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Post by thelivyjr » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:40 p


"U.S. federal budget deficit soars to record $3.1 trillion in 2020"

By Greg Robb, MarketWatch and Jonathan Nicholson

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 2:58 p.m. ET

The numbers:

The U.S. government ran a record budget deficit of $3.1 trillion in the fiscal year that ended in September.

The massive deficit reflected the government’s effort to support the economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

The four pieces of legislation passed by Congress this year to combat the recession was by far the largest fiscal response to an economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

By comparison, the deficit in fiscal year 2019 totaled $984 billion.

Relative to the size of the economy, the deficit — at an estimated 15.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) — was the largest since 1945, according to congressional estimates.

What happened:

The four cornavirus financial relief bills, including the $1.7 trillion CARES Act passed in March, were estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to cost $2.4 trillion combined.

The last time the government ran deficits anywhere near this big relative to the size of the economy was during World War II.

Total outlays were $6.55 trillion in the latest fiscal year, while receipts totaled $3.42 trillion.

Two of the government’s biggest three revenue sources dropped in 2020, according to the report.

Personal income taxes, the biggest income source, dropped to $1.6 trillion from $1.7 trillion in 2019 and corporate income taxes, which make up a relatively minor portion of overall revenues, also dropped, to $212 billion from $230 billion.

Payroll taxes, however, inched up, rising to $1.3 trillion from $1.2 trillion in 2019.

Big picture:

Experts say that the government will have to return to a sustainable deficit path, but that the tax hikes and spending cuts needed to accomplish this goal should be put off until the pandemic subsides.

In an outlook, the CBO said that the fiscal deficit will remain elevated over the next decade.

The lowest projected deficit over the next decade is $1.080 trillion in 2027, according to the CBO.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and top economists have urged the two parties in Congress to put aside their differences and pass more fiscal relief, but talks on another relief package have lost momentum.

What are they saying?

“We ended the fiscal year with $21 trillion of debt – which means debt is now larger than a year’s worth of economic output."

"And this astronomical level of debt is only going to get bigger."

"It’s disappointing to see both candidates for President proposing trillions of dollars in additional debt instead of plans to save Social Security and Medicare."

"The deeper we dig this hole, the harder it will be to claw our way out,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Market reaction:

Despite the widening deficit, yields on 10-year Treasury notes have traded in a tight trading range between 0.50% and 0.80% in the past four months.

The low interest rates are holding down the government’s borrowing costs. ... _headlines

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Post by thelivyjr » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:40 p


"Oil ends lower even as OPEC+ committee reiterates output-cut pledge"

By Myra P. Saefong, and William Watts

Last Updated: Oct. 19, 2020 at 3:28 p.m. ET
First Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 8:13 a.m. ET

Oil futures finished Monday with a modest loss, failing to find much support as an OPEC+ committee reiterated its commitment to output cuts and said it “encouraged” some producers to fully compensate for production above their quotas.

Prices had briefly moved higher shortly after Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said OPEC+ will do “what is necessary” to rebalance the oil market.

Oil traders also monitored accelerating COVID-19 infections in the U.S. and Europe and the potential loss of energy demand, adding pressure to prices.

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman on Monday said that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, together known as OPEC+, has shown that it has the “flexibility” to adapt to changes in the oil market and will “do what is necessary in the interest of all.”

OPEC+ must comply with three key principles: “predict, prevent and be proactive” in the oil market, said Prince Abdulaziz, in his opening statement for the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee virtual meeting.

The group must base decisions on the best available data and information, and always be forward looking in its decision making, he said.

He acknowledged, however, that OPEC+ still has work to do to get certain countries to fully compensate for past overproduction.

In a statement provided after a closed-session meeting, the JMMC reiterated their commitment to the production-cut agreement and said it “encouraged” participating countries to increase efforts to compensate for “overproduced volumes” to rebalance the market.

The committee isn’t a decision-making body, but offers recommendations to OPEC on how to best balance the market.

