Market Minute: Tax Change Hurts Commuters; Stocks Look Ready to Keep Rising

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Many commuters who take mass transit to get back-and-forth to work each day will find the cost of their trip is about to get a lot more expensive. Once the new year begins, a mass transit tax break will dramatically decline. This year, train and bus riders can set aside up to $245 a month in pre-tax income to pay for their rides, but for 2014, that tax exemption drops to $130. The effective tax hike could encourage people to forego mass transit and opt to drive to work instead.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) start the week near the all-time highs set last week. Both gained more than 1 percent last week, as did the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC).

The bond market is also drawing lots of attention. The yield, or interest rate, on the 10-year Treasury is above 3 percent -- the first time that's happened in more than two years.

Shares of Twitter (TWTR) have been on a roller coaster ride of late. They're up nearly 60 percent in the past month, but they plunged on Friday on fears that the stock rose too fast, too soon.

That's raising concerns that other internet-related stocks that have soared this year could be in danger of a pullback. Still, analysts say the situation is not comparable to 2000, when the internet bubble popped. The big difference between now and then is that many of the biggest names now -- Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB) and Netflix (NFLX) -- actually make money.

And finally, the drug maker Merck (MRK) is reportedly planning to overhaul its once-vaunted research and development operations. The Wall Street Journal says the company will establish four main innovation hubs around the globe -– near Boston, San Francisco, London and Shanghai. They would seek deals to license or acquire promising research done by others, while at the same time cutting back on the company's in-house research efforts.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg


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scottee

73,000 pages of tax code only gives politicians power, doesn't necessarily collect revenue.
a small national sales tax with no deductions for anyone for anything....would collect revenue from EVERYONE.

December 30 2013 at 11:08 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to scottee's comment
Frank

And mostly on the backs of the poor and middle class who have less, if any disposable incom

December 30 2013 at 12:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
gov111w

Wealth distribution, the Obama main mantra, will end up killing the working man as they continue to remove incentive to work at all by taxing him to death in order to redistribution. .

December 30 2013 at 11:03 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to gov111w's comment
scottee

but don't worry. he and his family will be fine...so will all the politicians who choose power over fiscal responsibility.

December 30 2013 at 11:09 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Frank

We have now had the republicans redistributing income to the rich for 30 years. It is about time the middleclass returned to what we were before Rayguns

December 30 2013 at 12:59 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
jdykbpl45

Obama and his democrats hate people who work and are not on food stamps.

December 30 2013 at 9:00 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jdykbpl45's comment
scottee

what if Washington could only spend what they collect?

December 30 2013 at 11:09 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply