Politics: You and your mask

Politics: You and your mask

Masks are a given part of the daily wardrobe for most Americans. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of 900 registered U.S. voters finds that 74% always wear a mask in public; 14% sometimes wear one. Another 6% say they rarely wear a mask and 5% skip it altogether. Stock market futures are pointed confidently higher this morning, riding tailwinds from a host of upbeat blue-chip earnings reports Despite over a 55% rise since the March 23 lows of this year, at the current price of around $100 per share we believe AbbVie stock has more room for growth. AbbVie’s stock has rallied from $65 to $100 off the recent bottom compared to the S&P which moved 44%, with the resumption of economic… The “coronavirus second wave” was such a big focus for so long, but the US forgot one little detail: We never flattened the curve from the first wave and now COVID-19 infections are skyrocketing across the country. “If we truly want to reward work in this country, we have to ease the financial burden of care that families are carrying,” the presumptive Democratic nominee said. U.S. stock markets closed higher on Monday as the tech rally resumed after the gap of a week.

Masks are a given part of the daily wardrobe for most Americans. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of 900 registered U.S. voters finds that 74% always wear a mask in public; 14% sometimes wear one. Another 6% say they rarely wear a mask and 5% skip it altogether.

The poll also reveals that 6-out-of-10 voters also favor presidential or congressional candidates who focus on controlling the spread of coronavirus by requiring masks in public, or by other means. A quarter of voters prefer a candidate who pushes reopening businesses and bolstering the economy instead. An indifferent 14% said neither aspect was important to them.

President Trump recently made his first public appearance in a sleek navy blue mask, complete with gold presidential seal. Meanwhile, Fox News morning host Steven Doocy points out that some people believe wearing a mask restricts their personal rights.

“It has become a political thing. Is wearing a mask a political statement?” Mr. Doocy asked White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Tuesday.

“President Trump’s been very clear that wearing masks has nothing to do with politics. He would wear them in certain scenarios, as he did at Walter Reed when he couldn’t socially distance and was in a hospital. So it’s never been a political issue for him. It shouldn’t be a political issue,” she replied.

“What is your message to people who will not wear a mask because they feel it’s infringing on their rights, and when they don’t want the government to tell them what to do?” asked Mr. Doocy.

“I would say the CDC’s been clear that it’s recommended but not required. There’s not a federal mandate. But if you can’t socially distance, follow the president’s lead. Put on a mask. I think that’s the best way forward. And the president has been saying that for weeks,” Ms. McEnany observed.


There is not much sales data reflecting how much we spend on masks. Yet. It’s coming, because the amount is huge. Here’s one example: E-commerce giant Etsy reports that their sales of masks are up 79%. The company sold 12 million in April alone, raking in $133 million. Etsy’s stock price also has tripled since then.

Meanwhile, a new Goldman Sachs analysis estimates that use of masks would increase by 15% if there were a federal mandate requiring masks in public — which the research says would lower the rate of coronavirus cases by 1 percentage point. The result: People would get out and about, spend more money and add $1 trillion of “economic activity” to the GDP — rather than the 5% drop which would occur if the U.S. renewed a national lockdown, the analysis said.

“It is important to recognize that this estimate is quite uncertain because it is based on a number of statistical relationships that are all measured with error. Despite the numerical uncertainty, however, our analysis suggests that the economic benefit from a face mask mandate and increased face mask usage could be sizable,” the analysis explained.


One observer has advice for those weary of “cancel culture” which almost instantly undermines those who don’t follow a certain script crafted by those looking to change America.

“To defeat cancel culture, vote Republican,” writes Spencer Klavan, assistant editor of the Claremont Review of Books, in an essay for Newsweek.

‘You may fiercely oppose some GOP policies — you may want to defend abortion rights or universalize health care — but we will be unable to have those debates at all if we lose our freedom of speech. Republicans will protect that freedom. Democrats will not,” he says. “There is one party — the Republicans — which opposes cancellation and another — the Democrats — which promises to become the hollowed-out mouthpiece of all the worst that cancel culture has to offer.”


