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Post by thelivyjr » Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:40 p


"Rents for single-family homes just saw the largest gains in nearly 15 years"




* Single-family rents were up 5.3% year over year in April, rising from a 2.4% increase in April 2020, according to CoreLogic.

* That is the largest annual gain in nearly 15 years.

* Regionally, by top 20 metropolitan markets, rent gains were highest in Phoenix

Even as the coronavirus pandemic ebbs and Americans get back to work and play, they still want more space at home.

But with home prices hitting record highs, demand for single-family rental homes is soaring – and so are the rents.

Single-family rents were up 5.3% year over year in April, rising from a 2.4% increase in April 2020, according to CoreLogic.

That is the largest gain in nearly 15 years.

Rents for single-family detached homes (not townhomes), were up an even stronger 7.9% compared with a year ago, as millennials in particular seek more outdoor space.

Nearly half of millennials surveyed by Corelogic, and 64% of baby boomers, said they, “strongly prefer” to live in a single, stand-alone home.

“Single-family rent growth showed a strong rebound in April 2021 with all price tiers back above their pre-pandemic rent growth rate,” said Molly Boesel, principal economist at CoreLogic.

“While rent growth slowed last April at the start of the pandemic, the rate of rent growth this April was running above pre-pandemic levels even when compared with 2019 and shows no signs of diminishing.”

The rent gains are across all price categories, even low end, which exceeded pre-pandemic rent increases for the first time.

By category, the gains are as follows:

Lower priced (75% or less than the regional median): 3.9%, up from 3.2% in April 2020

Lower-middle priced (75% to 100% of the regional median): 4.8%, up from 2.5% in April 2020

Higher-middle priced (100% to 125% of the regional median): 5.1%, up from 2.3% in April 2020

Higher priced (125% or more than the regional median): 6.1%, up from 2.2% in April 2020

Regionally, by top 20 metropolitan markets, rent gains were highest in Phoenix, where single-family rents were 12.2% higher than a year ago.

Next, Tucson, Arizona, with a gain of 10.6%.

That was followed by Las Vegas at 9.3%.

Atlanta, which had the lowest unemployment rate of the 20 metros, came in fourth at 9.1%.

On the flip side, Boston saw an annual decline of 5.9% in rent prices and has experienced the largest decrease of the 20 metropolitan market rent prices for nine straight months.

Chicago was the only other decliner, at 2.6%.

With home prices continuing to gain at a double-digit pace, and more potential buyers being priced out, demand for single-family rentals is unlikely to cool anytime soon.

“The inflation that is currently here is slowing the most interest rate sensitive part of the economy, that being housing,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at the Bleakley Advisory Group. ... years.html

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Post by thelivyjr » Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:40 p


"Treasury yields flat as investors anticipate Fed meeting"



Treasury yields were flat on Tuesday as investors anticipate signals of upcoming monetary policy in the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note ticked less than a basis point lower to 1.496% at 4:00 p.m. ET.

The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond edged less than a basis point higher to 2.194%.

Yields move inversely to prices.

One basis point equals 0.01%.

Yields were essentially unchanged even as economic data on Tuesday showed higher-than-expected wholesale inflation.

Producer prices jumped 0.8% for May, ahead of a Dow Jones estimate of 0.6%.

On an annual basis, May’s Producer Price Index increased 6.6% — the largest 12-month increase on record since the data started in 2010.

A separate report showed retail sales fell 1.3% in May, greater than the 0.6% dip economists had projected.

The Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day policy meeting is set to conclude on Wednesday afternoon, followed by a press conference with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

The Fed is not expected to take any policy action in its meeting, though investors will be listening to Powell’s comments closely for any signals of the central bank’s eventual asset purchase tapering plans.

Tiffany Wilding, U.S. economist at PIMCO, said on Monday that the investment management firm expected the Fed to upgrade its outlook for growth and “materially revise up the inflation forecast” in its meeting.

“As a result of the better growth outlook, and despite the transitory nature of the inflation spike, we think the majority of Fed officials will also pull forward their projections for the first rate hike to 2023,” Wilding said, compared to a forecasted rate hike in March 2024.

Wilding added that PIMCO’s base case remained that the Fed would announce a tapering of bond purchases at its December meeting.

However, she said that Powell could float the idea that the Fed might consider the possibility of tapering in September, if “inflation is more persistent than expected.”

— CNBC’s Maggie Fitzgerald contributed to this report.