The next JMMC meeting will be held on Nov. 17, and the OPEC conference and OPEC+ meetings will be held on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery, the front-month contract, fell by 5 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $40.83 a barrel.

The November contract expires at the end of Tuesday’s session.

The most-active December WTI contract lost 6 cents, or nearly 0.2%, to $41.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

December Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 31 cents, or 0.7%, to $42.62 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

At the JMMC meeting, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, through an interpreter, said the oil market is “seeing a lot of uncertainties in the market, which are preventing us to coming back to precrisis levels.”

He also described current market conditions as a period of “extreme volatility.”

However, Russia hasn’t reached full compliance with its pledged output cuts.

Russia produced 9.1 million barrels per day in September to reach 95% compliance with its production quota of 8.993 million barrels per day, an S&P Global Platts OPEC+ survey, released earlier this month, showed.

A renewed rise in the COVID-19 cases and a stalling recovery of demand has prompted calls for OPEC+ to scrap plans to ease output cuts from 7.7 million barrels a day to 5.8 million barrels a day on Jan. 1, said Warren Patterson, global head of commodities at ING, in a note.

But since the JMMC is made up of just a few OPEC+ members, “we will likely have to wait for the full group meetings on the 30 November and 1 December for any concrete decision,” he said, ahead of Monday’s OPEC+ committee meeting.

The global count of confirmed COVID-19 cases climbed above 40 million on Monday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll rose to 1.1 million.

The number of new U.S. infections fell below 50,000, the lowest in nearly a week, as deaths neared 220,000 and moving averages suggested the spread is picking up steam, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Several European countries have moved to increase restrictions on activity as the number of infections have risen.

Meanwhile, Libya, which produced less than 100,000 barrels of crude per day on average between January and September, has increased its production to 500,000 barrels a day and exports to almost 400,000 barrels per day, said Eugen Weinberg, analyst at Commerzbank, in a note.

Libya, an OPEC member, isn’t part of the OPEC+ agreement on production curbs.

“Production is also likely to see further dynamic growth when the country’s largest Sharara oil field reopens — currently, 110,000 barrels are being produced there per day, though the oil field has a total capacity of 300,000 barrels per day,” said Weinberg.

Rounding out action on Nymex Monday, November gasoline declined by 0.6% to $1.1623 a gallon and November heating oil lost 1.8% to $1.1581 a gallon.

November natural gas added 0.8% to $2.795 per million British thermal units. ... latestnews

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Post by thelivyjr » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:40 p

MARKETWATCH Market Snapshot

"Dow books worst day in four weeks, falls over 400 points, as investors fret odds of stimulus deal before election"

By Joy Wiltermuth, and Sunny Oh

Last Updated: Oct. 19, 2020 at 4:40 p.m. ET
First Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 7:31 a.m. ET

Stock-market benchmarks finished near session lows Monday, after surrendering earlier gains, as investors worried about the prospects of a stimulus package being completed ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

How did major benchmarks fare?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 410.89 points lower, down 1.4%, at 28,195.42, after trading as high as 28,711.93.

The S&P 500 finished 56.89 points lower, or 1.6%, at 3,426.92, after briefly rising above the key 3,500 level.

The Nasdaq Composite ended at 11,478.88 after falling 192.67 points, or 1.7%.

Stocks rose Friday, snapping a three-day losing streak and allowing the Dow and the S&P 500 to each log a third straight weekly gain.

The Dow rose 0.1% for the week, ending Friday at 28,606.31, while the S&P 500 saw a 0.2% weekly rise to close at 3,483.81.

The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.8% for the week to end at 11,671.56.

What drove the market?

U.S. stocks came under heavy selling pressure Monday as investors worried that lawmakers and the White House could fail to strike an agreement on a new fiscal stimulus plan, as the window for a pre-election deal narrows.

“The two sides are very close,” said Phil Orlando, Federated Hermes’ chief equity market strategist, of the roughly $2 trillion size of each of the competing proposals.

“The dollar amount is the least of our problems.”

Instead, Orlando sees continuing roadblocks between Republicans and Democrats on what the fresh aid would cover, including liability protections for businesses, the size of any additional weekly unemployment for workers and how cities and states can use additional pandemic aid.