As of Wednesday, the city of Portland, Oregon, has endured 53 days of nonstop rioting and protests. The Portland Business Alliance now says local merchants have lost $23.2 million in revenue due to social unrest, property damage and stolen merchandise.

Meanwhile, the Portland Police racked up $6.2 million in overtime costs — plus a yet-unavailable price tag on damaged police property and vehicles. In addition, Portland accounted for half of all Oregon’s jobless claims, despite being just 15% of the state’s population.

“Things will only get worse as businesses flee. This is how cities die. By electing ideologues who don’t care about enforcing the law, who show contempt for average taxpayers, and who impose leftist policies on the local community that damage the economy. Businesses and residents have been leaving Los Angeles and San Francisco, and now they’re walking away from Seattle,” says an editorial from Issues & Insights.

“Portland may be next. It’s already losing population. As a recent Wall Street Journal piece notes: ‘In just three months it has become clear that modern urban progressivism is politically incompetent and intellectually incoherent.’ Of course, it’s never too late to change course. But that’s never been the far left’s strong suit, has it?” asks the editorial.


Fox News remains the most-watched network in the entire cable realm for the 28th week in a row according to Nielsen. Last week, Fox News drew a prime-time audience of 3 million viewers, followed by MSNBC (2 million), CNN (1.6 million), HGTV (1.3 millions and TLC (1.2 million).

Prime-time host Sean Hannity remains top dog with a nightly audience of 3.8 million, followed by Tucker Carlson with 3.7 million. Both shows outranked such broadcast programs as NBC’s “Today” and “Meet the Press” plus ABC’s “Good Morning America.”


• 52% of U.S. adults “strongly support” public policy which makes face masks mandatory in public places; 36% of Republicans, 44% of independents and 75% of Democrats agree.

• 19% overall “somewhat support” such a policy; 24% of Republicans, 20% of independents and 15% of Democrats agree.

• 8% overall “somewhat oppose” such a policy; 9% of Republicans, 10% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.

• 14% overall “strongly oppose” such a policy; 28% of Republicans, 13% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.

• 7% overall are not sure; 3% of Republicans, 13% of independents and 4% of Democrats agree.

Source: AN ECONOMIST/YOUGOV poll of 1,500 U.S. ADULTS conducted July 12-14.

• Helpful information to [email protected]

Source: www.washingtontimes.com

Author: The Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com

Stock Futures Eye Outsized Gains After Coca-Cola, IBM Earnings - Schaeffer's Investment Research

Stock Futures Eye Outsized Gains After Coca-Cola, IBM Earnings – Schaeffer’s Investment Research

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are looking at a big push above fair value this morning, buoyed by the latest batch of upbeat corporate reports. Blue-chips Coca-Cola (KO) and IBM (IBM) are in focus, after both reported second-quarter earnings that surpassed analysts’ projections. Futures on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are also eyeing outsized opens as optimism grew after Monday’s daily count of cornavirus cases increased by the smallest in a week. Meanwhile, overseas the European Union (EU) agreed on an $857 billion relief package, while back in the U.S., House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said another stimulus bill for the states most likely won’t be passed until at least August.

Continue reading for more on today’s market, including: 

  • Schaeffer’s Senior Market Strategist Matthew Timpane has a theory about this all-important sentiment ratio.
  • Digging into AstraZeneca’s options pits after its big vaccine update.
  • Plus, Lockheed Martin scores beat-and-raise; Prime Day postponed; and Novartis regrets exiting the vaccine game.
  • Stock Futures Chart July 21

  • Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) stock is up 4% in electronic trading, after the defense contractor reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that topped analyst forecasts. The company also upped its full-year guidance. LMT will look to face off with its year-to-date breakeven point today. 
  • Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock is 2% higher ahead of the open, set to build on yesterday’s big day. The e-commerce giant announced it was delaying its vaunted Prime Day, with the new date likely later this year. Evercore ISI also chimed in with a price-target hike to $3,250 from $2,450 today. AMZN is up 73% in 2020.
  • The shares of Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) are off by 1.4% before the bell, after the pharmaceutical company cut its 2020 sales outlook. Novartis exited the vaccine market six years ago. NVS is down 7% year-to-date, with pressure forming at the shares’ 160- and 200-day moving averages.
  • Today will bring the Chicago Fed national activity index in terms of economic data. Meanwhile, Capital One Financial (COF), Philip Morris (PM), Snap (SNAP), Teradyne (TER), Texas Instruments (TXN), and United Air Lines (UAL) will all step in to the earnings confessional.  

    Buzz Chart July 21

    Source: www.schaeffersresearch.com

    Author: by Patrick Martin

    AbbVie Stock Has More Upside?

    AbbVie Stock Has More Upside?

    BRAZIL – 2019/06/26: In this photo illustration an AbbVie logo seen displayed on a smartphone. … [+] (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

    Despite over a 55% rise since the March 23 lows of this year, at the current price of around $100 per share we believe AbbVie stock (NYSE: ABBV) has more room for growth. AbbVie’s stock has rallied from $65 to $100 off the recent bottom compared to the S&P which moved 44%, with the resumption of economic activities as lockdowns are gradually lifted. AbbVie stock is also up 18% from levels seen in early 2018.

    AbbVie stock has fully reached the level it was at before the drop in February due to the coronavirus outbreak becoming a pandemic. Despite the healthy rise since the March 23 lows, we feel that the company’s stock still has potential, because of its current valuation, and the recent Allergan acquisition, which has expanded its drugs portfolio.

    Some of this rise of the last 2 years is justified by the roughly 18% growth seen in AbbVie’s revenues from 2017 to 2019, which clubbed with margin expansion from 19% to 24%, and a 7% dip in total shares outstanding, translated into a strong 60% EPS growth.

    While the company has seen steady revenue and earnings growth over recent years, its P/E multiple has contracted. We believe the stock is likely to see significant upside despite the recent rally and the potential weakness from a recession driven by the Covid outbreak. Our dashboard, ’What Factors Drove 18% Change in AbbVie Stock between 2017 and now?’, has the underlying numbers.

    AbbVie’s P/E multiple decreased from 26x in 2017 to 16x in 2019. While the company’s P/E is now 19x there is an upside when the current P/E is compared to levels seen in the past years, P/E of 26x at the end of 2017 and 23x as recent as late 2018.

    So what’s the likely trigger and timing for further upside?

    The global spread of coronavirus has meant there just aren’t many people visiting doctors for non-emergency cases, and several types of elective surgeries are being postponed, resulting in lower prescriptions being issued. Though the impact of the current pandemic was minimal on AbbVie in Q1, with its sales growing 10% due to inventory stocking benefit in the wake of Covid-19, we believe the company’s Q2 results on July 31 will confirm the hit to its revenue.

    One of the reasons for the decline in P/E multiple for AbbVie despite strong earnings growth over the recent years was its reliance on one particular drug – Humira – which accounts for 60% of its total sales, and its period of market exclusivity will end in 2023, exposing the blockbuster drug (annual sales of over $19 billion) to biosimilar competition. However, AbbVie in May 2020 completed the acquisition of Allergan, which has expanded AbbVie’s portfolio with Allergan’s existing blockbuster treatments, including Botox, Restasis, and Juvederm. With the Allergan acquisition, Humira will now account for less than 40% of the company’s total sales, and the figure will be even lower over the coming years, as sales from its relatively new drugs, Venclexta, Skyrizi, Rinvoq, and Orilissa among others, gain market share. Another important drug for AbbVie is Imbruvica, which garnered $4.7 billion in sales in 2019, and its peak is estimated to be north of $7 billion. While Humira sales are expected to decline over the coming years, we believe AbbVie’s current portfolio as well as its robust pipeline will likely be able to more than offset it and bolster the company’s overall earnings growth.

