S&P 500 rises again, on pace for its best week since July – Long Island Business News


Stocks are rising on Wall Street Friday as talks appear to be continuing in the start-and-stop drive on Capitol Hill to deliver more aid to the ailing economy.

The S&P 500 was 0.8% higher in afternoon trading, on track for its third straight gain. The benchmark index is also on pace to close out its best week since July, following a weekslong run of mostly shaky trading amid worries about the inability of Congress to support the economy and concerns that stock prices simply got too high during the summer.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 135 points, or 0.5%, at 28,561, as of 2:23 p.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite was 1.2% higher. Technology stocks and companies that rely on consumer spending were driving much of the rally.

Despite the market’s early gains, trading underneath the surface continued to be unsettled. Airline stocks climbed at the start of trading, only to drop quickly and then rise again. United Airlines rose 0.6%, American Airlines gained 1% and Delta Air Lines rose 0.7%.

Meanwhile, energy stocks went from helping to lead the market early on to slumping to the sharpest loss among the 11 sectors that make up the S&P 500.

Much of this week’s focus has been on Washington, where President Donald Trump sent markets on a sudden skid Tuesday after he halted negotiations on a support package for the economy until after the election. Investors have been clamoring for such aid since the expiration of extra benefits for laid-off workers and other stimulus for the economy that Congress approved earlier this year. Economists say the outlook is grim without such support, and the chair of the Federal Reserve has said repeatedly it will likely be necessary.

Trump said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was negotiating in bad faith when he called off the talks. But within a couple hours, he appeared to backtrack. He said that he would back more limited programs that would send $1,200 payments to Americans and support the airline industry and small businesses specifically.

Pelosi on Thursday said she was not interested in a standalone measure to help airlines unless it was accompanied by a broader effort that includes COVID testing and other programs that Democrats say are needed as part of a national strategy to “crush the virus.”

The uncertainty over a deal lingered on Friday as Trump declared on Twitter that talks on a new aid package are “moving along. Go Big!”

Meanwhile, White House economic adviser Lawrence Kudlow told reporters that “developments are positive” ahead of a telephone conversation later Friday between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. At the same time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he doubts a deal will get done before the election.

“The fact that Trump reversed course, I think, has given people optimism again,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading & derivatives at Charles Schwab.

Frederick said the uncertainty over another stimulus package remains a “substantial risk” to the market.

This week’s rollercoaster — where the S&P 500 swung at least 1.4% for three straight days— is just the latest bout of volatility for a market that has been notably rocky for weeks.

“When the world’s financial markets are at the mercy of the randomness emanating from the White House, it is hardly surprising that investors elsewhere would prefer to wait on the side-lines,” said Jeffrey Halley of Oanda in a report. “Unfortunately, things are unlikely to settle down over the next few weeks.”

Regardless of whether Washington can strike a deal before the election, some investors are getting more optimistic about the chances for a big support package in 2021. If the Democrats sweep the White House, Senate and House of Representatives, the thinking is that they’ll likely approve stimulus for the economy. That could help offset the higher tax rates and tighter regulations on businesses that investors also expect from a Democratic-controlled Washington. Wall Street is seeing a Democratic sweep as more likely than before.

Still, other challenges remain for the market. Chief among them is the still-spreading coronavirus pandemic, highlighted by Trump’s own COVID-19 diagnosis.

Some areas of the economy are slowing following the expiration of Congress’ last round of aid, stocks still look too expensive in the eyes of some critics and tensions continue to simmer between the United States and China.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 0.78%.

In European stock markets, the French CAC 40 rose 0.7%, and the German DAX rose 0.1%. The FTSE 100 in London rose 0.6%.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.1%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.3%. Stocks in Shanghai jumped 1.7% after trading resumed following a weeklong holiday.





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UK coronavirus hospital deaths increase by 64 in highest rise since July


The UK’s coronavirus hospital death toll has gone up by 64 – the highest rise since July.

England recorded 56 more deaths, Scotland recorded six, Wales counted two and there were no new fatalities in Northern Ireland.

The majority of the deaths were recorded in hospitals in England’s North West and East, where many towns and cities remain subject to heavier local restrictions.

Eight died in London, where virus rates are beginning to rise, bringing fears the capital could follow parts of the North into tighter restrictions.

The full official death toll across all settings including care homes and the wider community will be released later today.