“Trump is happy to give a quarter of a trillion dollars to cities to make sure cops and nurses remain employed,” he said, but added that he has no interest in “giving Chicago a bailout of its bankrupt pension plan.”

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Monday that the White House has increased its stimulus offer to almost $1.9 trillion, noting that Trump is willing to raise direct payments to households and small-business aid to help keep restaurants, hotels and other businesses afloat.

A top aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tweeted Saturday night that an agreement was needed within 48 hours to get a package approved before Election Day on Nov. 3.

Some analysts argued markets would be satisfied with a stimulus package that arrives after the election.

Stronger-than-expected retail sales data on Friday underlined economic momentum and signaled that the consumer remains in good shape overall, which should allow consumption to hold up through the fourth quarter.

It is why some say investors are watching the odds of a Democratic landslide victory in the presidential election, amid expectations that control over the White House and Congress could lead to a more aggressive fiscal stimulus package next year than under a Republican administration.

Earnings season moves into fuller swing this week, with 84 S&P 500 companies and eight Dow components set to deliver third-quarter results.

Among the 2020 heavy hitters due, investors will be paying close attention to results from highfliers Tesla Inc. and Netflix Inc.

In U.S. economic data, the National Association of Home Builders’ monthly confidence index added two points to 85 in October.

Investors also parsed 4.9% growth in China’s gross domestic product in the third quarter versus a year earlier — falling short of expectations but bringing China’s growth trajectory closer to forecasts made at the beginning of the year for a 2020 expansion between 5.5% and 6%.

Which stocks were in focus?

Zoom Video Communications Inc. closed up 1.7%, after touching a record high of $588.84, in afternoon trading on Monday.

Intel Corp. shares rose 0.8% after The Wall Street Journal reported the company was near to a deal to sell its memory-chip business for $10 billion.

Shares of Halliburton Co. fell 0.7% after the oil-field-services company reported a third-quarter adjusted profit that exceeded expectations while revenue fell below forecasts.

ConocoPhillips shares shed 3.2% after it confirmed reports from last week that it would buy Concho Resources Inc. in an all-stock deal valued at $9.7 billion.

Shares of CVS Health Corp. ended 1.4% lower Monday after the retail giant announced plans to hire 15,000 full-time and part-time workers in the fourth quarter.

Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. surged 16.5% after the cinema chain said it would resume operations at several New York state cinemas on Oct. 23.

AT&T Inc. shares fell1.7% Monday, ending near their lowest close since their March 23 pandemic low. when they closed trade at $26.77 apiece.

How did other markets trade?

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was up 1.7 basis points to 0.76%.

Yields and bond prices move in opposite directions.

In global equities, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed 0.6% higher and Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.2%, China’s Shanghai Composite Index finished down 0.7%.

In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.3% and London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.6%.

Gold prices rose 0.3% to settle at $1,911.17 an ounce.

Oil futures edged higher, with West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery settled 0.1% lower at $40.83 a barrel.

The greenback was 0.3% lower on Monday, based on the ICE U.S. Dollar Index.

—William Watts contributed to this article ... latestnews

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Post by thelivyjr » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:40 p


"Treasury yields inch higher on fiscal relief hopes, Biden election odds"

By Sunny Oh

Last Updated: Oct. 19, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. ET
First Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 8:34 a.m. ET

U.S. Treasury yields rose on Monday as investors eyed negotiations over a coronavirus aid relief package and the growing odds of a Democratic sweep in the November presidential election.

What are Treasurys doing?

The 10-year Treasury note yield rose 1.7 basis points to 0.760%, while the 2-year note rate was up 0.2 basis point to 0.145%.

The 30-year bond yield picked up 1.9 basis points to 1.547%.

Bond prices move inversely to yields.

What’s driving Treasurys?

On the outlook for fiscal stimulus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday was the deadline for any deal before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Analysts cited hopes for a new coronavirus aid relief package for the inflows into haven assets.

