A socialist is now the head of the powerful Senate Budget Committee, the committee that is responsible for drafting Congress’s annual budget plan. Bernie wants free healthcare, free childcare, and the elimination of all student debt. Get ready for big tax increases, America.
— Maria Bartiromo (@MariaBartiromo) January 15, 2021
Markets Fret Over Sanders’ Role As Head Of Budget Committee, Stocks Flat As Investors Brush Off Impeachment Plans
By Forbes, January 15, 2020
All the major indexes are once again roughly flat near their record highs as investors continue to eye a Thursday stimulus announcement that should help calm uncertainty over the incoming administration’s policy agenda–and what that could mean for stocks.
Shortly after the market open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up just 14 points, or less than 0.1%, while the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq also climbed just 0.1% each.
Though they were on track for gains, stock futures slipped in the early morning due to some “likely anxiety about the upcoming [administration’s] economic agenda,” said Vital Knowledge Media Founder Adam Crisafulli, pointing to a late-Tuesday report from the New York Times about the role progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) could play in fiscal policy after Inauguration Day.
That’s when the progressive senator is set to start heading up the powerful Senate Budget Committee, which oversees the massive federal budget that spurred weeks of disagreements before the new year; Sanders has promised to take “aggressive” stances on climate change, healthcare and taxes–much to the chagrin of Republicans and the market.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Consumer Price Index, the most widely used measure of domestic inflation, increased 0.4% in December after rising 0.2% in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday, driven largely by a 8.4% increase in gas prices.
Prices have climbed 1.4% over the past 12 months–fairly below the Federal Reserve’s longtime annual inflation target of 2% and therefore likely to temper some concerns over spiking inflation (at least temporarily).
On the earnings front, Big Lots shares are falling 8% after the retailer reported a worse-than-expected 8% increase in comparable-store sales, while Target previewed a better-than-expected increase of 17% (its shares are flat).
Shares of Intel, on the other hand, are surging 13%–hitting their highest levels in six months–after the chipmaker said it will replace its current CEO with Patrick Gelsinger, a former Intel executive and the current CEO of software firm VMware; in the S&P, energy firms TechnipFMC and Dupont De Nemours are heading up losses, falling 4% and 2%, respectively.
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