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The Dow Jones now is ticking up as Congress debates the latest executive order by U.S. President Donald Trump. The order would extend unemployment benefits, delay tax payments, and temporarily suspend student loan payments.
More on what's moving the Dow today, below...
Here are the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Now here are what I think will be the most important market events and stocks on Monday morning.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Monday
- This morning, Johns Hopkins University reported that the number of U.S. COVID-19 cases surged past 5 million over the weekend. U.S. deaths are now sitting at nearly 163,000. Former Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) executive and philanthropist Bill Gates said that it was "mind-blowing" how the U.S. government has failed to increase the number of diagnostic tests during the outbreak. "You're paying billions of dollars in this very inequitable way to get the most worthless test results of any country in the world," he told CNN. The nation's top testing companies have warned they are overwhelmed. Most tests have been a "complete waste," according to Gates.
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- Next, President Trump signed a series of executive orders over the weekend aimed at extending financial benefits to U.S. citizens. After Congress failed to reach a resolution last week, Trump expanded unemployment benefits, deferred student loan payments through the end of the year, extended a moratorium on evictions, and offered a payroll tax holiday. Democrats have questioned the legality of Trump's EO. However, the White House has cited precedent by former President Obama's actions on DACA and the Affordable Healthcare Act.
- Finally, China has sanctioned 11 U.S. citizens for their response to sanctions being imposed by the U.S. government on officials in China and Hong Kong, including Carrie Lam. The list includes U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. The sanctions are the latest in a series of rising tensions between the world's two largest economies.
Stocks to Watch Today: BRK.A, AMZN, SPG, KODK
- Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) just set a record for buying back its own stock. The company announced that it has repurchased $5.1 billion of its own stock during the second quarter as the pandemic ravaged the economy. The firm repurchased about $4.6 billion of its Class B stock and roughly $486.6 million in Class A shares. But what's really crazy about this: Berkshire still has roughly $140 billion in cash right now.
- Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is reportedly working with Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) on a plant to convert department store properties into fulfillment centers for the e-commerce giant. The focus is reportedly to convert space from bankrupt companies like J.C. Penney and Sears.
- Finally, shares of Eastman Kodak Co. (NASDAQ: KODK) plunged more than 40% in pre-market hours after the U.S. International Development Finance Corp. announced it was investigating wrongdoing by the company. The company had received a $765 million federal loan to produce drug ingredients, a development that pressed the stock into the stratosphere. However, the agency said that the loan has now been paused after the government said that it won't proceed with a loan until the allegations are cleared.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.