But there remained doubt over what the path to a viable stimulus bill might look like, with both Democrats and Republicans both remaining far apart on the size of an eventual package.

Some also suggested the bond market was reacting more to polls showing Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s rising lead over President Donald Trump.

The concern is a wide margin of victory for Biden could usher in more government spending and a flood of new debt issuance that could stoke inflationary pressures, pushing yields higher.

China’s gross domestic product expanded by 4.9% in the third quarter from a year earlier.

Though, the numbers fell short of analysts’ predictions, China’s rebound is outpacing many major economies that are still contending with the specter of COVID-19.

Investors hope China’s recovery could help drive global economic growth in the difficult months ahead.

What did market participants’ say?

“With a little more than two weeks left until Election Day, the markets are either not paying attention or have resigned themselves to an outcome that could change history."

"I am not sure that the idea of a potential ‘blue wave’ has fully resonated with investors right now,” said Kevin Giddis, chief fixed-income strategist at Raymond James.

“If the Democrats win the White House and Congress, then there is a high likelihood that things will change for investors and companies that may be more costly than the market is expecting,” said Giddis. ... latestnews

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Post by thelivyjr » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:40 p


"Home-builder confidence reaches record high for third consecutive month as buyers flood the market"

By Jacob Passy

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 10:37 a.m. ET

The numbers:

The construction industry’s outlook continued to improve in October, according to research from a trade group released Monday.

The National Association of Home Builders’ monthly confidence index rose two points to a reading of 85 in October, the trade group said Monday.

This was the third month in a row in which the index reading hit a record high, and together with September’s figure, only the second time that the confidence measure was at or above 80.

Index readings over 50 are a sign of improving confidence.

The index dropped below 50 in April and May as concerns related to the pandemic intensified.

What happened:

The index that measures sentiment regarding current sales conditions increased two points to 90, while the index of expectations for future sales over the next six months rose three points to 88.

The gauge regarding prospective buyers remained the same at 74.

At a regional level, though, confidence varied.

The indexes for the Northeast and the West both increased seven points in October to readings of 88 and 95 respectively.

But in the Midwest the index dropped one point to 77, and it fell two points in the South to 83.

“New single-family home sales are outpacing starts by a historic margin,” Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, said in the report.

“Bridging this gap will require either a gain in construction volume or reductions in available inventory, which is already at a historic low in terms of month’s supply.”

The big picture:

While summer may now be gone, buyers are still searching for homes as if the weather was warm.

Interest rates continue to drop to all-time lows — on Thursday, Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged a record low of 2.81.

Looking to take advantage of the low rates, Americans have flooded the real-estate market.

But with the inventory of existing homes so tight, many are considering newly-constructed homes instead.

The continued recovery in home sales should remain positive for the rest of the economy, though rising home prices could push some buyers out of the market eventually.

What they’re saying:

“Buy a home and it needs to be filled with all sorts of consumer goods: furniture, appliances, etc.,” Renaissance Macro Research head of economics Neil Dutta wrote in a research note.

“The link between consumption and home sales has been well established.”

Market reaction:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index were flat Monday morning in spite of positive economic data out of China and hopes of a stimulus deal in the U.S. ... quote_news

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Post by thelivyjr » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:40 p


"Opinion: The FOMC and Fed governors have become less important as decision-making revolves around Chairman Powell"

By Vincent Reinhart

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 4:49 p.m. ET

Be careful what you wish for.

The Federal Reserve nowadays is much more transparent in policy setting and implementing than it was, but increased openness does not always lead to better decision making.

Changes that let sunshine into some areas have cast a shadow on other avenues of the Fed’s communications and impeded its deliberations.

They also tilt the balance of policy-making authority further to the center — with all the risks that concentration of power entails.

A long, long time ago in a financial galaxy far, far away, the Fed was cloistered, close-mouthed, and confusing to the general public.

The institution was so viewed as walled-up that William Greider’s “The Secrets of the Temple” was a best-seller.

