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California wildfires Copyright Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

IRS Gives Tax Extensions to California Wildfire Victims

IRS extends filing deadines for wildfire victims, CFA Institute makes changes to the CFA exam and investors are bullish about FAANG stocks.

The Internal Revenue Service announced that victims of and first responders to the California wildfires will receive an extension to Jan. 31, 2018 to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain payments. The extension postpones various tax filings and payment deadlines that started Oct. 8. The relief applies to those individuals and businesses in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma and Yuba counties as well as firefighters and relief workers who live elsewhere. The extensions are provided automatically, meaning no one needs to contact the IRS to receive relief. For a full rundown of the tax relief extensions, click here.

AI, Big Data Coming to CFA Exam


Questions on artificial intelligence and big data will be incorporated into the Certified Financial Analyst exam in 2019, according to the CFA Institute. The Institute has just released changes to its 2018 program as well as key changes to the curriculum since the 2008 financial crisis. The 2018 changes include updates regarding asset allocation, alternative investments, fixed income and economics. In the last 10 years, the understanding of investment products, risk factors and regulatory requirements has evolved, the CFA Institute says. Risk management, for example, is now considered a foundational skill for investment professionals, rather than an advanced CFA.

Investors Bullish Ahead of Earnings Reports

A new client survey by Ally Invest found that corporate earnings, continued low interest rates and accelerating growth were, respectively, the top three factors contributing to investors’ bullish views on the market. Half of investors said they were bullish about the markets, and 6 percent said they were very bullish, while only 12 percent had a bearish view. With earnings season just kicking off, investors also anticipate that Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google—the so-called FAANG stocks—will meet or exceed expectations. Investors seem most optimistic about Amazon, with 36 percent expecting the company to beat Wall Street expectations. However, investors are keeping an eye on potential problems, with international unrest being the top concern.

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