Data also provided by Reuters ... eting.html

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Post by thelivyjr » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:40 p


"Producer prices climb 6.6% in May on annual basis, largest 12-month increase on record"




* Producer prices as of May rose 6.6% over the past 12 months, the fastest increase on record.

* At the same time, retail sales declined 1.3%, worse than the 0.6% estimate.

* Month over month, the producer price index increased 0.8%, also faster than the 0.5% estimate.

Producer prices rose at their fastest annual clip in nearly 11 years in May as inflation continued to build in the U.S. economy, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.

The 6.6% surge was the biggest 12-month rise in the final demand index since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the data in November 2010.

On a monthly basis, the producer price index for final demand rose 0.8%, ahead of the Dow Jones estimate of 0.5%.

Those higher price pressures came amid a pronounced dip in retail sales, which fell 1.3% in May, worse than the 0.6% estimate, according to the Census Bureau.

The disappointment in that number was tempered by a sharp upward revision to the April number, which went from flat to a gain of 0.9%.

Goods inflation continued to be the dominant inflation force, rising 1.5% as opposed to a 0.6% increase in services.

In the pandemic economy, goods have run well ahead of services as economic lockdowns constrained consumer demand for services-related purchases.

Excluding food and energy, the 12-month final demand PPI rose 5.3%, which also was the biggest increase since that the BLS started tracking that number in August 2014.

Substantial price increases at the producer end came from nonferrous metals, which jumped 6.9% for the month.

Prices of grains also surged, rising 25.7%, while oilseeds increased 19.5% and beef and veal rose 10.5%.

Fresh fruits and melons fell 1.9%, while basic organic chemicals and asphalt also declined.

Though services continued to be a lower contributor to overall producer price pressures, the index rose for the fifth straight month.

The higher numbers likely will add to an ongoing debate over whether the inflation pressures over the past several months will last.

Federal Reserve officials believe the current increase will prove to be transitory as supply and demand issues balance out and low readings during the pandemic lockdown wash out of the system.

However, several notable Wall Street names, including Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan and hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, told CNBC on Monday that it’s time for the Fed to pull back on the easy-money policy it instituted during the pandemic.

The Fed begins a two-day meeting Tuesday, during which it is not expected to announce any major policy changes.

While the inflation readings have been gathering the Street’s attention, consumers have been pulling back on their purchases as the effects from government stimulus checks have worn off.

Excluding autos, retail sales were down 0.7% in May, well off the estimate for a 0.5% increase.

Excluding gas stations, sales fell 1.5%.

Building material and garden supply sales tumbled 5.9% for the month, while miscellaneous store sales were off 5% and general merchandise sales fell 3.3%.

Clothing and accessory stores rose 2%, while bars and restaurants were up 1.8%.

Sales remain dramatically higher now than they were a year ago, as the country wrestled with a pandemic that saw 22 million people sent to the unemployment line.

Clothing and accessory sales are up 200.3% from May 2020, while food service and drinking places surged 70.6% and electronic and appliance stores gained 91.3%. ... -2021.html

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Post by thelivyjr » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:40 p


"'Pure insanity': Justice Dept. rebuffed Trump bid to overturn election"

Susan Heavey Jan Wolfe

June 15, 2021

WASHINGTON, June 15 (Reuters) - Former President Donald Trump pressed the Justice Department during his waning weeks in office to join his failed effort to overturn his election defeat based on his false claims of voting fraud, but its leaders refused, with one decrying the "pure insanity" of the claims, documents released on Tuesday showed.

The records, obtained by the House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Committee, provided new insight into the actions of the Republican former president in trying to enlist the department to act on his claims.

The documents showed a series of overtures made by Trump, then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and an outside private attorney, Kurt Olsen.

The department ultimately did not join the effort and numerous courts rejected lawsuits seeking to overturn election results in various states.

Congress also is investigating the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters trying to stop the formal certification of Democratic President Joe Biden's election victory.

"These documents show that President Trump tried to corrupt our nation's chief law enforcement agency in a brazen attempt to overturn an election that he lost," said Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat.

These actions were separate from the revelations that the Trump-era Justice Department secretly sought the phone records of at least two Democratic lawmakers, a move that led Biden's Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday to vow to strengthen policies aiming to protect the department from political influence.

The department under outgoing Attorney General William Barr, who left his post on Dec. 23, and his short-term replacement Jeffrey Rosen decided not to act on the false claims of voting fraud.

Biden took office on Jan. 20.

The emails showed that Meadows asked Justice Department officials to investigate an unfounded conspiracy theory called "Italygate" alleging that U.S. electoral data was changed in Italian facilities with the knowledge of the CIA.