For example, before the first policy announcement in February 1994, the Fed signaled changes in the policy rate through the type of open market operation its Domestic Desk conducted the day after a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

In 1995, it beefed up the minutes released after each meeting and began preparing transcripts with a five-year publication lag.

In those days, the transcripts were viewed as a resource for historians and a mechanism for outside doubters to test the veracity of the minutes, albeit well after the fact.

In the event, these changes blew back on the quality of deliberations at FOMC meetings and public understanding of policy.

Alternative drafts of the statement circulated in advance of the meeting, channeling the conversation in preset directions.

The minutes were published with a sufficient lag to sometimes be unrepresentative of current Fed thinking.

Knowledge that their remarks would be under future scrutiny led FOMC participants to prepare them in advance and eschew improvisation.

The result was longer and more scripted meetings.

Fast-forward to the present — press conferences by the chairman after each meeting strive for new heights of openness.

But here too, human nature intercedes to create problems.

First, during an FOMC meeting, the group can relegate difficult issues in conveying policy nuance in the single sheet of paper that is their statement to the chairman’s more expansive opening remarks at the press conference.

Rather than smoothing the sharp edges of their differences in a statement voted upon, they rely on the chairman to relate a central, but more diffuse, message for which they are not personally held to account.

As a result, the FOMC statement has become less important.

Second, having summarized in the press conference the range of opinions expressed by participants, the chairman sucks the oxygen out of the public space for other official speakers.

The Fed governors and Bank presidents who line up for the media are gauged on how close they hew to the party line.

So speeches and other remarks by other officials are less important.

Third, the chairman’s press-conference remarks represent a first draft of monetary policy history, a role previously served by the FOMC minutes.

To an important extent, the press conference remarks, prepared in a tight window around the meeting, constrain any independent staff review of the FOMC’s conversation, as the chairman has already weighed in as to what was important.

As a result, the FOMC minutes are less important.

To the extent that the press conference gets information out earlier is all to the good.

To the extent that the chairman’s real-time interpretation puts guard rails around subsequent consideration of the FOMC’s discussion, something is lost.

Something is also lost as the center of attention shifts further to one official — the chairman.

Chairman Powell has not just opened the doors and windows of the Fed, he often leaves the Temple.

On Powell’s watch, officials so far have conducted 15 “Fed Listens” events with the general public across the country.

Powell has also visited Capitol Hill far more frequently than any of his predecessors.

More light on the matter can only be for the good, right?

Except, once again, the spotlight is narrow.

The chairman in town is the big news during the Fed Listens town halls.

Moreover, the chairman is building personal rapport with members of the Congress that can not be replicated by others in his policy committee.

This is not to doubt the chairman’s motives, as Powell seems sincere in his desire to strengthen the Fed’s democratic legitimacy.

After all, an institutional creature of the Congress needs the ongoing support of elected officials and the voters that put them there.

The result of this increased sunshine is to render Powell the Sun King of monetary policy.

A chair-centric committee can work for the public good — consider Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan — or not, as with Arthur Burns.

A few years before his elevation to chairman, Powell, then a Fed governor, had the courage to represent the Fed at a relatively pointed event at the Brookings Institution on “Fedspeak.”

His advice was to sort through the chaff of Fed communication and understand that “there is a single FOMC participant who has most of the leverage in our policy discussions.”

Jay Powell has become that person — and more.

Vincent Reinhart is chief economist and macro strategist at Mellon. He worked 24 years at the Federal Reserve in various roles including secretary and economist of the FOMC. ... latestnews

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Post by thelivyjr » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:40 p


"Iowa Democrats' 2020 virtual Liberty and Justice dinner is more subdued than spectacle"

Brianne Pfannenstiel

October 18, 2020

A year after U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris brought Iowa Democrats to their feet with an impassioned speech at the state party's Liberty and Justice dinner, the now-vice presidential candidate delivered a far more subdued message Sunday at this year's event.

"All at the same time, we're experiencing the worst public health crisis in a century, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, a reckoning on racial justice, a changing climate that is battering our coastlines setting the west on fire and devastating farmers in Iowa," she said in virtual remarks streamed at Sunday's Liberty and Justice dinner.

