) - Get Red Hat, Inc. Report shares fell 2% in premarket trading on Wednesday despite the software company reporting fiscal third-quarter earnings and sales above Wall Street estimates and after Red Hat provided upbeat guidance.
Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst told TheStreet that investors may have had higher expectations for growth in the cloud infrastructure company's billings segment, which is a metric that measures recurring payments from customers. Billings grew 14% quarter over quarter in the most recent period vs. billings growth of 18% in the year-earlier quarter. The company landed some bigger deals in the fourth quarter of 2016, which generated a 29% increase in billings.
"We literally beat every line -- revenue, billings, earnings per share," Whitehurst said in a phone interview following Red Hat's call with investors. "I think people thought that it should be an easy comparison this year, that we should've had really high growth. I think there was a little confusion. That's the best that we can understand."
4. -- Tesla Inc. (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report CEO Elon Musk gave his 16.7 million Twitter followers his cell phone number,in a tweet that was meant to be a direct message to John Carmack, the chief technology officer of Oculus, which is owned by Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report .
"Do you have a sec to talk? My cell is ..." Musk wrote from his account on Tuesday to Carmack. Musk quickly deleted the post.
Bloomberg reported how the tweet invited speculation that Musk may have been trying to recruit Carmack or was seeking ways for Oculus to cooperate with any of the many businesses Musk operates.
A Facebook spokeswoman told Bloomberg that said Carmack doesn't plan to leave the company.
5. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes Existing Home Sales for November at 10 a.m. ET, and Oil Inventories for the week ended Dec. 15, at 10:30 a.m.
General Mills Inc. (GIS) - Get General Mills, Inc. Report reported adjusted earnings of 82 cents a share in its fiscal second quarter, which was in line with analysts' expectations but down 4% from the previous year.
The stock rose 1.5% in premarket trading on Wednesday.
This story has been to include earnings from General Mills.
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