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Stocks rise...Home sales tick up...Senate paves way for GOP tax legislation

October 20, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising in early trading on Wall Street, led by gains in technology companies and banks. Synchrony Financial and Citizens Financial rose after reporting higher earnings than analysts had been expecting. A jump in bond yields is also pushing bank stocks higher. General Electric fell after reporting a weak quarter and slashing its earnings forecasts.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales rose slightly last month as the Houston housing market bounced back after Hurricane Harvey. The National Association of Realtors says existing home sales increased 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million. That’s the first increase after three months of declines. Sales in Houston rose 4 percent from a year ago after plunging 25 percent in August.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is promising tax cuts that he says “will be the biggest in the history of our country!” following Senate passage of a $4 trillion budget that lays the groundwork for Republicans’ tax legislation. The budget plan passed on a near party-line vote late yesterday includes rules that will allow Republicans to get tax legislation through the Senate without Democratic votes and without fear of a Democratic filibuster. Republicans hope to push the first tax overhaul in three decades through Congress by the end of the year.

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares in Axon, the maker of Taser stun guns, are falling after the company revealed that it failed to respond to a series of letters from regulators regarding its financial filings. In a response to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Axon Enterprises Inc. cited “miscommunication issues.” It said it recently became aware of the inquiries, the first dated Aug. 10, and was now trying to resolve the matter. The company, which is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, changed its name from Taser International in April.

BRUSSELS (AP) — France’s drive to force internet giants to pay more taxes is losing steam, amid resistance from other EU countries that offer tax shelter to companies like Apple. Under pressure from Ireland, Luxembourg and Britain, EU leaders in Brussels stopped short of calling for a Europe-wide policy for digital multinationals. The EU’s 28 leaders agreed to push for “an effective and fair taxation system fit for the digital era,” but said it should be an international system, not just European.

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