On Jan. 1, Meadows sent Rosen a link to a YouTube video detailing the theory.

Rosen forwarded the email to then-acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, who replied: "Pure insanity."

The documents also showed that Trump pressured Rosen when he was deputy attorney general to have the department take up the election fraud claims.


The emails showed Rosen declined to arrange a meeting between Justice Department officials and Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani about his false claims that the November election was stolen.

Meadows had asked Rosen to help arrange the proposed meeting with Giuliani, the emails showed.

"I flatly refused, said I would not be giving any special treatment to Giuliani or any of his 'witnesses,' and re-affirmed yet again that I will not talk to Giuliani about any of this," Rosen wrote to a Justice Department colleague on Jan. 1.

Giuliani had played a prominent role in promoting Trump's false election claims.

Trump, through an assistant, sent Rosen a Dec. 14 email with documents purporting to show evidence of election fraud in northern Michigan - a debunked allegation that a federal judge had already rejected.

Two weeks later, on Dec. 29, Trump's White House assistant emailed Rosen, who by then was the acting attorney general, and other Justice Department lawyers a draft legal brief that they were urged to file at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The department never filed the brief.

Emails released by the House committee showed that Olsen, a Maryland lawyer involved in writing Trump's draft brief, repeatedly tried to meet with Rosen but was unsuccessful.

The draft brief backed by Trump argued that changes made by the states of Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania to voting procedures amid the COVID-19 pandemic to expand mail-in voting were unlawful.

Biden won all those states.

Similar arguments were made in a lawsuit filed by Ken Paxton, the Republican attorney general of Texas and a Trump ally.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected that long-shot lawsuit in December.

Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The document release came ahead of a House Oversight Committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack, which will include testimony from FBI director Christopher Wray and General Charles Flynn, a high-ranking Pentagon official involved in a key mid-riot phone call with police leaders.

The general, who commands the U.S. Army Pacific, is the brother of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has also promoted Trump's election conspiracy theories.

Maloney said at the start of the hearing that the Pentagon's response to the riot was "a shocking failure."

Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Catherine Evans ... 021-06-15/

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Post by thelivyjr » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:40 p


"U.S. defends minority farmer debt relief despite legal fight"

By Reuters Staff

JUNE 15, 2021

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) is defending efforts to wipe clean government-backed loans to farmers facing decades of discrimination, despite a temporary restraining order on the debt relief plan issued by a U.S. District court last week.

A USDA spokesperson said the agency will be ready to process payments on an estimated $4 billion in debt relief for 17,000 Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and Asian farmers once legal battles are resolved.

It planned to start the payments in June.

“USDA will continue to forcefully defend its ability to carry out this act of Congress and deliver debt relief to socially disadvantaged borrowers,” a USDA spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The spokesperson said the government cannot appeal the restraining order, which pauses payments until the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin rules more broadly on a lawsuit over whether or not the debt relief program discriminates against non-minority farmers.

For decades, USDA employees and programs have discriminated against socially disadvantaged farmers by denying loans and delaying payments, resulting in $120 billion in lost farmland value since 1920, according to a 2018 Tufts University analysis.

The Biden administration’s loan forgiveness program is aimed at addressing those systemic inequities.

The lawsuit, filed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on behalf of 12 white farmers, aims to halt the debt relief by claiming it excludes farmers on the basis of race.

It is one of several lawsuits filed after the USDA detailed plans to implement the minority farmer debt-relief provision, which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act that Congress passed in March.

Judge William C. Griesbach, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, granted the temporary restraining order on June 10.

“The obvious response to a government agency that claims it continues to discriminate against farmers because of their race or national origin is to direct it to stop,” Griesbach said in the decision.

Some Black farmers are not surprised the relief has stalled, having seen previous government anti-discrimination efforts underdeliver.

“Talk is cheap."

"I can’t buy grain with it."

"I want to know when you’re going to help some farmers,” said Lloyd Wright, a Virginia farmer who served as the director of the USDA’s Office of Civil Rights in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Wright said Black farmers have been promised relief from federal discrimination in the past, only to be repeatedly disappointed.

He suggests eligible farmers continue paying on loans, so they do not end up behind if the program is permanently blocked.

Reporting by Christopher Walljasper; Editing by Marguerita Choy ... SL2N2NX1TX

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Post by thelivyjr » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:40 p


"Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasuries rise in April as rates stabilize -data"

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

JUNE 15, 2021

NEW YORK, June 15 (Reuters) - Foreign holdings of Treasuries rose in April, data from the Treasury Department showed on Tuesday, as investors bought back U.S. government debt after yields started to decline from their highs.

