Consumer Cos Tick Up As Traders Hedge On Tax View - Consumer Roundup

Features Dow Jones Newswires

Shares of retailers and other consumer companies ticked up as traders hedged their bets on the outlook for tax legislation as the Senate and House of Representatives reportedly reached an agreement on a compromise bill. A tax cut for individuals would likely boost spending during the key holiday period, but it remains unclear what exactly tax legislation will look like and when it may become law, according to one strategist.

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"The question I get from clients and everybody else is: 'what do you think about tax reform?'" said Oliver Pursche, chief investment strategist at broker-dealer Bruderman Brothers. "On 'tax reform'--just as a statement, I'm for. If you're asking about this specific bill, I don't know what's in it and neither does anybody else."

Analysts at brokerage Credit Suisse said the proposed acquisition of Australian mall giant Westfield by European rival Unibail-Rodamco makes sense but could present some problems when the "rump" of the companies' generally attractive portfolios is considered. "Finding buyers for assets that have been well flagged as weaker performers could be a challenge in the current less liquid private markets," said the Credit Suisse analysts, in a note to clients.

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen was the latest to warn about the risks posed by speculation on bitcoin, though she noted that the Fed had no jurisdiction over the digital currency.

Discounter Target agreed to acquire Shipt, an online same-day grocery delivery company, for $550 million in cash, as it seeks to compete with rivals Amazon.com and Walmart Stores, who have both invested in the grocery delivery business.

-Rob Curran, rob.curran@dowjones.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 13, 2017 16:28 ET (21:28 GMT)