    Over the coming weeks, we expect continued improvement in demand and subdued growth in the number of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. to buoy market expectations. Following the Fed stimulus — which set a floor on fear — the market has been willing to “look through” the current weak period and take a longer-term view, with investors focusing their attention on 2021 results and beyond. Given AbbVie is trading at an attractive valuation, when compared to the historical P/E multiple for the company, the stock will likely see more upside in the near term. Though market sentiment can be fickle, and evidence of an uptick in new cases could spook investors once again.

    While AbbVie stock looks like it can gain more, which S&P 500 component stocks have the best chance of outperforming the benchmark index? Our 5 In the S&P 500 That’ll Beat The Index: TWTR, ISRG, NFLX, NOW, V look promising.

    See all Trefis Price Estimates and Download Trefis Data here

    What’s behind Trefis? See How It’s Powering New Collaboration and What-Ifs For CFOs and Finance Teams | Product, R&D, and Marketing Teams

    Source: www.forbes.com

    Author: Trefis Team

    5 things to stock up on before soaring coronavirus cases cause sell-outs again

    5 things to stock up on before soaring coronavirus cases cause sell-outs again

  • The “coronavirus second wave” was such a big focus for so long, but the US forgot one little detail: We never flattened the curve from the first wave and now COVID-19 infections are skyrocketing across the country.
  • It’s true that hospitals in some areas will be better prepared this time around, but coronavirus cases are already climbing far too rapidly to contain in many states like California, Florida, Texas, and others.
  • We all know where this is going and If you’re smart, sadly, and if you’re smart you’ll stock up on certain essentials now — like best-selling coronavirus face masks and strong hand sanitizer — so you’re not left scrambling when inventory shortages inevitably hit again.
  • Coronavirus lockdowns began back in March in the United States, and there’s simply no way we could’ve continued to keep people cooped up at home any longer. Should we? Probably, but it’s a moot point. Economies have reopened all across the country and unfortunately, many people out there somehow still haven’t gotten the message that they need to wear masks and practice social distancing. As a result, they’re still not being safe enough when they go out and now new coronavirus cases are skyrocketing across the country. Incredibly, we’re now even worse off than we were back in April.

    Intelligent people likely don’t even need to read the CDC’s recommendations to know that they need to wear face masks when they go outside. They also know they need to use hand sanitizer like Purell whenever they touch a surface or object in public. They know they need to sanitize things in their homes and offices with disinfectant wipes all the time (Purell wipes are in stock right now at Amazon at elevated prices if you’re running low and in dire need). Not everyone is as smart or as cautious though, and there will likely be supply shortages in the coming weeks and months as case numbers continue to soar.

    Do you want to deal with another rush on essentials? No, of course you don’t. That’s why you should definitely stock up now, and here you’ll find five key things you’d be wise to load up on.

    Jointown 3-layer face masks are by far the best-selling masks on Amazon and they do a great job of protecting you when combined with strict social distancing and good hygiene. Plus, they only cost 50¢ per mask thanks to a coupon, so you should definitely stock up.

    For higher-risk activities like taking public transportation, flying, or visiting a doctor’s office, more effective KN95 face masks are good to have. MagiCare KN95 face masks are very popular with our readers and are back in stock right now at the lowest price we’ve ever seen. Head over to eBay and you’ll easily pay $10 or $12 apiece for KN95 masks!

    If you want the best of the best, there have been some rare opportunities lately to load up on things like 3M KN95 masks, 3M respirators with NIOSH-approved particulate filters, and Honeywell face masks that are typically reserved for hospitals and government agencies only. Note that these will likely be sold out by the time you get to them, but bookmark those pages and check back often because they appear back in stock from time to time.

