Thursday Morning Reads
- BOE Maintains QE Plan
- Bitcoin Soars Above $23,000
- Keeping Security Experts Awake At Night
- Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged
- What’s New With the Fed’s 2020 Bank Stress Tests?
- $900 Billion Covid-Relief Plan Inches Forward
- Workers Tap Retirement Savings as a Last Resort
- A 1958 ’Vette Translated Into Modern Chinese
- Amazon Has Turned a Middle-Class Warehouse Career Into a McJob
- IPO Mania
"The outlook for the economy remains extraordinarily uncertain," Fed Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said during his press conference after the Fed kept the federal funds rate near zero. Still, he assured investors that the central bank has the flexibility to provide more accommodation and remains open to increasing the amount of asset purchases or buying securities with longer-term maturities in the future. The Fed expects the economy should perform strongly in H2 2021 due to the vaccines being distributed now. For the time being, he sees more fiscal support is needed. The market responded to Powell's reassurances with the S&P 500 reaching session highs on Wednesday. (5 comments)
Futures for the three major U.S. stock averages point to gains at the open as Congress haggles over a virus relief deal and stock in Europe rise with the prospect of vaccines being distributed by the end of the year. Nasdaq futuresgain 0.5%, S&P futures rise 0.2%, and Dow futures move up 0.5%. The Stoxx Europe 600 rises 0.4%. Bitcoin surges past $22,000, building on Wednesday's push above $20,000. In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed up 0.8%, Japan's Nikkei 300 rose 0.5%, and the Shanghai Composite index advanced 1.1%.
Congressional leaders are still trying to hash out details on an almost $900M coronavirus relief plan that could be unveiled as soon as Thursday. The draft proposal includes $600 in direct payments to individuals, $300 per week in extra unemployment insurance payments, ~$17B for airlines and more aid for small businesses. It doesn't include aid for state and local governments or lawsuit liability protection, the two issues that have kept Republicans and Democrats at an impasse for months.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) warehouse workers in Alabama who want to unionize will be allowed to vote on the matter, the National Labor Relations Board said. Last month, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union filed paperwork for an election that would represent 1,500 warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama. Amazon, though, said in its documents filed with the NLRB that the action would actually represent more than 5,700 employees, which means the union likely had fewer than the 30% of worker signatures needed for the regulator to oversee the election. The NLRB disagreed, saying it was "administratively satisfied" that the threshold was met. If the workers vote in favor of the union, Bessemer would be the first U.S.-based Amazon facility with a union. (4 comments)
Adidas (OTCQX:ADDYY) plans to invest again in brick-and-mortar stores even after seeing a boom in e-commerce sales during the pandemic and stay-at-home trends work in its favor. "There's no doubt that online has accelerated two to three years into the future... but I actually think if you asked most people, there's a big social element about going out and shopping and just seeing and feeling the products again," stated CEO Kasper Rorsted in a CNBC interview. The German company plans to announce next March details on where it will add stores and how many. There are some hints that the stores could be aligned closely with the e-commerce business. Adidas is coming off a 51% increase in online sales in Q3 and a 93% pop in Q2. For the year, Adidas forecasts churning up $4.9B of online sales.
Go Deeper: Compare Adidas against its peers on key performance stats.
BarkBox - a start-up offering a monthly subscription for dogs - will go public via merger with special-purpose acquisition company Northern Star Acquisitions Corp. (NYSE:STIC), The Wall Street Journal reports. The deal is valued at $1.6B including debt, and Northern Star is expected to raise $454M. The move is not only the latest in the pet world - where pandemic spending on pets has led to recent success for Petco (WOOF), returning to public markets, and for Chewy (NYSE:CHWY) - but also the latest SPAC deal, in the busiest year for the merger vehicle yet.
What else is happening...
In Asia, Japan +0.18%. Hong Kong +0.8%. China +1.1%. India +0.95%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris +0.3%. Frankfurt +0.5%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.5%. S&P +0.2%. Nasdaq +0.5%. Crude +0.6% to $48.12. Gold +0.96% at $1877.40. Bitcoin +14% to $22676.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +5 bps at 0.925%
Today's Economic Calendar