"And the future of health care hangs on top of it all, because President Trump is in the Supreme Court right now trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act."

The event lacked the spectacle of last year's festivities, which drew 13 Democratic presidential candidates to Wells Fargo Arena.

There, they walked a 93-foot cat walk to pumping music, flashing LED lights and whorls of fog.

This year, the pandemic forced the event online.

The state's congressional candidates delivered pre-recorded speeches, and bar owners across the state shared cocktail recipes for drinks like the "come together margarita."

But the tone focused largely on the gravity of the moment, and Harris used her speech to target the president over his handling of the pandemic.

"While this president of course didn't bring the virus to our shores, his reckless disregard for the well-being of the American people has claimed more than 215,000 lives," Harris said.

"This is the greatest failure of any American presidency."

Harris said Trump is not alone and has been enabled by his party, including Republicans in Iowa.

"But here's the thing," she said.

"We can choose a better future."

According to a September Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll, Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden and Republican President Donald Trump are tied in Iowa at 47% to 47%.

Trump held a rally in Des Moines last week where he knocked his rival's mental acuity, accused his family of corruption and promised Iowans that "ethanol is safe" while he's in charge.

"President Xi of China, he’s 100%."

"Putin of Russia, 100%."

"… Kim Jong Un of North Korea, 100%," Trump said at the rally.

"These people are sharp, and they’re smart."

"Joe has lost it."

"In his best days he wasn’t a smart man, and everybody knows it."

Voting is already underway as county auditors across the state prepare for record-setting levels of early voting.

Brianne Pfannenstiel is the chief politics reporter for the Register. Reach her at or 515-284-8244. Follow her on Twitter at @brianneDMR. ... 705771001/

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Post by thelivyjr » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:40 p

MARKETWATCH Market Snapshot

"Dow clings to 100-point gain after Pelosi signals stimulus talks aren’t over"

By William Watts, and Sunny Oh

Last Updated: Oct. 20, 2020 at 4:31 p.m. ET
First Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 7:04 a.m. ET

U.S. stocks ended with gains Tuesday, but well off session highs after negotiations on a new round of fiscal stimulus chugged along with the Trump administration and House Democrats continuing to talk.

Stocks largely took in stride news that the U.S. Justice Department was preparing to file a long anticipated antitrust lawsuit against Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., putting big technology companies in the regulatory spotlight.

What are major benchmarks doing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 113.37 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 28,308.79, after rising as high as 28,575.03 earlier.

The S&P 500 added 16.2 points to end at 3,443.12, a gain of 0.5%, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 37.61 points or 0.3%, to 11,516.49.

The Dow on Monday lost 410.89 points lower, or 1.4%, to close at 28,195.42, after trading as high as 28,711.93.

The S&P 500 finished 56.89 points lower, or 1.6%, at 3,426.92, after briefly rising above the 3,500 level.

The Nasdaq Composite ended at 11,478.88 after falling 192.67 points, or 1.7%.

What’s driving the market?

Stocks enjoyed some positive momentum as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held talks on Tuesday, her previously imposed deadline for a deal to happen before the election.

Pelosi said an agreement could still happen before the election and appeared to play down the Tuesday deadline, saying that a bill would need to be written by the end of the week for it to get through Congress by Nov. 3.

“They are talking."

"Let’s see what happens,” said President Donald Trump in a phone interview Tuesday morning on FOX News.

Stocks had tumbled Monday as hopes for a pre-election fiscal stimulus deal faded, but Pelosi‘s office late Monday said talks were continuing to narrow differences.

While Trump has increased his offer for an aid package to $1.8 trillion Senate Republicans are still seen resisting a large spending package.

Negotiations over another fiscal stimulus negotiations have captivated investors for months after the main provisions from the CARES Act expired at the end of July.

House Democrats have passed two additional relief bills that were rejected by the Republican-controlled Senate.

The latest from House Democrats was worth $2.2 trillion, while the counteroffers from the White House have edged up to $1.8 trillion.

