An executive from the Greater Houston Partnership spoke with Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce members about the struggle for economic recovery, with forces pulling the economy both in and out of the recession.

Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of the group, said Thursday the struggle was like a tug of war, with some factors pulling Houston’s economy into recovery, and others keeping the economy from progressing and bringing back jobs.

Some positives include consumer sentiment at its highest level since March; single-family home sales and car sales are back up, according to data from the US Census Bureau and the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. Jankowski said an increase in automobile sales was a short-term indicator of consumer confidence, while home sales were a long-term indicator of consumer confidence.

Jankowski also said retail sales overall have risen since the pandemic first hit in March and April, according to census data, like how sales go up around hurricane season.


“Think back about after Harvey hit the region and how regional sales surged because people were having to replace everything that was lost,” Jankowski said. “People weren’t able to shop early on in the pandemic, so now you’re starting to see this increase in retail sales.”

There are still some factors holding back economic recovery, he said, including the still present risk of COVID-119, turmoil in the stock market, high unemployment claims and the lack of a new economic stimulus package.

At the worst part of the great recession in 2009, there were about 600,000 unemployment claims weekly, he said, while the highest the U.S. has seen during the pandemic was 7 million weekly, but that

Boston Red Sox owner John Henry is in talks to join with an investment vehicle for an $8 billion deal that would take his famed sports holdings public, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal being discussed would merge Fenway Sports Group LLC, which also owns English soccer team Liverpool Football Club, with

RedBall Acquisition Corp.


RBAC 0.20%

, the people said. RedBall is a so-called special purpose acquisition company launched by private-equity firm RedBird Capital Partners and Oakland Athletics executive Billy Beane.

RedBall, which raised $575 million in August to buy businesses in sports and sports-related media and data analytics, plans to raise an additional $1 billion to purchase a stake that will total less than 25% in Fenway Sports Group and value it at $8 billion including debt, some of the people said.

The talks are in the early innings and could still fall apart. Fenway’s investors had a meeting recently to discuss the potential transaction, one of the people said.

Also known as blank-check companies, SPACs effectively turn the traditional model for initial public offerings on its head by raising money before they develop a business. They use the proceeds to make an acquisition—usually within a couple of years—that converts the target into a public company.

There has been an unexpected boom this year in blank-check deal making, which has gone in and out of favor over the years, as an increasingly large stable of startups and other private companies seek a more expeditious route to the public markets and sponsors hunt for opportunities in the economic dislocation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Henry, who founded investment firm Henry & Co., bought the Red Sox in 2002 and also owns the

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Friday and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq registered their biggest weekly percentage gains since July as optimism over more federal fiscal aid grew.

Talks were expected to continue on a COVID-19 stimulus package, even though U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed on Friday to reach agreement.

Mnuchin floated a new proposal Friday afternoon, but an aide for Pelosi said it lacked a broad plan to contain the pandemic.

Recent trading on Wall Street has been dictated by headlines on fiscal aid, with the three main indexes tumbling on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump called off negotiations. He has since indicated he was willing to resume discussions.

“The market’s reacting well to Trump’s sudden turnaround in terms of a support package,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York, New York. “A lot of this has been politics, but a lot of people believe the economy really needs some economic support here, so that’s a good thing.”

The S&P 500 technology shares rose 1.5%, and the sector gave the S&P 500 its biggest boost. The small-cap Russell 2000 index climbed 6.4% for the week, posting its biggest percentage gain since early June.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 161.39 points, or 0.57%, to 28,586.9, the S&P 500 gained 30.31 points, or 0.88%, to 3,477.14 and the Nasdaq Composite added 158.96 points, or 1.39%, to 11,579.94.

For the week, the S&P 500 rose 3.8% and the Nasdaq climbed 4.6%, their biggest weekly percentage gains since July. The Dow added 3.3%, its biggest weekly gain since August.

Strategists say investors have also begun to digest the possibility of Democratic candidate Joe Biden winning the Nov. 3 presidential election after a fractious debate last month led to a

(Reuters) – Britain and the European Union have agreed to pursue ‘mini-deals’ in areas of mutual interest, such as aviation and road transport, even if trade negotiations for a wider deal break down next week, The Times https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/post-brexit-britain-and-eu-agree-to-pursue-mini-deals-if-talks-fail-next-week-8b7jrrjc8 reported on Saturday.



FILE PHOTO: EU flag are placed on broken glass and British flag in this illustration picture taken


© Reuters/DADO RUVIC
FILE PHOTO: EU flag are placed on broken glass and British flag in this illustration picture taken

European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and Britain’s chief negotiator David Frost have agreed that even if a wider deal proves impossible to reach on Oct. 15, contact will continue, The Times said.

In such an event, the two sides would spend November attempting to put together mini-deals to offset the likely disruption when the transition period ends on Dec. 31, the newspaper said, without citing sources.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set a deadline of the Oct. 15 EU summit for a deal, but the two sides are still haggling over a trade deal that would kick in when informal membership ends on Dec. 31.

(Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

Source Article

Happy Friday and welcome back to On The Money. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.



a man and a woman wearing a suit and tie: On The Money: Trump fuels and frustrates COVID-19 relief talks | Trump proposes $1.8T coronavirus relief package | Vegas ties helped Trump score $21M windfall in 2016


© Greg Nash
On The Money: Trump fuels and frustrates COVID-19 relief talks | Trump proposes $1.8T coronavirus relief package | Vegas ties helped Trump score $21M windfall in 2016

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THE BIG DEAL-Trump fuels and frustrates COVID-19 relief talks: Washington is waiting for President Trump to make up his mind on coronavirus relief.

In one week, the president has shifted from chief cheerleader for a massive deal to principal pessimist undermining any such agreement – only to reverse course yet again on Friday in urging the top negotiators to “go big” in securing a package he can sign before the elections.

“I would like to see a bigger stimulus package, frankly, than either the Democrats or the Republicans are offering,” he said in a two-hour interview with the conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.

What’s going on?

  • The stunning 360-degree turn has given rise to new hopes that after weeks of stalled talks the White House and Democrats can unite to pass emergency relief.
  • States, families and businesses are being crushed under the weight of a pandemic that’s already killed more than 210,000 Americans and left millions more unemployed.
  • Yet Trump’s message is not only at odds with statements he made just days ago, but also contradicts those from Senate Republicans and some of his own White House aides.

The Hill’s