Have you been affected by coronavirus? Email your story to webnews@mirror.co.uk.


A total 55 people died with Covid-19 in the UK’s hospitals last Friday.

The last highest daily rise since July was 63 on Tuesday, October 6.

All of those who died in the past 24 hours in England were aged between 40 and 80+.

Of the total, 23 died in England’s North West, and ten across the North East.

Virus case rates have been shooting up around the UK as the country enters a second wave.

The UK’s Covid-19 R number has dropped slightly to 1.5 this week.

But the rate of transmission is not slowing, according to new estimates from the Government’s scientific advisers who warned the UK is in a ‘critical point’ of the second wave.

A separate study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also found virus cases in England have doubled in a week.

Tougher restrictions for England are expected to be announced on Monday in a bid to drive down surging infections and avoid a second national lockdown.

It comes as Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said 1,246 new coronavirus cases were recorded in the past 24 hours – a record high on the day fresh booze curfews were brought in.

Of the new cases in Scotland, 440 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde – one of areas where a 6pm curfew on pubs kicks in tonight.

Drinkers flocked to pubs and bars in Scotland on Thursday before the new 16-day alcohol ban came into force across five areas to curb rising infection rates.

Under the emergency plans announced by Sturgeon on Wednesday, pubs and bars in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian, and Forth Valley can only provide takeaways.

A further 306 new Covid-19 cases in Lanarkshire and 192 in Lothian were also reported on Friday.

Wales reported 766 new cases.





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Indian Army admits troops killed three young orchard workers in July


Srinagar: The Indian Army on Friday admitted that its troops killed three young men working as labourers in an apple orchard back in July this year. The three young workers from the frontier district of Rajouri disappeared shortly after arriving in Shopian to make a living. 

The Army said an inquiry conducted by it showed that the killings were carried out by its troops during an ‘operation’.

 

It said “disciplinary action” was being initiated under the Army Act against the officers and soldiers involved in the operation.

The inquiry “brought out certain prima facie evidence indicating that during the operation powers vested under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1990 were exceeded and the Do’s and Don’ts of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) as approved by the Hon’ble Supreme Court have been contravened,” the Army said.

It, however, added that the slain men’s “involvement with terrorism or related activities is under investigation by the J&K police.” 

 

According to the families of the three labourers, Muhammad Imtiaz, Abrar Ahmed Khan and Abrar Yusuf were killed by troops in a fake encounter in the Amshipora area on July 18.

The night before, the three men had informed their respective families on the phone that they had reached Shopian where they had been hired by a local fruit grower to work in his apple orchard.

After their killings, the Army had passed them off as “terrorists”.

Earlier this month, the families accused the Army and the J&K Police of dilly-dallying on the probes ordered by them separately into the ‘disappearance’. In a  letter to Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, they sought his intervention into the matter.

 

They also demanded that an impartial and fair inquiry be held, the DNA reports made public and, if it is established that their kin are the same youth who were killed in the purported July 18 encounter at Amshipora, they be allowed to exhume their bodies so that the victims are given a decent burial by them.

Sinha had while speaking to reporters here on September 14 assured that justice would be done with the families of the slain youth. He had said, “The Army has ordered its own inquiry and the administration is doing its own probe. I want to assure that justice will be done.”

 

Director-general of police Dilbag Singh said on Thursday that the DNA reports in the case would be made public soon.

The  DNA samples of the parents and siblings of the missing youth were collected from Rajouri under the aegis of the J&K Police in August and subsequently sent for matching with the trio killed on July 18.

Defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said here on Friday that the inquiry ordered by the Army into Operation Amshipora has been concluded. He said that since the inquiry has brought out certain prima facie evidence indicating that during the operation powers vested under AFSPA 1990 were exceeded and the Do’s and Don’ts of the Army chief, as approved by the Supreme Court, were  contravened, the competent disciplinary authority has directed to initiate “disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima facie answerable”.

 

He added “The evidence collected by the inquiry has prima-facie indicated that the three unidentified terrorists killed in Operation Amshipora were Muhammad Imtiaz, Abrar Ahmed Khan and Abrar Yusuf, who hailed from Rajouri. Their DNA report is awaited. Their involvement with terrorism or related activities is under investigation by the police.” 

He further said “Indian Army is committed to ethical conduct of operations. Further updates on the case will be given periodically without affecting due process of the law of the land”.

