Weekly Market Update


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Despite rumors of postponement, voting on the second phase of tax reform is expected to occur prior to the November mid-term elections, according to House Speaker Paul Ryan. An outline for so-called Tax Reform 2.0 was introduced in July, but with the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction cap becoming permanent under the bill, Republican lawmakers from high-tax states found themselves in a difficult position -- voting in favor of the party-backed bill would hurt their constituents. Tax Reform 2.0 is not expected to pass the Senate; however, some see the effort alone as an attempt to keep tax relief topical ahead of the mid-term elections. In addition to the SALT deduction, the two-page outline discussed topics such as permanent tax cuts for individuals and small businesses, new retirement and family savings plans, as well as new business and business innovation incentives.

In Other News

  • College athletes returned to court on Tuesday to challenge the NCAA's compensation cap for Division I football and basketball players. The litigation will be presented as an antitrust class action lawsuit, with former student-athletes arguing to eliminate the cap set in the 2014 O'Bannon v. NCAA case.
  • While it will continue providing enrollment information to the federal government at the end of the admission cycle, Stanford University will stop publicizing its undergraduate application data beginning in the fall of 2018. The University provost hopes that the practice will shift the college-search focus away from admission rates and encourage promising students of all backgrounds to apply.
  • A Washington University in St. Louis fundraising initiative that was announced in October 2012 and concluded this past June brought in $3.378 billion in gifts and commitments, including $591 million for scholarships. The Leading Together campaign, which was launched to secure funding for priorities identified in the University's strategic plans, surpassed its original goal of $2.2 billion.
  • The University of Texas at Austin was awarded a $60 million grant from the National Science Foundation for a super computer that will be the fastest at any U.S. university. School faculty will partner with those from other institutions to utilize the new system, Frontera, to work on various scientific projects.
  • The Walt Disney Company and the University of Florida announced a partnership where eligible employees, if accepted, will have the expenses associated with obtaining an online bachelor's degree paid by the media giant.
  • As a part of its Carbon Neutrality Initiative, the University of California system announced an expansion of its sustainability goals, committing to using only clean energy across its 10 campuses by 2025.
  • Fueled by the fear of potential post-Brexit surge in tuition fees, both the number of European Union students that applied for universities within the United Kingdom and the number of those who were accepted rose over the past year. The U.K. government announced that costs would be capped at the same level as British residents for E.U. students starting at a U.K. institution in fall of 2019. Costs are expected to rise thereafter.