“The prospects for an actual deal still remain minuscule as the Republicans in the Senate vehemently oppose the size of the stimulus discussed, but hope runs eternal in the markets and investors continue to remain optimistic that if some sort of deal is reached between the White House and the House of Representatives then the momentum and pressure from Trump will force the Senate to cave and approve the package,” said Boris Schlossberg, managing director for FX at BK Asset Management, in a note.

Stocks were also supported by news that Moderna’s CEO told The Wall Street Journal that the company’s coronavirus vaccine could be available for emergency use in December if it gets positive results from its interim trial in November.

Several European countries have imposed new restrictions on business activity and travel as COVID-19 cases have risen in recent days.

In the U.S., the seven-day moving average of new cases, which smooths out daily irregularities, rose to 56,007, its highest since Aug. 5, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“In terms of COVID, case counts continue to be elevated, however the market seems comfortable with the measures being taken as long as they are not large-scale stay-at-home orders,” said Yousef Abbasi, global market strategist at StoneX.

Investors were also digesting the implications for technology stocks of the U.S. Justice Department’s decision to file an antitrust suit against Google.

Shares of Google parent Alphabet shares rose 1.4%.

Meanwhile investors were also sifting through a deluge of corporate earnings reports this week, with dozens of S&P 500 index constituents and several Dow components due to release third-quarter results this week.

Senior Federal Reserve officials spoke on Tuesday.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said he was confident the economic recovery would continue apace, but underlined the importance of further government support.

U.S. housing starts in September rose by nearly 2% to a 1.42 million annual pace, while building permits rose 5.2% to a 1.55 million pace.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch, on average, expect starts to come in at a 1.45 million annual pace, while permits are seen at a 1.518 million pace.

Which companies are in focus?

Shares of International Business Machines Corp. fell 6.5% after the computing giant late Monday reported that third-quarter revenue fell.

Travelers Cos. Inc. shares rose 5.6% after the Dow component reported earnings and revenues that topped Wall Street forecasts.

Shares of Philip Morris International Inc. slipped 5.8% after beating forecasts for earnings and revenue and raising its 2020 outlook.

Procter & Gamble Co. shares ended up 0.3% after reporting a rise in fiscal first quarter earnings and boosting its guidance.

Grocery chain Albertsons Cos. Inc. rose 5.4% after reporting better-than-expected earnings and offered upbeat full-year guidance.

Shares of Lockheed Martin Corp. shed 2.9% after the aerospace and defense contractor reported third-quarter revenue that beat estimates and raised its full-year outlook

Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. added 1.2% after Bloomberg reported Monday that the bank agreed to a more-than-$2 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department for its role in Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal.

Pioneer Natural said it would acquire Parsley Energy in a deal valued at $4.5 billion.

Pioneer’s shares ended down 4% on Tuesday.

How are other markets trading?

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose 3.6 basis points to 0.797%.

Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields.

In global equities, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.5%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.1% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced 0.4%.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 Europe was off 0.4%, while London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.1%.

Oil futures finished higher in choppy trade, with the U.S. benchmark gaining 64 cents, or 1.1% to end at $41.70 a barrel.

Gold futures booked back-to-back gains, rising $3.70, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,915.40 an ounce.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, was down 0.4%. ... od=markets

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Post by thelivyjr » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:40 p


"Oil prices log first gain in 4 sessions"

By Myra P. Saefong, and William Watts

Last Updated: Oct. 20, 2020 at 3:22 p.m. ET
First Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 8:10 a.m. ET

Oil futures shake off early losses Tuesday to log their first gain in four session, lifting U.S. benchmark prices to their highest finish in almost seven weeks.

Prices popped just ahead of the expiration of the November West Texas Intermediate crude contract at the conclusion of Tuesday’s trading session, and also found support on expectations for a weekly decline in U.S. crude stockpiles, Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The Price Futures Group, told MarketWatch.

The American Petroleum Institute will release its weekly figures on U.S. oil supplies late Tuesday, with the Energy Information Administration’s official data due out Wednesday.