    Lastly, you might also be able to get 3M N100 face masks and Hui You KN95 face masks if you hurry.

    The big news here is that Purell hand sanitizer is FINALLY back in stock on Amazon and there are FINALLY options that are available to everyone, not just hospitals. Some prices are inflated (like Purell sanitizing wipes, which you should only order if you have a very urgent need) but prices have actually come down a bit and are quite reasonable if you buy Purell bottles in bulk.

    MedEx Hand Sanitizer Gel with the same formulation as Purell has been very popular among our readers and it’s now finally back in stock. It’s a soothing gel with moisturizers including vitamin E, and it’s more than strong enough to kill coronavirus.

    If you’re looking for another good option with even more coronavirus-killing alcohol in its formulation, Forward Science Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Spray has been a best-seller for a while now. 6-packs of 8-ounce bottles are now back and it has 80% alcohol content so it’s the strongest hand sanitizer you can get right now.

    Finally, people in search of a good option from a top brand will find Suave Hand Sanitizer Spray in stock at Amazon.

    Remember how difficult it was to find toilet paper a month ago? Well, it’s still that tough to find in some areas and it’s going to get even worse once coronavirus infection rates start climbing again. Do yourself a favor: Visit Amazon’s toilet paper page and stock up — Charmin, Cottonelle, and Quilted Northen are all in stock today if you hurry!

    The run on paper towels was nowhere near as bad as the run on toilet paper, but good brands are still difficult to find in some regions. Paper towels never expire and you’ll always need them, so you might as well stock up on paper towels while some decent options are still available.

    Last but certainly not least, don’t forget how difficult it was to find protective gloves between March and May. In fact, some sizes are still tough to come by. Order up a bunch of nitrile gloves now so you don’t have to worry about it later.

    Follow @BGRDeals on Twitter to keep up with the latest and greatest deals we find around the web. Prices subject to change without notice and any coupons mentioned above may be available in limited supply. BGR may receive a commission on orders placed through this article, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

    Source: bgr.com

    Author: Maren Estrada

    With Sweeping $775 Billion Investment in Child and Elder Care, Biden Goes Big to End 'Caregiving Crisis'

    With Sweeping $775 Billion Investment in Child and Elder Care, Biden Goes Big to End ‘Caregiving Crisis’

    Child care worker Debbie James-Dean uses a feather duster to tickle Aubrey Albritton, 16 months, as she goes over the color green during an activity at a Kids Are Us Learning Center in Southeast Washington, D.C., on Friday, March 24, 2017. James-Dean has been working in the field for nearly 20 years and earns $12.75 an hour. (Photo: Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

    Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday won praise from progressives when he unveiled the third portion of his “Build Back Better” economic program, focused on investing in caregiving for children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. 

    The 10-year, $775 billion investment would create three million jobs in the caregiving sectors and free up millions of Americans for employment after being tied to childcare or caring for family members, according to the Biden campaign. The plan would be funded by ending “unproductive and unequal” tax breaks for rich real estate investors and increasing tax compliance for the wealthy. 

    Outlining his proposal in a speech in New Castle, Delaware, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said that people who care for the most vulnerable Americans have been “underpaid, unseen, and undervalued” for too long—while those who need help to take care of their children and other family members are strained by the cost of the services.

    “If we truly want to reward work in this country, we have to ease the financial burden of care that families are carrying,” Biden said. “We have to elevate the compensation for people providing that care, the benefits and dignity of caregiving workers and early childhood educators. Even before the pandemic, millions of working families were faced with enormous financial and personal strain trying to raise their kids and care for their parents or loved ones with disabilities.”

