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The Dow Jones today is gaining as homebuilder sentiment rises to an all-time-high.
The S&P 500 is also pushing back toward all-time highs as investors speculate on the timing of the next COVID-19 stimulus bill. Congress is currently away for August recess, but speculation is mounting that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is on the verge of calling House Representatives back to debate new legislation. Read on for everything moving the Dow today.
Here are the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
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 surpassed 5.4 million, while the number of deaths sits at 170,000. The nation has averaged more than 51,000 new cases per day over the last week as universities and schools are prepared to return to session. Meanwhile, New Zealand is generating buzz this morning after the nation announced plans to delay its national election for a month. A mysterious string of cases emerged after more than three months without an infection reported on the island nation. The city of Auckland is locked down.
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- Next, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is spearheading another panic about U.S. President Donald Trump. The Speaker is calling the House back into session over concerns that Trump is trying to undermine the U.S. Postal Service ahead of the election (budget cuts, box reductions, and the relocation of mail sorters have been transpiring at the USPS since the onset of the Obama administration). Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden holds a nine-point lead over Trump ahead of the Democratic convention, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Democratic convention will have a formidable lineup of speakers to support Biden, including Senators Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, and former President Barrack Obama. The Republican National Convention will happen next week. The GOP will nominate Trump for reelection.
- Finally, homebuilder sentiment has reached an all-time high in the United States. The exodus from large cities to more rural areas has created a huge boost to demand. Builder confidence in the new construction, single-family market hit 78 in August on the Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market. That is the highest level in more than 20 years. A reading of 50 is considered positive. However, it's worth noting that the rise in lumber prices over the last few months could sap momentum heading into a busy fall.
Stocks to Watch Today: BRK.A, BABA, JD, HD
- Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) has just made a very large bet on gold. And now, you're about to see the market follow Warren Buffett into the safe-haven economy. Investors are looking to buy on the dip after gold just experienced its worst single week in five months. However, shares of Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: GOLD) are up more than 8.5% after Berkshire Hathaway announced it built a stake in the company during the second quarter.
- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) was off 0.5% on news that President Trump is considering a U.S. ban on the company. The president made the announcement over the weekend after he ordered Chinese firm ByteDance to divest the U.S. operations of its TikTok division. Meanwhile, rival JD.com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD) rallied 4.6% after the e-commerce giant beat earnings expectations for the June-ending quarter. The firm reported a 30% jump in annual active customer accounts, a number that overshadowed its already strong earnings and revenue numbers. Mobile active users also increased by 40%.
- Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) said that it has experienced a 35% jump in foot traffic in its physical stores since April. Unacast, a company that tracks mobile phone data, said that the uptick in traffic came despite the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases and the cancellation of HD's typical spring boost in sales. Americans are using the COVID shutdown as an opportunity to engage in home improvement projects.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.