Major foreign holders of Treasuries held $7.070 trillion in Treasuries in April, up from $7.028 trillion in March.

Japan, the largest foreign holder of U.S. sovereign paper, led the way, increasing its holdings to $1.276 trillion in April, from $1.24 trillion the previous month.

Japanese investors sold Treasuries in February and March as their holdings declined.

“It looks like Japanese investors sold into the sell-off and then bought once rates stabilized,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, senior rates strategist at TD Securities in New York.

“In February and March, rates were higher and in April they were stabilizing near the peak, so it looks like they bought quite substantially,” he added.

U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury yields started April with a yield of 1.679%, slipping to 1.631% by the end of that month.

China’s holdings, meanwhile, slid to $1.096 trillion from $1.1 trillion in March.

Its stock of Treasuries has declined for two straight months.

On a transaction basis, foreigners purchased $49.57 billion in Treasuries in April, after record inflows of $118.87 billion the previous month.

Data also showed U.S. corporate bonds had inflows of $10.14 billion in April, down from $43.1 billion in March, which was the largest since May 2008.

Foreign investors, meanwhile, sold $13.3 billion in U.S. equities in April, from purchases of $32.3 billion in March.

April’s U.S. stocks outflow was the first in 12 months.

U.S. residents decreased their holdings of long-term foreign securities, with net sales of $7.5 billion, according to the Treasury data.

Overall, net foreign acquisitions of U.S. long-term and short-term securities, as well as banking flows, fell to a net inflow of $101.2 billion in April, from $146.7 billion in March.

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Dan Grebler) ... SL2N2NX2KV

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Post by thelivyjr » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:40 p


"TREASURIES-Yields steady before Fed meeting statement"

By Karen Brettell

JUNE 15, 2021
NEW YORK, June 15 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury yields were steady on Tuesday ahead of the conclusion of the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting on Wednesday, which will be watched for any signals on when the U.S. central bank is likely to begin paring its massive bond purchase program.

The Fed is not expected to announce a taper until its August Jackson Hole economic symposium, though it may indicate that it has begun discussions about when it is likely to commence.
“There are some expectations surrounding the extent to which the Fed will discuss tapering,” said Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York.
The lack of clarity in employment data, however, makes it difficult for the Fed to gauge the strength of the economic recovery and move ahead with any plans to tighten policy.
Extended unemployment benefits are not due to end for another several months, while childcare issues remain because many schools are still closed to in-person learning until the beginning of the school year, Lyngen noted.

That means that “investors’ expectations are generally in a holding pattern until the fall,” he said.
Policymakers will also update their economic projections and markets will focus on whether they upgrade their inflation projections and see a rate hike as likely in 2023.
Data on Tuesday showed U.S. retail sales dropped more than expected in May, while producer prices jumped by 6.6% year-over-year during the month, the largest gain since November 2010.

Benchmark 10-year yields were little changed on the day at 1.499%.

They fell to a three-month low of 1.428% on Friday and have dropped from a one-year high of 1.78% in March.
Another key focus at this week’s meeting will be whether the Fed raises the interest its pays on excess reserves (IOER) and on reverse repurchase agreements (repo) as money market investors struggle with a lack of high-quality short-term assets.
By raising the IOER, the Fed can ease some downward pressure on short-term rates.

Borrowing rates in the overnight repurchase agreement market were at one basis point on Tuesday.
Some analysts say the Fed is unlikely to make any adjustments unless the fed funds rate falls below 5 basis points, which it has so far held above.

The fed funds rate was at 6 basis points on Monday.
The Treasury saw strong demand for a $24 billion sale of 20-year bonds on Tuesday.

The debt sold at a high yield of 2.12%, more than one basis point below where it had traded before the auction.
The bonds were "very well bid," said Kim Rupert, managing director of global fixed income analysis at Action Economics, in a report.

She noted that a $3 billion reduction in the auction's size from May likely helped to boost interest.

(Reporting by Karen Brettell; Editing by Dan Grebler) ... SL2N2NX291

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Post by thelivyjr » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:40 p


"U.S. retail sales take step back as spending pivots to services, trend remains strong"

By Lucia Mutikani

JUNE 15, 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales dropped more than expected in May, with spending rotating back to services from goods as vaccinations allow Americans to travel and engage in other activities that had been restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite last month’s decline reported by the Commerce Department on Tuesday, the trend in retail sales remains strong.