 

Last month, Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) called for investigation and prosecution into the alleged extrajudicial execution of the three labourers by independent civilian authorities, saying civilian investigations and trials “offer a degree of transparency and independence that is missing from the military justice system”. Various political parties and human rights activists in J&K too demanded an impartial probe into the alleged staged encounter.



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Unemployment data shows 100,000 new jobs created between July and August 2020 despite coronavirus


When the pandemic struck back in March, Christina Vetta was working as a social media manager for an agency.

The company started to cut back so she decided to use the pandemic as a launch pad to start her own business.

“I basically decided to back myself and I resigned from my role and started my own social media agency,” Ms Vetta said.

The 37-year-old now runs her business “Social Hills” from her home in inner-city Surry Hills.

“Fast forward five months down the line and I’ve got a really good portfolio. I am very close to earning what I was earning at the agency,” she said.

Ms Vetta is among New South Wales workers who have managed to pivot and remain employed, despite more than 1 million Australians losing their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Official figures released on Thursday revealed a surprising bounce-back in employment, with more than 100,000 new jobs created around the country in the past month.

The official unemployment rate fell to 6.8 per cent in August, down from 7.5 per cent in July.

In NSW unemployment fell from 7.2 per cent to 6.7 per cent.

Only Victoria — where a second wave has caused widespread lockdowns — and Tasmania recorded higher unemployment between July and August.

But with 3.5 million people on JobKeeper, Sue-Lin Ong, Chief Economist at RBC Capital Markets, said it may be March — when the payment is scheduled to end — before the true number of people out of work becomes clear.

“There’s no doubt the JobKeeper program is flattering the official unemployment rate,” she said.

But she said the latest figures did give some cause for optimism.

“Outside of Victoria, there’s clearly some recovery going on in the broader labour market.”

For some, the pandemic has forced a career change.

Jen Rodgers, 34, has been working in hospitality since leaving school.

She loves the industry and at the start of the pandemic was working as the assistant manager of a cafe in North Richmond in the Hawkesbury.

Jen Rodgers with her daughter Emma, 4, is retraining as a primary school teacher.(Supplied)

But when her hours were reduced, it forced a rethink.

“I had a huge moment of having to reassess everything and just realised I had to find a different career path that was going to support me and my family better in the long run,” she said.

She’s now studying part-time to become a primary school teacher.

“I can honestly say if COVID hadn’t have happened, I wouldn’t have made the move,” she said.

Finding another job was ‘really quick’

Danielle Martin, 45, from Wollongong, has also made a career change, moving from a job in disability employment services to become a careers coach with a rehab company.

“Once the pandemic hit, all of a sudden you had pilots looking for jobs, you had restaurant managers, very skilled, experienced people, so my job became very difficult,” she said.

When her company announced it was restructuring due to COVID, Ms Martin would have had to take on a new position, with a pay cut of $11,400.

The day after, she sent off two job applications and one company got back to her straight away.

“I had a phone interview that Friday, a face to face Zoom interview the next Tuesday and I was offered the job on the Thursday so it was really quick,” she said.

She hasn’t look back since.

“I feel my strengths are coming out and I’m being challenged and I’m rising to it. It’s made me feel valued, I guess,” she said.

Ms Vetta’s new venture has been so successful she’s even taken on a part-time worker.

She said in her case the pandemic has been a catalyst for change.

“2020 has been the biggest opportunity and the most exciting time for me.”



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Bulgaria’s retail sales down in July | The Budapest Business Journal on the web


 BBJ

 Monday, September 14, 2020, 16:30

Bulgaria’s retail sales at constant prices fell 17.5% year-on-year in July after decreasing by an annual 18.1% in the previous month, the countryʼs National Statistical Institute (NSI) has said, citing preliminary working-day adjusted data. 

Woman in face mask buying fresh fruits and vegetables at a farmersʼ market in Sofia, Bulgaria on July 22, 2020. Photo by R R / Shutterstock.com

On a seasonally-adjusted monthly comparison basis, retail trade turnover at constant prices edged up 0.1% in July following a 1% rise in June.

In a separate report the Sofia-based agency said that industrial production in Bulgaria declined 6% annually in July, following a 7.7% fall in the previous month.

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, industrial production went up 2.3%, slowing from an upwardly revised 6.1% gain in the prior month.

Construction output in Bulgaria fell an annual 3.9% in July, following a 2.2% drop in the previous month. On the month, construction output declined 0.4% in July, after increasing an upwardly revised 5.5% in the prior month, NSI said on September 10.

