What’s new? (November 14-20)
One down, one to go
President Biden enacted a $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Monday. While not as ambitious as the $ 2.3 trillion plan he proposed, it provides billions for improving roads, ports and power lines and for increasing internet access. broadband and replace dangerous lead drinking water lines. The fate of a separate $ 2 trillion spending program focused on climate change, early childhood education and a wide range of social policy initiatives remains in flux. Opponents say it will worsen inflation. (The Biden administration has argued that it will reduce inflation by making businesses and workers more productive.) And the Congressional Budget Office said on Thursday that the program would increase the federal budget deficit by $ 160 billion over the years. Next 10 years. The social safety net bill was narrowly passed by the House on Friday, but now faces a difficult path in the Senate.
Retail is up, ‘stay at home’ stocks are down
Americans are shopping. Retail sales in October jumped 1.7% from September, according to new government data released last week (adjusted for inflation, which in October hit a three-decade high, sales were still in 0.7% increase). The shift in consumer spending from services to goods during the pandemic does not appear to have reversed, although more people are returning to entertainment outside of their homes. But signs of less time at home can be read elsewhere: The shares of some companies that have seen sales soar during the pandemic, such as exercise bike company Peloton and Zoom Video, the conferencing software in line, collapsed with the reopening of the economy.
A shortage of computer chips has forced automakers to shut down production several times this year amid growing demand for their vehicles. Ford on Thursday announced it would tackle the problem by bringing chip production closer to its country. He said he had signed a non-binding agreement with a US-based semiconductor supplier called GlobalFoundries to develop chips for Ford vehicles and that the companies would consider expanding domestic production of the chips. General Motors said it is also looking to take a more active role in chip production, working with chipmakers to develop three types of microprocessors that meet all of its computing needs.
And after? (November 21-27)
President Biden is expected to announce his Federal Reserve presidential candidate this week. Jerome H. Powell’s term as President ends in February. A Republican appointed Fed governor by President Barack Obama, he has a good chance of being re-appointed, according to people familiar with the administration’s internal discussions. But it’s also possible that the job will go to Lael Brainard, a Fed governor who pushed the Fed to take a more active role in climate finance policy and has a more favorable stance on digital currency. Mr Biden’s move comes at a crucial time for the Fed, which is still grappling with the fallout from an ethics scandal. The Fed is also facing rapidly rising inflation that has held up for longer than expected and a labor market that has yet to fully recoup the millions of jobs lost at the start of the pandemic.
The holiday shopping season begins
It has been a difficult year for retailers as the pandemic has not only changed shopping habits, but has also resulted in labor shortages and supply chain disruptions. But maybe the worst is over. Walmart and Home deposit both reported earnings above Wall Street expectations last week, and Macy’s raised its outlook for the full year after strong third-quarter sales. Traders expect a Holiday shopping season record, although its traditional Black Friday kickoff doesn’t seem exceptional to its customers. With demand exceeding supply, deals are unlikely to be stellar.
Apple’s new repair program
After years of resistance to making its devices easy to repair, Apple will start selling parts, tools and guides to repair its devices starting early next year, the company said last week. For decades, it was impossible for consumers to repair their own devices, which meant it was easier to buy new products. But it was out of phase with Apple’s climate action commitments. Apple’s change of mind may also have been spurred on by an announcement from the Federal Trade Commission in July that the agency would crack down on companies that made their devices difficult to repair.
Biden’s social policy bill at a glance
Kenneth Griffin, the head of hedge fund Citadel, paid $ 42.3 million at auction for a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution, beating a hastily organized group of cryptocurrency fans who had raised about $ 40 million in less than a week. Miramax is suing Quentin Tarantino over his plan to sell Pulp Fiction NFTs. John Deere, on the third try, finally came to an agreement with the strikers. And the home of the Los Angeles Lakers will soon be known as Crypto.com Arena.