On average, analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expect the EIA to report a fall of 1.9 million barrels in domestic crude supplies.

That would mark a second-straight weekly inventory decline.

The analysts also forecast supply declines of 1.6 million barrels for gasoline and 3 million barrels for distillates.

On Wednesday, the most-active West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery, which now also the front month, rose 64 cents, or 1.6%, to settle at $41.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The November WTI contract, which expired at the day’s settlement, added 63 cents, or 1.5%, to end at $41.46 a barrel.

The global benchmark, December Brent crude settled at $43.16 a barrel, up 54 cents, or 1.3%, on ICE Futures Europe.

Oil futures had spent part of the session moving lower, amid continued concerns that a surge in COVID-19 cases in Europe and the U.S. will limit energy demand.

Several European countries have imposed new restrictions on business activity and travel as COVID-19 cases have risen in recent days.

In the U.S., the seven-day moving average of new cases, which smooths out daily irregularities, rose to 56,007, its highest since Aug. 5, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, a virtual committee meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies on Monday “did little to calm concerns over waning demand and plentiful supply, as Russia and Saudi Arabia avoided giving any indication they would reconsider the planned output increase in January,” said Fiona Cincotta, market analyst at GAIN Capital, in a Tuesday note.

The current OPEC+ agreement calls for output cuts of 7.7 million barrels a day through December, which will then taper to 5.8 million barrels a day starting in January.

On Tuesday, the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee reiterated their commitment to the output-cut agreement and said it “encouraged” participating countries to increase efforts to compensate for “overproduced volumes” to rebalance the market.

“With the committee urging members to remain ‘vigilant and proactive,’ statements from oil ministers suggested no decision on January’s planned output increase were made, with the focus instead remaining for now on enforcing the agreed upon compensatory cuts to ensure overall compliance with the existing deal,” wrote analysts at JBC Energy, a Vienna-based consulting firm, in a note.

“With Libyan supply ramping up, keeping a lid on overall OPEC supply is likely to continue to be a headache for the organization in the months ahead,” they said.

“By the time of the next JMMC meeting, scheduled for mid-November, some tough decisions may need to be made. ”

Libya this month resumed operations at its largest oil field.

Still, Russia appears more open to the possibility of extending output cuts if the market doesn’t improve, said Flynn.

In regard to the future of OPEC+ output cuts, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Bloomberg on Tuesday: “We will have a look in a month and come up with our position.”

Back on Nymex, other energy futures ended higher, with November gasoline up 2.2% at $1.1879 a gallon and November heating oil rising 1.3% at $1.1735 a gallon.

November natural gas tacked on 4.2% to $2.913 per million British thermal units.

Natural-gas prices got a boost amid forecasts for colder temperatures across most of the U.S., said Christin Redmond, commodity analyst at Schneider Electric.

The market also expects to see a “below-normal storage injection” from the EIA, when it releases data Thursday on natural-gas supplies in storage, she said in a daily report.

Some offshore Gulf of Mexico production remained shut-in through the middle of last week from Hurricane Delta earlier this month, “while demand was relatively strong, it is likely that less gas was sent into storage facilities compared to historical norms,” said Redmond. ... 1603195853

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Post by thelivyjr » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:40 p


"API data show an increase in weekly U.S. crude supplies, sources say"

By Myra P. Saefong

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 4:41 p.m. ET

The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that U.S. crude supplies rose by 584,000 barrels for the week ended Oct. 16, according to sources.

The data also reportedly showed gasoline stockpiles fell by 1.6 million barrels, while distillate inventories were down by about 6 million barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla., storage hub, meanwhile, edged up by 1.2 million barrels for the week, sources said.

Inventory data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday.

The EIA data are expected to show crude inventories down by 1.9 million barrels last week, according to analysts polled by S&P Global Platts.

They also forecast supply declines of 1.6 million barrels for gasoline and 3 million barrels in distillates.

December West Texas Intermediate crude was at $41.34 a barrel in electronic trading, down from Tuesday’s settlement at $41.70 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. ... latestnews

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