The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

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

New York City (AFP) – An 11th-hour deal to end the government shutdown and raise the U.S. debt ceiling sparked a strong rally on Wall Street Wednesday, with gains of nearly 1.4 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 205.82 points (1.36 percent) at 15,373.83.

The broader S&P 500 rose 23.48 (1.38 percent) to 1,721.54, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 45.42 (1.20 percent) at 3,839.43.

Although it was not a completely done deal — final votes were still required in both houses of Congress late Wednesday — it was expected that the crisis that had unnerved global markets would be over by Thursday.

“This agreement is likely to prevent a government default on its debt and spending as well as re-open previously closed non-essential government services,” said Gary Thayer at Wells Fargo Advisors.

“However, the compromise does not resolve all the budget problems; it only provides a temporary postponement. Nevertheless, reducing the risk of default could help lift sentiment and boost economic activity over the near term,” he added.

Big banks led the surge: Bank of America, which beat profit forecasts for its third quarter, gained 2.3 percent, Citigroup 4.1 percent and JPMorgan Chase 3.2 percent.

In Nasdaq tech shares, Facebook led the way with a 3.3 percent jump while Google added 1.8 percent.

Fresh third-quarter earnings from a number of companies had a mixed impact.

Dow component Intel rose 1.3 percent despite cutting its forecast for the rest of the year. For the third quarter the chipmaker beat forecasts slightly.

Railway operator CSX fell 0.8 percent despite a 1.8 percent gain in quarterly profits. The company pointed out a significant drop in the volume of coal it hauls.

Pepsico shares were up 2.1 percent despite third-quarter earnings of $1.91 billion that were barely higher than a year earlier.

Apple shares were 0.5 percent higher despite reports that it had cut back orders for its new iPhone 5C due to slow demand in the market for the smartphone.

Toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker dropped 14.3 percent after sharply cutting its earnings forecast for the year, even as the company reported a 44 percent profit gain for the third quarter.

Bond prices surged on the news of a Washington deal. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.67 percent from 2.72 percent late Tuesday, while the 30-year dropped to 3.72 percent from 3.78 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

President Joe Biden

The price of gasoline is not Joe Biden's fault, nor did it break records. Adjusted for inflation, it was higher in 2008 when Republican George W. Bush was president. And that wasn't Bush's fault, either.

We don't have to like today's inflation, but that problem, too, is not Biden's doing. Republicans are nonetheless hot to pin the rap on him. Rising prices, mostly tied to oil, have numerous causes. There would be greater supply of oil and gas, they say, if Biden were more open to approving pipelines and more drilling on public land.

Keep reading... Show less
Youtube Screenshot

Heat deaths in the U.S. peak in July and August, and as that period kicks off, a new report from Public Citizen highlights heat as a major workplace safety issue. With basically every year breaking heat records thanks to climate change, this is only going to get worse without significant action to protect workers from injury and death.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration admits that government data on heat-related injury, illness, and death on the job are “likely vast underestimates.” Those vast underestimates are “about 3,400 workplace heat-related injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work per year from 2011 to 2020” and an average of 40 fatalities a year. Looking deeper, Public Citizen found, “An analysis of more than 11 million workers’ compensation injury reports in California from 2001 through 2018 found that working on days with hotter temperatures likely caused about 20,000 injuries and illnesses per year in that state, alone—an extraordinary 300 times the annual number injuries and illnesses that California OSHA (Cal/OSHA) attributes to heat.”

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}