 

 





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Russia Records 30K Excess Deaths in July, Most Monthly Fatalities in Decade


Russia recorded more than 30,000 excess deaths in July as the coronavirus pandemic continued to sweep across the country, new data from the country’s statistics service Rosstat has shown.

A total of 181,479 deaths were registered in July 2020, according to data compiled by regional registry offices — compared to an average of around 150,000 over the previous five years.

That tally means more people died in July 2020 than in any of the previous 119 months, since a spate of devastating wildfires killed tens of thousands across Russia in August 2010. It is typically rare for summer months to record a higher number of deaths than during the winter.

The data once again raises questions over a possible dramatic undercounting of Covid-19 fatalities in Russia.

Rosstat found 10,079 coronavirus-related fatalities in July — using figures compiled from the cause of death listed on death certificates. However, it said the infection was the main cause of death in only 5,922 cases — in a counting practice which runs against World Health Organization Guidelines. In around 30% of cases where coronavirus was confirmed or suspected, authorities say the virus played no role whatsoever in the patient’s fatality.

Analysis by The Moscow Times previously found Russia saw around 26,000 excess deaths in the first months of the pandemic, with some regions seeing hundreds of unexplained fatalities, while their official coronavirus death tallies remained low.

The new figures bring Russia’s total excess death count since the start of the pandemic to above 55,000.

Meanwhile, official statistics published by Russia’s federal coronavirus task force showed fewer than 14,000 people had died from the coronavirus by the end of July.

Russia recorded more than 5,000 new coronavirus cases on Friday for the first time since mid-August.



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Portland Shooting Suspect ‘100% Antifa’; Cited, Released on Weapons Charge in July Riot


The Oregonian reported Sunday night that the man under investigation in Saturday’s fatal shooting of a right-wing protester after a pro-Trump caravan in Portland is a supporter of Black Lives Matter and Antifa who was arrested on weapons charges and released earlier this year.

The victim of the attack has been reported to be Aaron Danielson, known also as “Jay.”

The Oregonian said:

A 48-year-old man who was accused of carrying a loaded gun at an earlier downtown Portland protest is under investigation in the fatal shooting Saturday night of a right-wing demonstrator after a pro-Trump rally.

Michael Forest Reinoehl calls himself an anti-fascist and has posted videos and photos of demonstrations he attended since late June, accompanied by the hashtags #blacklivesmatter, #anewnation and #breonnataylor.

Reinoehl’s posts indicate he attended many protests in Portland that began three months ago after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis under the knee of a police officer.

On July 5 at one of the demonstrations, Reinoehl was cited at 2:10 a.m. in the 700 block of Southwest Main Street on allegations of possessing a loaded gun in a public place, resisting arrest and interfering with police.

He was given a date to appear in court later that month, but the allegations were dropped on July 30 with a “no complaint,” according to court records. The documents don’t indicate why prosecutors decided not to pursue the accusations. Reinoehl spent no time behind bars.

A press release from the Portland Police Bureau described a July 5 arrest, which happened after a riot began July 4:

At 10:48 p.m. [July 4], demonstrators continued launching fireworks and projectiles at the Federal Courthouse. Because of this, several windows were broken and fireworks and projectiles entered the Federal Courthouse building.

To protect the life and safety of personnel both inside and outside of the Federal Court House, just after 11 p.m., a riot was declared. Officers began dispersing the crowd moving demonstrators from the closed area of Southwest Broadway to Southwest 1st Avenue, Southwest Columbia to Southwest Yamhill Street.

As officers dispersed the crowd, demonstrators threw bricks, mortars, M-80s, and other flammables towards them. To defend themselves from serious injury, officers used crowd control munitions and tear gas at this time. Lasers were directed at Officer’s eyes, which is unlawful. Despite having moved from the closed area, demonstrators began to trickle back to Southwest 3rd Avenue, starting a large bonfire in the middle of Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Main Street 1 a.m.

During the dispersal, numerous business windows were shattered by members of the crowd. Officers made several arrests, including one at Southwest Main Street and Broadway where a male fought with officers. Officers were able to get him in custody and recovered an illegally possessed loaded firearm and a knife.

On July 5, police released a photograph of that arrest (below). Andy Ngô of the Post Millennial reported Sunday that the photograph was of Reinoehl.

