U.S. markets turned negative across the board after Florida Senator Marco Rubio said that he would not vote for the combined tax reform bill that was negotiated by the House and Senate. Rubio, a Republican, told Senate leaders he plans to vote against the $1.5 trillion tax plan unless a larger expansion of a child tax credit was included, according to reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 0.31%. The S&P 500 dropped 0.41% and the Nasdaq was down 0.28%.
Sen. Bob Corker of Nevada has maintained his earlier stance that he won't vote for legislation that increases the nation's debt. Rand Paul of Kentucky also said earlier this week that he opposes a bill that puts the U.S. deeper in debt. John McCain of Arizona, who voted against the GOP's earlier effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, is in the hospital for treatment of brain cancer. Losing the support of three Republicans would doom the bill.
Internet service providers got a win in Washington Thursday after the Federal Communications Commission voted, 3-2, to repeal the Obama-era rules. Earlier, the agency was forced to halt debate over whether to repeal net neutrality rules due to an unidentified threat.
Disney jumped 2.8%, while 21st Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) shares moved sharply higher, closing up 6.5%, after Disney announced that it reached a deal to purchase the majority of its rival's media assets.
The Consumer discretionary sector was outperforming on Thursday.
Retail sales in the U.S. during November rose 0.8%, the Census Bureau said on Thursday, above estimates that called for an increase of 0.3%.
Jobless claims for the week ended Dec. 9, declined 11,000 to 225,000.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) was up 10% after it unveiled an aggressive restructuring plan that will cut 14,000 jobs.
Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) was also on the move, jumping 3%, after the company announced that it was ordering 100 Airbus A321neo jets, with options of up to 100 additional jets, beginning in 2020.
Global oil markets were rising, owing to the ongoing shutdown of the Forties North Sea pipeline, which is pulling 450,000 barrels of oil from the market each day, and a larger-than-expected 3.3 million barrel decline in U.S. crude stocks reported Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.
Brent crude futures for February delivery gave back early gains but still rose 0.9% to $63 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude contracts for the same month rose less than 1% to $57.04 a barrel.
Spot bitcoin prices were at $16,404 as of 4 p.m. ET, according to CoinDesk.
TheStreet's John Pickering contributed to this report.
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