Stock futures little changed after S&P 500 closes at highest level since early March

Stock futures were little changed Tuesday evening at the start of the overnight session, taking a pause after the S&P 500 closed out at its highest level since March 5.

Earlier, stocks pared some gains in the final 30 minutes of trading during the regular session Tuesday, after Bloomberg reported U.S. officials were considering sanctioning Chinese officials and entities over a new national security law that would impose on the autonomy of Hong Kong, a region which has special trade status with the U.S.

Still, the threat of heightened tensions with China did little to knock stocks off their upward trajectory during the session. The Dow closed out the session up more than 500 points, or nearly 2.2%.

Tuesday’s rally was led by the Financials sector in the S&P 500, and big banks including Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) outperformed in the Dow as longer duration Treasury yields

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FAANG stocks are totally ignoring the COVID-19 pandemic and are approaching this stunning level

Once thought of as nothing more than risky high growth tech stocks, FAANG stocks (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) have turned into the modern day consumer staples complex amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NYSE FANG+ Index (^NYFANG)— comprised of 10 top names in tech such as the aforementioned Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google — has climbed to within 3% of its record high of 3,905 hit on Feb. 19. For good measure, the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) remains 11% shy of its Feb. 14 all-time high.

Year-to-date, the NYSE FANG+ Index is up nearly 20%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) and S&P 500 (^GSPC) are down 14% and 9%, respectively, this year. The Nasdaq Composite is up 3%.

“With this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic causing a near-term consumer/enterprise spending abyss and the markets under major pressure, the FAANG names have been viewed as relative safety blankets

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US coronavirus response “lacks leadership at the federal level”

Philanthropist Melinda Gates on Thursday sharply criticized the U.S. response to the coronavirus outbreak, telling Yahoo Finance that the country is “lacking leadership at the federal level” and as a result has endured unnecessary deaths and economic pain.

“It’s highly distressing and disappointing,” says Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which she said has donated $300 million to organizations involved in the coronavirus response.

“To have 50 state-grown solutions is inefficient, it makes no sense, and it’s costing people their lives,” she adds.

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday “there’ll be more death” as states lift stay-at-home measures but has urged a path toward reopening the economy in order to blunt job loss and other damaging effects caused by the mandates.

[See also: Melinda Gates: Coronavirus exposing ‘broken caregiving’ system in US]

The Trump administration has drawn criticism for what some consider a failure to

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Bethenny Frankel predicts coronavirus will level the Hollywood playing field

Coronavirus has effectively shut down Hollywood, with every major movie theatre chain closed, big film releases delayed, and film shoots halted on all new studio projects. Streaming hours are way up on services like Netflix and Disney+, but those platforms won’t get any brand new premium content for a long time. As New York Magazine writes, “Hollywood is all but writing off 2020.”

On the other hand, internet creators are cranking out content from home, much of it unvarnished and spontaneous, on TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

Bethenny Frankel, who became famous from reality television (first on “The Apprentice” and then “Real Housewives of New York”), believes coronavirus is creating another shift away from scripted programming.

“I used to work in Beverly Hills as a hostess right around the [1988] writers’ strike, and I remember feeling like reality TV was borne out of that lack of scripted

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Teens are worried about the economy, have cut spending to the lowest level since 2011

U.S. teens are worried more than ever about the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Piper Sandler’s Spring “Taking Stock With Teens” survey.

“Coronavirus” was listed as the No. 2 social/political concern amongst teenagers just behind the environment, the closely-followed semi-annual survey found.

What’s more, “coronavirus” was mentioned unaided by the teen respondents. Piper Sandler also noted that the earliest mention of “coronavirus” as a concern was on February 18, “much earlier than most Western governments.”

The survey also found that teens are worried about the economy, with 47% indicating that they believe the economy is getting “worse,” up from 28% a year ago.

“We saw a higher level of mentions around the ‘stock market’ and the ‘economy’ as top concerns,” the Piper Sandler researchers wrote. “One teen wrote in: ‘Restaurants are closing, I lost my job due to it.’”


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