News Round-Up: July 19, 2021

Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro is mad NPR took a look at how he's using anger and political division to make millions.
Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro is mad NPR took a look at how he's using anger and political division to make millions.
Ben Shapiro (screen capture)

Some news items you might have missed:

NPR: Far-right pundit Ben Shapiro (above) is apparently mad that NPR did a deep dive into how he and his website, The Daily Wire, have found success in stoking outrage and political division via conservative clickbait. His site often generates more Facebook engagement on its articles than The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NBC News combined. But, but, but “cancel culture…”

The Advocate: Authorities have charged three adults for their part in shaving a 12-year-old boy’s head to read “gay” then posting a video of the verbal and physical assault on social media.

The Hill: A new OH Predictive Insights poll shows 62% of Arizona Republicans believe the ongoing partisan election audit will eventually find Donald Trump won the state’s 11 Electoral College votes instead of President Biden. No evidence has emerged to suggest widespread voter fraud. Biden won the state by more than 10,000 votes in 2020.

Justice Dept: Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the leader of the white supremacist group Proud Boys, pleaded guilty today to charges in two cases, including one involving the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner stolen from a downtown Washington church. Each offense carries a maximum sentence of 180 days’ imprisonment and/or a $1,000 fine.

New York Times: Wall Street saw its biggest daily decline in months today in a broad sell-off reflecting a range of concerns about economic growth and the potential for rising Covid-19 infections leading to the return of restrictions on travel and tourism.

Axios: With historically low inventory of preowned vehicles, the value of used cars is continuing to climb – even for vehicles with more than 100,000 miles. Car-shopping website Edmunds.com reports the average selling price for a used car with between 100,000 and 110,000 miles on it was $16,489 in June, up from $12,626 a year ago.

Instagram: Model Layna Bloom becomes the first transgender model to cover the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Dow Passes 30,000 As Biden Transition Begins

Following the certification of key states’ Election Day results plus the announcement of former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen to be the next Treasury secretary, stock markets are heading for record territory this morning.

From the New York Times:

The S&P 500 rose about 1.4 percent, and by late morning was trading above its most recent closing record of 3,626.91, reached on Nov. 16. The Dow Jones industrial average rose to a new high, crossing above the 30,000 mark for the first time.

The gains on Tuesday seemed to reflect optimism about the economy, with shares of economically sensitive companies among the best performers. Oil prices also jumped to levels not seen since early March.

Stocks Surge On Economic Stimulus News

(image via Pexels)

It’s amazing what can happen when a president ACTS like a president.

From CNBC:

Stocks surged Tuesday — rebounding from their worst day in more than three decades — as Wall Street cheered White House plans that could inject $1 trillion into the U.S. economy to cushion the blow of the coronavirus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1,048.79 points higher, or 5.2%, at 21,237.31. It briefly dipped below 20,000 for the first time since February 2017 before rebounding. The S&P 500 was up 6% at 2,529.19 while the Nasdaq Composite gained 6.2% to end the day at 7,334.78.

The Trump administration is weighing a fiscal stimulus package of more than $1 trillion that includes direct payments to Americans, according to a source familiar with the matter. Earlier, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters the government is considering directly sending checks to Americans in the next two weeks. “Americans need cash now,” he said.

Wall Street Pundits Worry About Impending Recession As Economy Slows

Wall Street experts say increased stock market volatility may be signs of an impending recession as Donald Trump's trade war with China continues to heat up.
Donald Trump

Wall Street experts say increased stock market volatility may be signs of an impending recession as Donald Trump’s trade war with China continues to heat up.

From Politico:

Over just the last few days, economists at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America all warned that Trump’s bitter trade war with China is taking a bigger bite out of economic growth than expected.

The warnings came as stocks suffered another big dip on Monday with the Dow closing off nearly 400 points, or 1.5 percent, putting the blue-chip index at 25,897, over 700 points lower than it was in January of 2018 before Trump’s trade fights began in earnest. Stocks bounced back Tuesday after the Trump administration’s announcement about postponing some tariffs that had been set to take effect next month, continuing a long track record of market volatility tied to trade policy.

The collective wisdom now spreading across Wall Street is that no trade deal will be struck with China before the 2020 election; business investment will continue to sag; and a series of interest-rate cuts from the Federal Reserve won’t be enough to juice more growth out of an economy now in its tenth year of expansion — the longest stretch in American history.

With economic growth slowing to 2.1 percent in the second quarter, Trump is predictably shifting from crowing about the stock market to blaming the Federal Reserve for not utilizing more interest rate cuts.

Bank of America’s head of U.S. economics Michelle Meyer said in a note to clients that she believes there is a 1-in-3 chance of a recession in the next 12 months.

Stock Market Suffers Deep Decline Over Trump Trade Wars, Tech Stocks

The Dow Jones Industrial Average for the week

Wall Street took a dive Tuesday turning negative for the year.

Target led the way after reporting weaker than expected earnings for the previous quarter

From CNBC:

The 30-Stock Dow fell 450 points after dropping nearly 400 points in the previous session. Earlier in the day, the Dow was down nearly 600 points. The S&P 500 dropped 1.3 percent, but also traded well off its session lows. The Dow and S&P 500 were up 1.2 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, for 2018 entering Tuesday.

Target fell 10.4 percent after reporting weaker-than-expected earnings for the previous quarter. The company also posted lighter-than-forecast same-store sales, which is a key metric for retailers.

Tuesday’s decline came a day after members of the popular “FAANG” trade —Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet — all closed in a bear market, down more than 20 percent from their 52-week highs. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq dropped 1.7 percent and 3 percent, respectively, on Monday while the Dow fell 1.6 percent.

Experts point to Donald Trump’s trade wars, a slowdown in the global economy and the recent cloud that’s hung over Big Tech stocks for the decline.

That said, most say the actual fundamentals of these stocks are solid, but that doesn’t seem to matter to investors today.

Dow makes biggest weekly gain since July 2009

The Dow rallied 7%, its biggest weekly gain since July 2009.

The S&P 500 climbed 7.4%, its best weekly performance since March 2009.

The Nasdaq rose 7.6%, delivering its second-best weekly rise this year.

Concerns about Europe’s debt crisis still put a damper on the final hours of trading today.

Dow on track for biggest monthly gain in history

From ThinkProgress: Despite conservatives’ claims that the rhetoric used by President Obama and the 99 Percent Movement is hurting the economy, the stock market is on track to have one of its best months in history.

The Dow had added about 1200 points this month by the closing bell yesterday, which would be the biggest point gain in the index’s history.

The S&P 500 also had its biggest point gain in history this month. Measured by percentage, both indices are on track for their best month since 1987.

Yeah – President Obama’s policies are clearly bad for business…

Are you paying attention Wall Street?  Seniors – are you seeing your retirement accounts go up?

Thought so.

Stock market finished it’s second-best week in a year

(Via the AP) The stock market finished its second-best week in a year Friday as Europe’s debt problems appeared to get closer to a resolution.

Stocks ended higher for a fifth straight day, the longest winning streak in 2 1/2 months. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 75 points after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called on European finance ministers at a meeting in Poland to reach a solution on Greece’s debt problems.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 finished the week with a 5.4 percent gain. It was the biggest increase for the broad market index since the first week of July.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 75.91 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 11,509.09. The Dow jumped 186 points Thursday, its biggest gain of the week, after five central banks said they would act together to support European lenders with unlimited dollar loans.

The S&P index gained 6.90, or 0.6 percent, to 1,216.01. The Nasdaq added 15.24, or 0.6 percent to 2,622.31.