    “The professional caregivers out there — the home health care workers, childcare workers, are more often women, women of color, and immigrants —are too often underpaid, unseen, and undervalued,” Joe Biden says while announcing an economic plan to help parents and caregivers. pic.twitter.com/Caf6WTUasb

    — MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 21, 2020

    Under the proposal, Biden would provide a bailout to child care centers, which are currently at the center of what the former vice president called the nation’s “caregiving crisis.” As Common Dreams reported in June, economists have called for a $50 billion investment in the industry, in which many centers are in danger of closing for good following the loss of tuition, often their primary or sole source of income, during the pandemic.

    “The way to boost labor supply in an effective and humane way is not to make the safety net as stingy as possible, but instead to make public investments that broaden the range of opportunity available for working-age adults.”
    —Josh Bivens, EPI

    Included in the aid for the child care industry would be increased pay, benefits, training, and the ability to unionize for child care workers, who earn, on average, less than $30,000 per year.  The plan would also provide funding to eliminate “child care deserts” by constructing new centers in rural areas. 

    Republicans in Congress have blocked Democrats’ efforts during the pandemic to stabilize the child care industry while also rejecting proposals to guarantee parents paid leave in order to lessen families’ need for child care. 

    Biden said the investment would include universal pre-kindergarten for three- and four-year-old children, a proposal which would begin to close the gap between the U.S. and every other wealthy country in the world, where universal child care programs exist. The program would lay “a strong foundation for children and [save] parents thousands of dollars a year on child care costs,” Biden wrote in a Medium post Tuesday. 

    Borrowing from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) Social Security expansion plan, which she released last year while running in the Democratic primary, Biden included in his proposal Social Security credits for those who provide unpaid labor by caring for family members, as well as a $5,000 tax credit.

    Warren, who is reportedly on Biden’s vice presidential nominee short-list, applauded the proposal in an interview on MSNBC.

    “If you want millions of parents to be able to go to work then they’re going to need child care and that’s what Joe Biden understands,” the senator said. “He understands that the economy works when we invest in families. His plan is both economically sound and meets people where they are at a human level.”

    The economy works best when we invest in families. @JoeBiden’s Build Back Better platform is economically sound and meets people where they are at a human level—from creating new jobs in caregiving and education to ensuring that parents have access to safe, affordable child care. pic.twitter.com/lrRkb4yXSc


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    — Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) July 21, 2020 

    At the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), Josh Bivens wrote that Biden’s “ambitious” investment in caregiving is “most welcome.”

    The plan “would greatly expand the opportunities for working-age adults to seek paid employment,” as well as leading to more productivity in the workplace and income gains and making strides to ensure “a decent and dignified retirement” for all, Bivens wrote. 

    Bivens noted that the Biden proposal answers EPI’s earlier call, in 2016, for “an ambitious national investment in America’s children” in order to close the gap between the United States’ record on women’s workforce participation and that of other wealthy countries. 

    “In 1990, for example, women’s prime-age labor force participation in the United States ranked 7th of 24 among the advanced economies with available data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),” Bivens wrote on Tuesday. “By 2000, the United States had slipped to 16th of 35 OECD countries, while in 2019 our ranking was 30th of 35.”

    Entirely closing the gap would create five million jobs in the U.S., EPI estimated in 2016, and Biden’s plan would bring the country more than halfway to that goal. 

    Bivens denounced the Republican Party’s plan to end the $600 per week unemployment bonus that was passed as part of the CARES Act, one that the party claims is aimed at “spurring labor supply.” 

    “Their stated concerns about the labor supply effects of these UI enhancements should not be taken seriously,” Bivens wrote, “The way to boost labor supply in an effective and humane way is not to make the safety net as stingy as possible, but instead to make public investments that broaden the range of opportunity available for working-age adults.”

    For families which provide nearly 34 billion hours of unpaid work caring for elderly relatives each year, Biden’s investment would allow “a nontrivial fraction of this work to be performed by professional care workers” and “would open up opportunities for these family members to search for jobs themselves,” Bivens added. 

    Jamaal Bowman, a progressive who won the Democratic primary in New York’s 16th congressional district against Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) last month, praised Biden’s plan as a “real investment in jobs, wages, child care and long-term care.”

