As top lawmakers continue negotiations over the next stimulus legislation, an unusual sticking point has emerged.
The U.S. Postal Service has been plagued by problems over the past few months. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has made cost-saving cuts, which have caused severe service delays.
As part of the stimulus legislation talks, Democrats are pushing for more funding for the postal service. They believe service must be improved as election season approaches. Millions of Americans are expected to vote by mail, making timely delivery critically important.
Republicans are digging in on how much will be spent. The stimulus legislation passed in the House is estimated cost $3 trillion. The Senate version of the bill comes in closer to $1 trillion. The Republican-controlled Senate isn’t anxious to spend more money, especially when negotiators are still stuck on whether to extend unemployment benefits and by how much.
It’s important that a deal on stimulus legislation is reached soon.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has said negotiations on stimulus legislation will end if a deal isn’t reached by Friday.
That would likely mean more stimulus is off the table until after the election.
Stocks continue to soar. And that’s causing a rush of new initial public offerings. In fact, the average IPO is jumping over 43% – making it the hottest sector of the market.
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The Big News . . .
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Lockdowns and Quarantines
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has extended phase two of the state’s reopening plan until at least Sept 11. The governor says public health experts need more time to look at infection trends as schools and universities reopen. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has also strengthened the city’s quarantine. He’s ordered NYC’s sheriff and other law enforcement officials to set up checkpoints at major entries into the city, such as Penn Station, airports, bridges, tunnels and major roadways. Travelers from high-risk areas will be required to register with authorities and observe a 14-day quarantine.
Vaccine Maker Posts A Loss
Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) reported second-quarter earnings yesterday. Despite a 407% surge in sales to $66.35 million, the company reported a loss of $0.31 per share. With Moderna in final phase testing of a promising vaccine candidate, earnings and sales could be looking up in coming quarters.
Sony Wins on Games
People have had time to kill during the pandemic and they’ve been buying games. Japan’s Sony Corp. posted a 1.1% decline in first-quarter operating profit, much better results than expected thanks to its gaming business. Sony sold 91 million games for its PlayStation 4 console in the quarter, though hardware sales were down. The PS5 is expected to be released by the holiday shopping season.
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The Coronavirus Numbers
Here the numbers from Thursday at 4:58 a.m. EST:
- 18,999,947 Infected worldwide
- 711,622 Global deaths
- 4,973,741 Infected in the U.S.
- 161,607 Deaths in the U.S.
After the record-setting plunge in second-quarter GDP, there’s been intense pressure on Congress to pass a second round of stimulus.
Economists believe it’s critical to kickstart the economy. Between cash payments, higher unemployment benefits and eviction protections, another round of stimulus will help prop up consumer spending.
As usual, though, the politics of getting a deal done are pretty sticky.
Especially with an election fast approaching.
Yet the bull market remains in full swing.
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Yours in Health & Wealth,