Portland Police July 5 arrest (Portland Police Bureau)

Portland Police tweeted at the time:

In addition, the Oregonian reported Sunday, Reinoehl posted on Instagram that he was “100% ANTIFA all the way,” adding the hashtag “#blacklivesmatter.”

According to the Oregonian, Reinoehl also faced other charges from a separate arrest, including unlawful possession of a gun.

Many of the rioters who have been arrested in Portland over the past several months have been released shortly thereafter.

Democrats have called the riots “peaceful protests” and criticized federal law enforcement for their involvement, over several weeks, in defending the federal courthouse in Portland from arson and vandalism.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.





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Covid-19 vaccine: China’s been vaccinating doctors and border workers since July


Zheng Zhongwei, director of the Science and Technology Development Center of the National Health Commission, said the vaccine had been approved for use on July 22 during an interview with a Chinese state media broadcaster on Saturday.

Zheng told the CCTV-2 program “Dialogue” that the people who were at high risk of exposure to the virus — including frontline medical personnel, epidemic prevention personnel, medical staff at fever clinics, and customs and border personnel — were eligible to receive the vaccine.

The vaccine was developed by Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group Company (CNBG). Phase 3 clinical trials of this vaccine have been conducted in the UAE, Peru, Morocco, and Argentina.

“There are clear provisions in Article 20 of our country’s vaccine law. When a major public health incident occurs, the National Health Commission submits an application for emergency use of vaccines, and the State Food and Drug Administration organizes experts to evaluate and agree to the NHC for emergency use of vaccines within a certain scale and within a certain limited time,” Zheng said.

Zheng, who is the leader of the vaccine research and development team of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council, said that the next phase of delivery of the vaccine could be used to prevent virus outbreaks in autumn and winter in an attempt to “establish an immunity barrier.”

“Once we build up an immune barrier for medical staff, personnel involved in basic operation of the city, such as those in the farmers market, transportation, and in some service industries” could be eligible for the vaccine, Zheng said. “Then the entire city’s operation has a stable guarantee.”

Vaccines are safe. But huge numbers of people around the world say they wouldn't take a Covid jab
This isn’t the first time the country has approved the use of an experimental vaccine. In June, the Chinese government approved the use of a different vaccine candidate for the country’s military.

That vaccine — which was jointly developed by the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, part of the Chinese government’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences, and vaccine company CanSino Biologics — was given “military specially-needed drug approval” by China’s central military commission in June. The special permission lasts for one year and will only apply to military personnel.

China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of vaccines, and can supply more than 1 billion doses of a vaccine annually from 40 manufacturers across the country, according to the China Human Vaccine Industry Report 2018-2022.

China currently has more coronavirus vaccine candidates in human trials than any other nation.



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US New Home Sales Jump 13.9% In July: Government


Sales of new homes leapt 13.9 percent in July compared to the prior month, demolishing expectations as the US housing market continues to heat up, according to government data released Tuesday.

The sales pace surged to an annual rate of 901,000 single-family homes sold, more than 36 percent above July 2019, the Commerce Department reported.

Sales have been helped by very low borrowing rates, but the results were uneven, with sales in the Midwest jumping an eye-popping 58.8 percent, while the Northeast posted a 23.1 percent drop.

It was the third consecutive month of massive increases, and follows the report last week that existing home sales surged 24.7 percent for a second straight record.

Strong demand is pushing home prices higher, and the average sales price rose to $391,300 from $381,900 in June, even as the median price dipped slightly.

Homebuilders are struggling to keep up with demand, and the supply of new homes on the market fell 13 percent last month, to the equivalent to just four months supply at the current sales pace, according to the report.



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U.S. new home sales beat expectations in July



FILE PHOTO: Real estate signs advertise new homes for sale in multiple new developments in York County, South Carolina, U.S., February 29, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

August 25, 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sales of new U.S. single-family homes increased to their highest level in more than 13-1/2 years in July as the housing market continues to show strong immunity to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has plunged the economy into recession and thrown tens of millions of Americans out of work.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday new home sales rose 13.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 901,000 units last month, the highest level since December 2006. New home sales are counted at the signing of a contract, making them a leading housing market indicator. June’s sales pace was revised upward to 791,000 units from the previously reported 776,000 units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for about 14% of housing market sales, gaining 1.3% to a rate of 785,000-units.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani, Editing by Franklin Paul)





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