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President Joe Biden plans to propose raising the capital gains tax rate for the highest earners to 39.6%, rising to 43.4% when Obamacare surtaxes are included. Biden, following through on a campaign promise to tax the wealthy more, is betting the policy will be popular enough to win passage through Congress. While stocks slumped on the Bloomberg News report yesterday, Wall Street is reacting relatively calmly to the plan, with many pointing to the likelihood of long negotiations.

 

Commodity prices have risen over the last few months, but one in particular has been on a major rip: Wood. Lumber futures (LB1:COM) are used by a variety of traders to lock into prices and hedge against future risks. The contracts are up about 50% this year, currently trading at $1,324.50 per thousand board feet. That's well above the average prices have been for the past three decades.  In late November, the U.S. Commerce Department lowered duties on Canadian lumber coming into the U.S. by more than half, from 20% to 8.9%.

 

Intel comfortably beat Wall Street expectations in its latest quarter as continued strong sales of PCs during the pandemic made up most of the ground lost from weaker data center demand. 

The report revealed sliding profit margins and escalating capital spending at Intel as it prepares an attempted turnround.  The results were the first under chief executive officer Pat Gelsinger, who laid out an ambitious plan last month to put Intel back at the forefront of chip manufacturing, while also plotting a strategy to become a chip “foundry” carrying out manufacturing for other companies.

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