Puerto Rico's 'Tax Haven' Designation a Tax Reform Casualty?: LIVE MARKETS BLOG

 | Dec 21, 2017 | 3:28 PM EST
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U.S. futures were rising premarket Thursday, Dec. 21, indicating a solid opening for markets.

Dow futures climbed 0.12% while S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures rose 0.21% and 0.12%, respectively.

Major indices in the Asian and European markets were mixed.

Republicans in Congress plan to move forward with a plan that will keep the federal government operating past Friday when funding expires and also directs some funds toward defense and health, according to a copy of the bill released on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Apple (APPL) said its latest software curtails the computing power of some iPhone models to prevent unexpected shutdowns.

Nestle Expected to Sell U.S. Confectionery Business

Nestle SA  (NSRGY)  is expected to sell its U.S. confectionery business in the first quarter of 2018.

In June, the company said it was exploring strategic options for the business, which includes Butterfinger and KitKat.

The review was limited to the United States, where Nestle is No. 4 behind Mars, Hershey (HSY)  and Mondelez In'l. (MDLZ) , according to Reuters.

"Our strategic review has led to us deciding to divest the business and a robust sale process is currently underway which we expect to conclude in Q1 2018," a spokeswoman said on Thursday.

Apple Has Patent for Navigation System for Self-Driving Cars

A patent application published on Thursday revealed details on Apple's AAPL autonomous vehicle research, which CEO Tim Cook has called the "mother of all AI projects, CNBC reported.

The patent application is titled "Autonomous Navigation System," and was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday.

It has apparently been in the works since at least 2015, CNBC noted.

Apple describes methods to make self-driving vehicle navigation more efficient, reducing the need to constantly remake detailed maps.

Facebook, Universal Music Group Ink Licensing Deal

Facebook (FB) and Universal Music Group (UMG) on Thursday announced a global, multi-year agreement under which UMG, a part of Vivendi (VIVHY) , becomes the first major music company to license its recorded music and publishing catalogs for video and other social experiences across Facebook, Instagram and Oculus.

The agreement is intended to serve as a foundation for a strategic partnership roadmap that will deliver new music-based experiences online.

In a statement, the companies said that "under the partnership, users will be able to upload videos that contain licensed music and personalize their music experiences on Facebook, Instagram and Oculus, while sharing videos with friends and family. In time, functionality will expand to enable access to a vast library of music across a series of social features."

Puerto Rico's 'Tax Haven' Designation a Tax Reform Casualty?: LIVE MARKETS BLOG

Puerto Rico: Cash-strapped, hurricane-ravaged. Can it get worse?

Yes it can.

The new GOP tax reform bill could put the island at risk of losing its designation as a "tax haven," forcing foreign businesses to leave due to higher tax penalties, Fox Business reported.

The final draft, which received approval from Congress on Wednesday, cleared the way for President Trump to sign in early January. It calls for a 12.5% tax on any income generated from patents and licenses held by foreign companies outside the U.S.

Under the U.S. tax code, companies in Puerto Rico are treated as foreign corporations, even if their parent organization is located in the mainland U.S. and even if they employ U.S. citizens, Fox Business noted.

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