1. Stocks Firing On All Cylinders
U.S. equities have continued to rise amidst talk of a $1.8 trillion stimulus package endorsed by President Trump. However, opposing takes from both Democrats and Senate Republicans threaten to derail the package. The S&P 500 closed at $3,477.13, approaching its all-time high at $3,588.11. The Dow Jones and NASDAQ closed at $28,586.90 and $11,579.94 respectively, also approaching new records.
After a poor September for stocks, a historical precedent, investors will likely be looking toward developments in the upcoming November election as they decide how they want to play the market. Expect volatility to pick up in the near future, as both political and pandemic uncertainty increase.
2. Flu… and COVID-19 Season
As flu season approaches, health officials continue to worry about worsening COVID-19 outbreaks. Many fear that the flu has the potential to amplify the effects of COVID-19. The number of reported new cases has continued to increase, to as high as 360,000 each day. The United States remains the leader in total cases at over 7.7 million, with India and Brazil close behind.
Spain’s government recently declared a state of emergency in Madrid, amidst a second wave of COVID-19 cases. Europe was especially hit by the virus in earlier stages, and there are fears that government mismanagement of the crisis will leave the continent struggling once again.
3. Big Tech Once Again in the Spotlight
A report on U.S. tech giants from the House of Representatives this past week has once again put the likes of Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon into the spotlight. Legislators have been urging new laws to break up what are said to be monopolies with increasing market shares in increasingly uncompetitive markets.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an especially interesting twist in antitrust discussions – while most companies struggled, tech companies continued to thrive, propelling the sector to unseen heights. Now, with cash piles larger than many Fortune 500 companies, tech giants have the ability to continue to make acquisitions and expand into more lines of business. It remains to be seen if U.S. officials will choose to regulate such companies.