Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Dec. 21:
1. -- U.S. stock futures moved higher and European shares posted gains Thursday, Dec. 21, as investors digested passage of the U.S. tax bill.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.11%, the S&P 500 fell 0.08% and the Nasdaq slipped 0.04% on Wednesday, Dec. 20, after the House of Representatives gave final approval to the GOP tax reform bill.
The bill now goes to Donald Trump, who has said he would like to sign the measure before Christmas. However, Bloomberg reported that Trump may hold off on signing the bill until Jan. 3, 2018, to ensure automatic spending cuts to Medicare and other programs don't take effect, according to a House Republican aide familiar with the plans.
The largest overhaul to the U.S. tax code in 30 years will see the corporate tax rate fall to 21% to 35%, which could boost company earnings and lead to higher dividends and stock buybacks.
Asian shares finished Thursday's session slightly lower after Japan's central bank left its monetary policy unchanged.
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2. -- Banks will be among the biggest winners from the Republican-led tax plan that passed Congress on Wednesday.
The biggest U.S. banks could see an average 13% increase in earnings per share from a drop in the corporate tax rate to 21%, according to Goldman Sachs. Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) - Get Wells Fargo & Company Report and PNC Financial Group Inc. (PNC) - Get PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Report may have the biggest gains, Goldman said.
Wells Fargo, along with Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) - Get Fifth Third Bancorp Report and Western Alliance Bancorp (WAL) - Get Western Alliance Bancorp Report , said Wednesday they raise the minimum wage for their workers to to $15 an hour following the passage of the tax plan.
Wells Fargo shares rose 1.1% in premarket trading on Thursday.
Meanwhile, AT&T Inc. (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report and Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) - Get Comcast Corporation Class A Report said Wednesday they would give thousands of U.S. employees bonuses of $1,000 each after the tax bill was approved by the Senate and House.
3. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes the third estimate for third-quarter GDP at 8:30 a.m. ET, weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m., and the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for December at 8:30 a.m.
Accenture PLC (ACN) - Get Accenture Plc Class A Report posted fiscal first-quarter earnings that topped analysts' forecasts and it raised its fiscal 2018 earnings outlook. Accenture gained 1.1% in premarket trading.
Finish Line Inc. (FINL) reported a third-quarter adjusted loss of 26 cents a share, much narrower than Wall Street's expectations. The company also said same-store sales in the period rose 0.8%; analysts expected a decline of 4.5%. The stock jumped nearly 7% in premarket trading.
Earnings reports are also expected Thursday from Nike Inc. (NKE) - Get NIKE, Inc. (NKE) Report , Carmax Inc. (KMX) - Get CarMax, Inc. Report , Conagra Brands Inc. (CAG) - Get Conagra Brands, Inc. Report , Paychex Inc. (PAYX) - Get Paychex, Inc. Report and Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (HOV) - Get Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. Class A Report .
4. -- Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report admitted on Wednesday that it intentionally slows down iPhones as they get older.
Apple said it slows down phones as they age with use -- specifically as their batteries get worn down -- to prevent the older phones from shutting down unexpectedly.
The tech giant said it has been slowing down the performance of iPhones since last year.
Evidence was uncovered by Geekbench developer John Poole this week.
5. -- Didi Chuxing Technology Co., the Chinese ride-hailing firm, said Thursday it has raised $4 billion in funds earmarked for expansion overseas and into areas such as artificial intelligence.
The fundraising values Didi, a rival of Uber Technologies Inc., at more than $50 billion and involved Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Capital, two people familiar with the deal told Reuters.
SoftBank Group Corp., an existing investor, also participated in the latest funding, a spokesman for the Japanese firm confirmed to Reuters.
This story has been updated to include earnings reports from Accenture and Finish Line.
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