This could happen today

10/20/2020 | 09:50am

Investors are hoping to see some progress today on a stimulus package to support the US economy. The deadline set by Nancy Pelosi for Congress to reach an agreement has now expired. The S&P 500 is currently up 0.5 %.

Nancy Pelosi hopes that by the end of today, it will be known whether a bill can be passed before the November 3 elections. Republicans and Democrats have been in talks for nearly three months on a possible new major plan to support the U.S. economy that would take over from the emergency plan voted on in the spring, but have so far failed to reach a consensus.

The White House proposed last week to increase to $1.8 trillion the new envelope to help U.S. businesses and households affected by the coronavirus pandemic. But the Democratic opposition has deemed this proposal insufficient: it wants a broader package of measures valued at 2.2 trillion dollars.

If a compromise was adopted, it would then have to be passed by the Senate. Wall Street lost ground yesterday, with declines of more than 1% for all three indices, due to the lack of compromise in the House of Representatives on the support plan.

Today is also two days before the second and last televised debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. In order to give the two candidates time to deploy their ideas rather than interrupt themselves, the independent commission that manages this debate has decided to cut off the microphone of the opponent. On every topic, each candidate will have two minutes of calm to express themselves. But these moments of relative tranquility will be interspersed with periods of 15 minutes of exchanges. This will certainly be one of the last high points of the election campaign, and perhaps the opportunity to move the lines for Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, data released today shows that U.S. home construction surged by 1.9% in September after having fallen by 6.7 percent in August.

Romain Fournier
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