The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

New York (AFP) – U.S. stocks Monday moved mostly lower in early trade as investors looked ahead to a smattering of economic reports in a holiday-shortened week.

About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 5.71 points (0.03 percent) to 16,484.12.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 1.58 (0.09 percent) to 1,839.82, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 11.31 (0.27 percent) to 4,145.29.

With many investors still on holiday, trading volume this week is expected to be light, creating conditions for possible volatility. Markets are open all week, except for New Year’s Day on Wednesday.

Investors are watching for Monday’s report on pending home sales and other economic releases later in the week on consumer confidence, home prices and a few other indicators.

The Dow and S&P 500 last week pushed to new highs on three successive sessions before declining slightly on Friday. The S&P 500 is up more than 29 percent on the year.

Cooper Tire & Rubber fell 3.1 percent after announcing it had ended a proposed merger with India’s Apollo Tyres. The deal, announced in June, became bogged down in legal sniping related to labor problems within Cooper’s U.S. and Chinese operations.

Footwear maker Crocs gained 12.7 percent after announcing that Blackstone Group is investing $200 million in the company and taking a 13 percent stake. Crocs plans a $350 million stock repurchase program.

Dow component the Walt Disney Company rose 2.6 percent following a strong performance of its film “Frozen” over the important holiday weekend.

Banking giant Wells Fargo was unchanged after announcing a $591 million settlement with state-controlled mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae to resolve claims it sold defective loans prior to 2009.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year bond slipped to 2.99 percent from 3.01 percent Friday, while the 30-year fell to 3.92 percent from 3.94 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Levin

Politico reported Friday that John Eastman, the disgraced ex-law professor who formulated many of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, was also apparently in communication with Fox News host Mark Levin. The story gets even more interesting from there, revealing the shell game that right-wing media personalities engage in while doubling as political operatives.

A legal filing by Eastman’s attorneys reveals that, among the messages Eastman is still attempting to conceal from the House January 6 committee are 12 pieces of correspondence with an individual matching Levin’s description as “a radio talk show host, is also an attorney, former long-time President (and current board chairman) of a public interest law firm, and also a former fellow at The Claremont Institute.” Other details, including a sloppy attempt to redact an email address, also connect to Levin, who did not respond to Politico’s requests for comment.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Wendy Rogers

Youtube Screenshot

There have been powerful indicators of the full-bore radicalization of the Republican Party in the past year: the 100-plus extremist candidates it fielded this year, the apparent takeover of the party apparatus in Oregon, the appearance of Republican officials at white nationalist gatherings. All of those are mostly rough gauges or anecdotal evidence, however; it’s been difficult to get a clear picture of just how deeply the extremism has penetrated the party.

Using social media as a kind of proxy for their real-world outreach—a reasonable approach, since there are few politicians now who don’t use social media—the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights decided to get a clearer picture of the reach of extremist influences in official halls of power by examining how many elected officials participate in extremist Facebook groups. What it found was deeply troubling: 875 legislators in all 50 states, constituting nearly 22% of all elected GOP lawmakers, identified as participating members of extremist Facebook groups.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}