1. S&P 500, Nasdaq set to add to records with two days left in August
After the S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended at all-time highs on Friday, stock futures in the United States climbed marginally on Monday. For the first time in history, the S&P 500 finished above 4,500. The rally lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average to within 0.5 percent of its record close on Aug. 16.
The stock market rose on Friday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stated that central bankers are not in a hurry to hike interest rates.He stated that rate rise decisions are made apart from the tapering of bond purchases, which he conceded could begin this year. The Dow was up about 1.5 percent with two days left in August, the S&P 500 was up 2.6 percent, and the Nasdaq was up 3.1 percent.
2. Jobs report this Friday may determine future of Wall Street’s rally
The government’s newest monthly employment report, which is due to be released on Friday, may determine whether Wall Street’s gains can be sustained. While Powell stated that the Fed has seen enough progress on inflation, he also stated that the labor situation has not improved sufficiently to begin tapering.
According to economists, 750,000 nonfarm jobs were added in August, bringing the country’s unemployment rate down to 5.2 percent. In July, the economy added 943,000 jobs, bringing the unemployment rate down to 5.4 percent. Early Monday, bond rates were stable, with the 10-year Treasury yielding slightly over 1.3 percent.
3. New Orleans dark after Hurricane Ida; nearly all Gulf oil production halted
Early Monday, oil prices in the United States dipped slightly after jumping 10.6% for the best week in more than a year. After Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in Louisiana on Sunday, gasoline prices increased by more than 1%.
As Ida proceeded inland, it was downgraded to a tropical storm, but more than 1 million Louisiana utility customers, including the whole city of New Orleans, were without electricity. Ida arrived 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on New Orleans. More than 95 percent of US Gulf of Mexico crude oil production was shut down ahead of Hurricane Ida. A large number of refineries were also shut down.
4. U.S. works to get Americans out of Afghanistan as Tuesday’s deadline looms
Senior Biden administration sources said the US has the capacity to evacuate some 300 American citizens still in Afghanistan who wish to leave before the president’s Tuesday deadline for withdrawing American troops. When the Afghan army disintegrated and the Taliban surged back to power on Aug. 15, the evacuations became chaotic as the US government was caught off guard.
A drone strike by the United States on Sunday destroyed a truck carrying “multiple suicide bombers” from Afghanistan’s Islamic State offshoot, which carried out a devastating attack on Kabul airport last week.
5. Average daily Covid deaths in U.S. surge as delta variant spreads
As of Saturday, the seven-day average of daily Covid cases in the United States has risen 5% to approximately 155,000. Daily Covid deaths averaged 1,274 over the same time period, a 27 percent rise over the previous week, fueled by the delta variety. Daily infections in Israel, which serves as a gauge for U.S. trends, reached a pandemic high of more than 12,100.
New cases in Israel had decreased to double digits just months before, following an extensive national immunization campaign, and there were several days in May and June when no new illnesses were detected. Approximately 63 percent of Israelis have been properly vaccinated. In the United States, 52.3 percent of the population has received all vaccines.