A summary of financial, economic, and other news
Friday was the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Some long-standing traditions were modified because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Major U.S. stock indices finished the week lower. “Following the fastest 10% correction in the history of the Nasdaq last week — taking just three sessions, surpassing even March’s blisteringly fast slide — investors are split on whether it’s a buying opportunity or the start of a new bear market.”
Here’s what happened last week:
- What is a correction? When a market, stock, or index falls by 10% to 20% from recent highs, it is called a correction. Often, corrections occur when share prices or index values have risen higher than consensus estimates indicate they should be.
- Hurricanes, wildfires, and other market events. A new report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission stated, “Beyond their physical devastation and tragic loss of human life and livelihood, escalating weather events also pose significant challenges to our financial system and our ability to sustain long-term economic growth.”
- Vaccine trial interrupted. Trials for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University paused last week after a participant developed an unexplained illness. After an investigation, trials resumed. These events are not unusual in vaccine testing, according to America’s leading infectious-disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
- Employment: It’s a convoluted story. While the unemployment rate improved in August, the pace of job creation slowed. Job posting data indicates there were fewer jobs available than there were unemployed Americans. In every state, job postings were down when compared to 2019. The decline varies by state, ranging from down 4% to down 46%.
- Zoom Town boom. There’s a new trend in remote work. Workers who don’t need to be in the office are buying real estate far from home. Many vacation destinations are becoming ‘Zoom Towns.’ Meanwhile, apartment vacancies are rising in cities across the country. For instance, the number of empty apartments in Manhattan tripled, year-to-year.
- A new Cold War. The trade war with China is devolving into a technology Cold War. “China is racing to develop semiconductors and other core technologies so as to reduce its vulnerability to supply chains that pass through the United States. In pursuit of that goal, its leaders are mobilizing tech companies, tightening links to the countries participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and sustaining a campaign of cyber-industrial espionage.”
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