Wall Street ended in scattered order on Tuesday. The DJIA takes a pause, losing 0.25% at 27,778 points while the S&P 500 adds 0.23% at 3,389 points – about three points above its 19 February record. The Nasdaq experienced new heights at 11,210 points, on a gain of 0.73%. Last evening, the flagship technology index had already climbed 1% to a historic high of 11,130 points. On Tuesday, worried investors were not really taking advantage of the upbeat numbers from retailers like Walmart and Home Depot, nor were they benefiting from solid housing statistics in the US. The market is waiting for the report from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting on monetary policy, which will be released tomorrow.
The blockade continues in Washington for a new stimulus package. On the other hand, China-Sino tensions remain clear after the negotiations between the United States and China were postponed. Donald Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, still wanted to make sure the “first-stage” trade deal between the two countries was valid.
In terms of raw materials, barrels of WTI crude fell 0.42% to $42.61 and Brent fell 0.51% to $45.08, and the OPEC member countries fulfilled their commitment to reduce the production in July.
The dollar index, which measures the movement of the dollar against the basket of reference currencies, fell 0.6% today, the lowest in more than two years.
According to an announcement by the United States government, the number of homes started in July 2020 was 1.469 million, higher than the consensus of 1.24 million and the revised 1.22 million the previous month. Building permits amounted to 1.495 million, compared to 1.3 million by consensus and 1.258 million the previous month.
The epidemic of the novel corona virus continues to grow around the world. There have been 21.93 million confirmed cases of 775,000 deaths worldwide since the virus first appeared, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed cases is 5.45 million in the United States, 3.36 million in Brazil and 2.7 million in India. Currently, 170,586 people have died in the United States and 108,536 in Brazil.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned about the spread of the virus among people between the ages of 20 and 40, many of whom are asymptomatic and therefore more likely to spread the virus. “The epidemic is changing,” Taki Kasai, regional director for the Western Pacific, told the virtual meeting. “People in their twenties, thirties and forties are the fastest vectors of the epidemic. Many people don’t know they have an infection. This increases the risk of transmission. We are convinced that we have entered a new phase of the epidemic in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Takishi Kasai.
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Today, Russia registered 4,748 new infections in 24 hours, carrying the total since the start of the epidemic at 932,493. It is the fourth largest country, according to local authorities, with a total of 15,872 deaths. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 654 additional deaths in 24 hours. In the previous tally, 893 new cases were identified, bringing the total balance to 5.4 million. CDC estimate is based on data compiled the day before.
American schools, colleges, high schools, and universities are expected to reopen at the end of the month or early September. In the absence of national guidelines, some schools opted for distance education, others returned to the classroom, and some followed a mixed model. Some, however, are abandoning in-person classes due to lack of staff. In Georgia, three Cherokee County high schools also closed their classrooms due to an increase in the number of cases. In Arizona, the school district canceled classes.
Brazil has registered 19,373 new cases and 684 additional deaths related to the epidemic in the last 24 hours. The number of people affected by the government is 3.35 million infected and more than 108,536 people.
Amazon, the e-commerce giant, has announced that it will create 3,500 jobs in six major cities in the US, as well as spend $1.4 billion in the development of its technology infrastructure.
Oracle has reportedly initiated preliminary discussions with China’s ByteDance, owner of TikTok, and would indeed consider acquiring the application’s operations in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the Financial Times reports. Oracle would work with U.S. investors who already have stakes in ByteDance, including General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that social media network Twitter had approached ByteDance to express interest in buying its U.S. operations, while Microsoft was still seen as the favorite for a deal with the Chinese.
Trump on Friday ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok’s U.S. operations within 90 days. “There is credible evidence that makes me believe that ByteDance could take measures that threaten to harm the national security of the United States,” Trump said in an executive order. The U.S. leader had previously signed an executive order banning U.S. companies from any transactions with ByteDance if it did not abandon TikTok’s operations in the United States within 45 days. ByteDance has entered into negotiations to sell the application’s operations in North America, Australia and New Zealand to Microsoft.
Apple recently announced the launch of an online radio offering, Apple Music Radio, in 165 countries.
Kohl’s, the U.S. retail group, reported a smaller-than-expected adjusted loss for the end quarter and a less pronounced-than-expected decline in sales. Quarterly net income was positive $47 million, or 30 cents per share, compared to $241 million a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the group incurred a loss of $39 million, compared to a profit of $247 million a year earlier. Sales for the three months ended August 2020 were down 23.1% year-on-year to $3.4 billion.
Boeing, hit hard by the crisis of the corona-virus, announced yesterday its second plan of voluntary departures of the year to deal with the impact of the crisis on its operations.
Home Depot, the U.S. furniture retail giant, on Tuesday reported better-than-expected profits and sales for the quarter ended. For the second fiscal quarter, which ended at the beginning of August 2020, the group posted strong revenue growth of 23.4%, which even reached a record level. Net income improved to $4.33 billion, or $4.02 per security, from $3.48 billion and $3.17 per security a year earlier. As a result, quarterly profit rose 25% year-on-year. Revenues totaled $38.05 billion, compared to consensus $34.53 billion. The EPS consensus was $3.71. Home Depot refrains from providing new financial forecasts for fiscal year 2020. The group suspended its guidance in May, citing uncertainty over the pandemic and its impact on the economy.
Walmart, the U.S. retail leader, reported better-than-expected second-quarter profit in its fiscal second quarter, thanks in part to record online sales. The stock, however, is consolidating on its all-time highs on Wall Street. The Arkansas retailer’s online sales more than doubled from last year due to the impact of the pandemic. Adjusted earnings per share for the three months ended compared to a market consensus of $1.25, up 23% year-on-year, compared to a market consensus of $1.25. Revenues rose 5.6% to $137.7 billion from consensus of $135.4 billion.