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Chris L

Market Recap for Fri., Jan 15, 2021

Stocks fell Friday as market participants considered the details of President-elect Biden’s newly unveiled stimulus package and the likelihood of such a package getting advanced through Congress. The coronavirus pandemic continues to surge both in the US and abroad.

Late Thursday, Biden outlined his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal, which included a host of new relief measures to be added to the provisions in the $900 billion proposal Congress passed last month. Biden’s proposal, called the American Rescue Plan, includes $1,400 in stimulus payment to be added on top of the $600 already being distributed, the extension and enhancement of unemployment programs, aid to small businesses, $350 billion to state and local governments, increase in tax credits for low- and middle-income families, and $160 billion for a national program on vaccination and testing. Biden said, “While Congress’s bipartisan action in December was a step in the right direction, it was only a down payment. It fell far short of the resources needed to tackle the immediate crisis. We are in a race against time, and absent additional government assistance, the economic and public health crises could worsen in the months ahead.”

Yesterday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said he believed the US economy was still “far from our goals” and that “now is not the time to be talking about an exit” when considering the massive asset-purchasing program the Fed has undertaken during the pandemic. He said “ We’ll let the world know. We will communicate very clearly to the public and we’ll do so, by the way, well in advance of active consideration of beginning a gradual tapering of asset purchases.” He also recommitted to maintain interest rates at near-zero for the foreseeable future, saying, “When the time comes to raise interest rates, we will certainly do that. And that time, by the way, is no time soon.”

In light of the surge in the coronavirus pandemic, many countries in Europe are considering imposing stricter restrictions. In France, a nationwide 6pm curfew was put in place. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel is reportedly pushing for tougher measures, including more work from home and the closure of non-essential businesses. The UK government is also under heavy pressure to tighten rules in the UK as the daily death toll has recently hit a record high

Highlights

  • After a remarkable rally this week by Gamestop (GME), shares dipped 11% today. Overall market was weak today.
  • Dating-app Bumble reportedly filed for an IPO. In the filing, the company revealed steady revenue growth but high operating costs that resulted in a loss.
  • WhatsApp is delaying a controversial update to its privacy policy following backlash from some users over how it would share data with Facebook (FB), which owns the popular messaging service.
  • Apple (AAPL) supplier Foxconn has appointed Jack Cheng, co-founder of NIO as head of MiH, a software and hardware platform for developing EVs
  • U.S. crude oil prices settled lower at the close of Friday’s session, shedding some of their recent gains as renewed lockdowns in Europe reignited fears of weak demand for travel and fuel.
  • In its final days, The Trump administration late-Thursday added nine Chinese firms to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies, including planemaker Comac and mobile phone maker Xiaomi, according to a document seen by Reuters
  • Retail sales in the US unexpectedly dropped in what is typically the strongest month of the year. The total value of retail sales dropped 0.7% in December from November after a 1.4% drop in November, the Commerce Department said Friday. Still, retail sales were up 2.9% year-over-year.
  • Shares of Palantir (PLTR) outperformed the market today after Cathie Wood's ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW) bought 497,100 shares of the data analytics software provider.
  • Amazon (AMZN) employees at a warehouse in Bessemer, Ala. will vote by mail on whether to unionize starting in February, the National Labor Relations Board said. Amazon has historically made a great effort to prevent workers from unionizing.

“There are times when we stop, we sit still. We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper.” - James Carroll

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