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Stocks flat, Trump back in action on stimulus bill, Apple announces event

Written By | Oct 6, 2020
stiumulus bill, Trump, Apple

Cartoon by Garrison. Reproduced with permission and by arrangement with Grrrgraphics. Slightly resized to fit CDN’s format.

WASHINGTON – Despite all the media’s bathetic weeping and gnashing of teeth, President Trump has returned to the White House, moderately subdued but as feisty as ever. He’s not quite as fit as the proverbial fiddle. But he’s already back in action, trying to prod Congress to come up with a stimulus bill sometime before the start of his 4th term. Meanwhile, Apple will soon have some news.

UPDATE: 3:46 p.m. ET.

Oooops! Looks like the President got fed up over the constant wrangling over the stimulus bill, according to CNBC. Now, he’s instructed his people to forget about further negotiations and help the GOP-led Senate get his new Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, confirmed ASAP.

“‘I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business,’ Trump tweeted on Tuesday.”

Kiss today’s almost-rally good-bye. The Dow is currently down nearly 400 points. The tech-heavy NASDAQ and the broader based S&P 500 are off in roughly the same proportion, roughtly – 1.5% as we near Tuesday’s closing bell. That’s why writing financial columns these days is a treacherous game. Perhaps this is a negotiating ploy by the President. We’ll just have to wait and see after the usual Democrat denunciations die down.

Also Read: Monday Markets rejoice as Trump announces return to the White House

Is Mr Market Waiting for Godot again?

Right now, it’s Tuesday afternoon. And as the final hour of trading approaches, we’d have to say that today’s stock market action has proved to be decisively… boring. Major market averages are nearly flatline at the moment. True, they’ve been up a fair bit today from time to time. But they also seem comfy hanging out slightly below the zero line. If this persists, we’ll have to put up our Waiting for Godot image again.

Despite the deep disappointment by the media, the Democrats, and most East and West Coast rich guys that the President did not succumb to the coronavirus, life goes on in The Swamp. The rich guys actually love Trump’s economic policies. They just hate Trump. But even at this stage of the electoral game, they’d rather vote out these policies and go back to the painful, 8-year Obama-Biden slog and continue America’s journey to oblivion. Go figure. Mr Market can’t.

Will the VP debate move the electoral needle? Or influence the rumored stimulus bill?

We’ll get another chance to see where the politics of the market might be going with Wednesday’s VP debate between current Veep Mike Pence and wannabe Veep Kamala Harris. Personally, I’d expect something closer to a normal debate. But then again, we’ll have to see just how partisan the latest media “moderator” turns out to be after last week’s Chris Wallace-led anti-Trump tag-team debacle.

The upcoming debate might influence this week’s market action, or even some movement on the stimulus bill. (But see update above.) That might be why Mr Market finds himself reluctant to commit either way at the moment.

Bottom line: passing some kind of stimulus bill that doesn’t totally reward Speaker Pelosi’s greedy intransigence might finally move the needle again on our stalled out autumn stock market rally. We’re not sure here that a stimulus bill is truly  needed. But, as Fed Chair Powell has strongly hinted, Congressional action to inject more fiscal stimulus and worker support would certainly help the Fed in its efforts to pump up a clearly awakening but still sluggish Covid-perplexed economy.

Of course, former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke spent years trying to get Congress to help the Fed out under Obama-Biden. But then, as now, the Dems were reluctant to help out in this effort until and unless their supporters got the bulk of the money. This is why Congress no longer works. And it’s the same issue that’s stalling the current proposed legislation.

Any predictions on the outcome of that stimulus bill cliffhanger?

History tells us that the GOP will cave to Democrat extortion. It’s not only because so many GOPers are essentially passive wimps who just want to get re-elected. It’s also because the GOP, while in the Senate majority, has enough turncoats in its midst that it can’t always crack the always totally-unified Democrat phalanx. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. But Mr Market is still getting restless.

Apple set to reveal Part II of its autumn product rollout: A new 5G iPhone?

In other news, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has just announced an October 13 event, which is obviously going to involve the BIG REVEAL of the company’s latest iPhone model. Specifics, such as we can discover, are laid out in a brief CNBC piece by Todd Haselton.

“The event starts at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET and will be streamed online due to the ongoing spread of coronavirus. The events are usually hosted in person at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.”

How’s that for journalistic precision? “Usually hosted”? So what about this year’s event? Oh, well… It’ll likely be livestreamed somewhere.

More on 5G technology. Sort of…

The new phone will almost certainly involve Apple’s introduction of 5G capabilities, even though no one outside of a few large cities even knows what 5G is.

For us non-tech weenies, 5G is (allegedly) a notably faster, smoother, more efficient new-generation cellular network that should make all that cool electronic stuff even better and better. Depending on what kindof 5G people can access. We’ll leave it at that for now.

On the other hand, most rural Americans probably won’t see 5G rolled out in the hinterlands until we’re well into President Trump’s 6th or 7th term. Maybe if they’d wise up and vote for Biden next month, things would get better, quicker.

At any rate, Apple’s stock will now be in continuous play for the next week or so. The anticipation of new iPhone models generally drives the stock up and up. Until the announcement-event. At which point, the overinflated shares will tank for a period of time. Yet perhaps in this already screwed up year, the usual pattern won’t hold. Prognostication is a loser’s game in 2020, so we won’t go beyond this observation.

Rather than waste any more virtual ink on today’s market, we’ll sign off for now, hoping things might get more exciting tomorrow.  Have a good Tuesday evening.

– Headline image:  Cartoon by Garrison. Reproduced with permission and by arrangement with Grrrgraphics.
Slightly resized to fit CDN’s format.



Terry Ponick

Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Senior Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17