Sales in April were revised sharply up and are well above their pre-pandemic level, keeping intact expectations of double-digit growth in both consumer spending and the economy this quarter.

“The days of spending money online and splurging on durable goods and home furnishings is pivoting toward getting ready for trips to see grandma and grandpa at the lake or the beach and evenings out reconnecting with friends at bars and restaurants,” said Tim Quinlan, a senior economist at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Retail sales fell 1.3% last month.

Data for April was revised higher to show sales increasing 0.9% instead of being unchanged as previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales declining 0.8%.

Retail sales surged 28.1% on a year-on-year basis.

The retail sales report mostly capture spending on goods, with restaurants and bars the only services category included.

During the pandemic, demand shifted to goods like electronics and motor vehicles as millions of people worked from home, switched to online classes and avoided public transportation.

More than half of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated, boosting demand for air travel, hotel accommodation, dining out and entertainment among other activities.

May’s decline in retail sales was also due to a drop in receipts at auto dealerships, reflecting tight supply as a global semiconductor shortage hampers motor vehicle production.

Receipts at auto dealerships fell 3.7%.

Shortages also likely hurt sales at electronics and appliance stores, which dropped 3.4%.

Receipts at building material stores tumbled 5.9%.

There were also declines in sales at furniture retailers as well as at sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book stores.

Online retail sales slipped 0.8%.

But sales at clothing stores rose 3.0%.

Consumers also increased spending at restaurants and bars, leading to a 1.8% rise in receipts.

Sales at restaurants and bars are 70.6% higher compared to May 2020.

Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales dropped 0.7% after a revised 0.4% fall in April.

These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.

They were previously estimated to have decreased 1.5% in April.

Services such as healthcare, education, travel and hotel accommodation make up the other component of consumer spending.

U.S. stocks were lower.

The dollar was steady against a basket of currencies.

U.S. Treasury prices fell.


Vaccinations have allowed for a broader reopening of the economy.

But the resulting demand, which is also being fired up by trillions of dollars from the government and record-low interest rates, is straining supply chains, fanning inflation.

In a separate report on Tuesday, the Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand increased 0.8% last month after rising 0.6% in April.

In the 12 months through May, the PPI accelerated 6.6%, the largest gain since November 2010, after advancing 6.2% in April.

The report followed news last week that consumer prices rose solidly in May, leading to the biggest annual increase in inflation in nearly 13 years.

With the PPI and CPI data in hand, economists are forecasting that the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure, the core personal consumption expenditures price index, rose at least 0.4% in May.

That would push the year-on-year rate to about 3.4% from 3.1% in April.

The U.S. central bank has a flexible 2% target.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly stated that higher inflation will be transitory.

With the economy reopening, prices are rising back to normal levels in areas hardest hit by the virus.

Last spring’s weak readings are also dropping out from the calculation.

Fed officials started a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday and were expected to keep the overnight benchmark interest rate near zero.

The Fed is pumping money into the economy through bond purchases.

Economists will, however, be watching to see if the Fed opens discussion about when and how it will withdraw some of the support to the economy.

“Inflationary pressures are strong in the U.S. right now but should cool in the second half of the year,” said Bill Adams, an economist at PNC Financial in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“The Fed is expected to reiterate tomorrow that more progress toward a recovery is needed before they slow their bond purchases.”

There was some encouraging news on the supply bottlenecks, with a third report from the Fed showing production at factories increased 0.9% in May as motor vehicle assemblies jumped about 1 million units, though they remain below their average level in the second half of 2020.

Surging prices for used cars and trucks have been one of the main drivers of inflation.

Some easing of the supply squeeze could help to slow inflation and support retail sales.

Goods account for about 41% of consumer spending.

Even with the boost from stimulus checks fading, consumption could get a powerful tailwind from the at least $2.3 trillion in excess savings amassed by households during the pandemic.

Wages are rising and some households will from July through December receive income under the expanded Child Care Tax Credit program, which will soften the blow of an early termination of government-funded unemployment benefits in at least 25 states.

“By our estimate, this program should provide approximately $16.7 billion in additional income per month in the second half of this year, for a total of $100 billion,” said Stephen Juneau, a U.S. economist at Bank of America Securities in New York.

Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Andrea Ricci ... SKCN2DR1CV

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Post by thelivyjr » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:40 p


"Congressional Democrats wary of U.S. Senate infrastructure plan"

Makini Brice Susan Cornwell

June 15, 2021

WASHINGTON, June 15 (Reuters) - Democrats in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday criticized a $1.2 trillion infrastructure proposal by a bipartisan group of Senate moderates as neglecting some of their key priorities, raising questions about the measure's fate.

