US stocks are mixed as pressure grows for Washington DC to reach stimulus deal. After over 100 CEOs urged lawmakers to pass long-term relief to save small business, it comes as no surprise that both sides are noting that progress has been made. The hard deadline is Labor Day, but investors feel a bad nonfarm payroll report this Friday could be what is needed to make some happen much sooner.
On the virus front, encouraging signs are emerging as many hotspots are seeing slow improvements. New cases and hospitalizations are declining in most second wave states, but this will need to improve more strongly for optimism to grow schools to have a successful school opening in September.
Better-than-expected June factory sales pretty much confirmed what we already knew about the manufacturing sector, it is strengthening and should continue to see gradual improvements.
China pushed back against President Trump’s demand that TikTok be sold to US buyers. China’s media outlets called the US a “rogue country” and called the forced sale “theft of a Chinese Technology company.” Initially it seemed Microsoft would have an easy acquisition, but reports surfaced that Apple expressed serious interest. An Apple spokesperson refuted the earlier reports of potential interest.
Crude prices turned positive on stimulus hopes and after another positive round of economic data showed manufacturing recovery continued in June despite some reopening reversals. Oil prices continue to fluctuate as OPEC+ allows more production alongside optimism the economic recovery will continue to improve as the US shows signs they are getting a handle of the coronavirus.
WTI crude remains rangebound but right now it seems improving virus news will only help the demand outlook. Oil could be ready to test the upper boundaries of its recently tight range.
Gold is catching fire again on stimulus bets, some dollar weakness, and as risky assets get a boost on improving economic data and improving virus outlook. Gold has cleared the $2000 level and it might not be done as Treasury yields continue to slide. Gold is now the favorite safe-haven as Treasury yields continue to slide. Real yields are deeper in negative territory and the US could be one bad labor report from seeing the 10-year Treasury yield fall towards the March 9th record low of 0.318%.
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