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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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The prospect of U.S. tax reform continues distracting investors from fallout from Michael Flynn’s guilty plea and tension with North Korea. Futures are pointing to a surge at the start of trading in New York after senators voted by the narrowest of margins early Saturday to approve a sweeping overhaul of the American tax code — which now must be reconciled with the House of Representatives’ version. U.S. President Donald Trump is hoping to have the legislation on his desk for sign-off by Christmas. Meanwhile, the president’s tweetstorm in the wake of Flynn’s guilty plea about lying to the FBI is prompting tough questions in D.C. And on the other side of the Pacific, the U.S. and South Korea are conducting air drills. Lots for investors to weigh. For now, tax trumps everything else.

TRUDEAU IN CHINA

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on the ground in Beijing, where he met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. There had been some expectation the two could formally announce the start of free-trade talks. But so far today Trudeau is only saying the two countries will keep exploring a deal. The PM and Li held a news conference this morning where journalists were barred from asking questions.

DECISION WEEK FOR THE BANK OF CANADA

Friday’s blowout jobs report got at least a few more people thinking there’s a better chance the Bank of Canada could raise interest rates on Wednesday. Implied probability of the bank boosting its benchmark rate this week is now 19.3 per cent, versus 13.2 per cent before the labour force survey.

 

Venezuela plans to launch oil-backed cryptocurrency

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced plans on Sunday to launch the ‘petro,’ an oil-backed cryptocurrency to allow his country to “advance in issues of monetary sovereignty.” BNN’s Jameson Berkow has the details.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES:

-TSX record high watch: 16,131.79 is the all-time high set on Nov. 7.

-CVS Health has agreed to buy health insurer Aetna for US$69 billion in a deal the companies say will “redefine” health care south of the border. For CVS, the takeover could be a pre-emptive move in anticipation of Amazon getting into the pharmacy business. For Aetna, it’s plan b after anti-trust concerns got in the way of consolidation by insurers.

-Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro thinks he has the solution for country’s economic hardships: a state-created cryptocurrency backed by the country’s resource reserves. Maduro announced plans to launch the Petro yesterday to allow his country to “advance in issues of monetary sovereignty.”

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

-Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in China (through Dec. 7)

-National Energy Board hearing on Trans Mountain constitutional questions continues in Calgary

-Husky Energy releases 2018 spending and production forecasts

-1:00 p.m. ET: Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien testifies before Standing Committee on National Security and Defence in Ottawa

3:30 p.m. ET: Equifax Chief Privacy Officer John Russo and Director of Global Operations Antonietta Di Napoli testify before Information, Privacy and Ethics committee in Ottawa

-4:00 p.m. ET: Ambassador David MacNaughton testifies before Standing Committee on National Security and Defence 

Every morning BNN's Managing Editor Noah Zivitz writes a ‘chase note’ to BNN's editorial staff listing the stories and events that will be in the spotlight that day. Have it delivered to your inbox before the trading day begins by heading to www.bnn.ca/subscribe