Democratic leaders are discussing a two-step process in which they pass a smaller bill with bipartisan support but then follow up with a second measure passed through reconciliation, which would require nearly 100% party unity given President Joe Biden's Democrats' razor-thin majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The Senate proposal, which emerged after negotiations between Biden and Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito collapsed last week, insufficiently addresses climate change and other Democratic goals, including spending on healthcare and childcare, Democrats said.

The $1.2 trillion package, to span eight years, is below Biden's most recent proposal of $1.7 trillion.

The two parties also disagree about how to pay for infrastructure and have not yet released details of how the money would be spent.

"I think we should go bigger," said Richard Neal, chairman of the House's powerful Ways and Means Committee.

Likewise, Representative Pramila Jayapal told reporters: "It would be very difficult for us to vote on a smaller bipartisan package that leaves out so many of our critical priorities."

Given Democrats' 220-211 majority in the House and the 50-50 split of the Senate, where Vice President Kamala Harris gives the party the tie-breaking vote, dissension from a handful of members could be enough to block the measure.

Republicans on Tuesday were embracing the proposal after a briefing by negotiators during a party lunch.

"I'm very optimistic about at least 10 Republicans and probably ... more," said Senator Mitt Romney, one of the 10 moderates who negotiated the proposal.

Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, said the bipartisan agreement was "lacking" both in terms of the size of the package and the fact it will not raise taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals.

Under Biden's original proposal, those tax hikes would pay for infrastructure projects.


Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has floated the idea of a two-step solution, in which a second wave of spending is passed through "reconciliation," which circumvents the Senate rule requiring 60 votes to advance most legislation.

Doing that would require all 48 Democratic senators and the two independents who caucus with them to support the move, and two Democrats - moderates Joe Manchin and Kirsten Sinema - have been noncommittal when asked if they would support a reconciliation bill.

"We're looking at everything," Manchin told reporters.

Some Democrats voiced concerns that maneuver could fail.

"I don't think there's going to be a great fervor for a bipartisan bill unless we're guaranteed that we're going to have a big bill," said Senator Bob Casey.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most prominent House progressives, voiced similar concerns.

"I think that the certainty of that second piece is going to determine a lot on our stances on the bipartisan piece," she said.

White House officials told lawmakers on Tuesday that they were willing to pursue a bipartisan deal for a week or 10 days more, House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth said, amid calls from progressive lawmakers to call off bipartisan talks.

"We're assuming right now that everything will be done by reconciliation," he said.

"That doesn't preclude a bipartisan agreement."

"If one happens, we just take that part out of the instructions."

"But right now we're assuming everything will be in it."

Reporting by Makini Brice and Susan Cornwell, additional reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis ... 021-06-15/

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Post by thelivyjr » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:40 p


"Futures hold steady with Fed meeting in focus"

Shashank Nayar

June 15, 2021

June 15 (Reuters) - Futures tied to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq held near record highs on Tuesday as investors looked for comments from the Federal Reserve about whether a recent jump in inflation would prompt a sooner-than-expected tapering in monetary policy.

Assurance from the Fed that rising prices are transitory coupled with falling U.S. Treasury yields have helped ease some concerns over inflation but investors remain cautious as they await the Fed's commentary on its inflation stance.

The benchmark S&P 500, the blue-chip Dow Jones and the tech-stocks focused Nasdaq have gained 13.3%, 12.3% and 10%, respectively so far this year as investors tried to find their ground between inflation concerns and optimism about an economic reopening.

The Fed is likely to announce in August or September a strategy for reducing its massive bond buying program, but won't start cutting monthly purchases until early next year, a Reuters poll of economists found.

At 6:50 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 10 points, or 0.03%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 2.75 points, or 0.06%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 16.75 points, or 0.12%.

In a new policy statement and economic projections due on Wednesday, the U.S. central bank is expected to point to continued strength in the economy and acknowledge the first conversations among its policymakers about when and how fast to pare back the massive bond-buying program.

In corporate news, Biogen Inc fell 0.9% in premarket trading after the drugmaker's potential therapy for choroideremia, an inherited disease that leads to vision loss, did not meet the main goal in a late-stage study.

Later in the day, investors would turn to purchaser price numbers and retail sales data to assess the state of the economy and inflation levels.

Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel ... 021-06-15/

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