    “Investments in early education are invaluable for our communities, our economy, and our kids’ futures,” tweeted Save the Children Action Network. “We thank Joe Biden for sharing his plans on how he would invest in kids.”

    Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

    Source: www.commondreams.org

    Author: Common Dreams

    Stock Market News for Jul 21, 2020

    Stock Market News for Jul 21, 2020

    U.S. stock markets closed higher on Monday as the tech rally resumed after the gap of a week. Moreover, positive developments on the coronavirus treatment front and expectations of a fresh dosage of fiscal stimulus from the U.S. government strengthened investors’ confidence. All three major stock indexes ended in the green.

    How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 0.1% to close at 26,680.67. Notably, 20 components of the 30-stock blue-chip index ended in the red while 10 closed in green. The Nasdaq Composite ended at 10,767.09, surging 2.5% or 263.90 points. This marked 28th closing high of the tech-heavy index so far this year. During intraday trading, the Nasdaq Composite recorded a fresh all-time high of 10,783.80.

    Meanwhile, the S&P 500 gained 0.8% to end at 3,251.84. The broad-market index turned positive year to date with a marginal gain of 0.7%. The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) and the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) climbed 2.6% and 1.6%, respectively. Notably, eight out of eleven sectors of the benchmark index closed in negative territory while three in positive territory.

    The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 4.8% to 24.46. A total of 9.96 billion shares were traded on Monday, lower than the last 20-session average of 11.31 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.09-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.11-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.

    Technology Sector’s Rally Resumes

    The technology sector is holding its ground defying coronavirus-induced severe volatility. In 2020, when the overall market is struggling thanks to the global outbreak of COVID-19, it is the technology sector that appears the only silver line safeguarding investors’ money to a great extent.

    The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK), one of the 11 broad sectors of the S&P 500 index, remained the best performer providing 24.7% returns in the past three months. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite skyrocketed 62.4% from its recent lowest level recorded on Mar 23.

    On Jul 20, tech-behemoths like Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN – Free Report) , Microsoft Corp. (MSFT – Free Report) , Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL – Free Report) and Apple Inc. (AAPL – Free Report) rallied 7.9%, 4.3%, 3.1% and 2.1%, respectively.  Each of these stocks carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strog Buy) stocks here.

    Positive Developments on COVID-19 Treatment Front

    Medical journal The Lancet reported that a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University in association with AstraZeneca PLC (AZN – Free Report) revealed promising clinical trial data in a large, early-stage human trial. Moreover, British pharmaceutical company Synairgen PLC announced that the clinical trial result of its new respiratory coronavirus treatment showed reduction in the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients needing intensive care support.

    Meanwhile, Pfizer Inc. (PFE – Free Report) and BioNTech SE (BNTX – Free Report) reported that their jointly developed experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced a T-cell response in people participating in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in Germany. Earlier, this drug produced a promising data in a placebo-controlled, randomized Phase 1 study being conducted in the United States.

    Expectations of a Fresh Stimulus

    Market participants are closely watching the outcome of the upcoming meetings between U.S. lawmakers about a fresh  round of fiscal stimulus to combat coronavirus-induced economic devastations.

    The U.S. government is expected to unveil another $1 trillion of fiscal stimulus, much lower than $3.5 trillion proposed by Senate Democrats. The investors’ are expecting around $1.5 trillion of fresh stimulus. Notably, the government already injected $2 trillion of fiscal stimulus in April.

    Stocks That Made Headline

    Chevron Inks $5B Acquisition Deal With Noble Energy

    More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!

    It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 27 billion devices in just 3 years, creating a $1.7 trillion market.

    Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 6 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don’t buy now, you may kick yourself in 2021.

    Click here for the 6 trades >>

    Source: www.zacks.com

    Author: Zacks Investment Research

    Politics: You and your mask

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