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GameStop announced today a multi-year strategic partnership agreement with Microsoft. Under the terms of the deal, GameStop is now an authorized dealer for the Xbox All Access program, which provides an Xbox console and a 24-month pass for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for no cost upfront.

The agreement further involves what GameStop refers to as a “transformation,” where its individual stores will upgrade to take advantage of Microsoft’s suite of business applications and portable devices.

Now, when you walk into a GameStop store, the sales associates will be equipped with Surface tablets for searching purposes, working with Microsoft Teams, and running the back end with Microsoft’s cloud-based Dynamics 365 suite of applications. In fact, by the terms of the deal as written in GameStop’s press release, it looks less like a partnership and more like Microsoft is sponsoring GameStop as one would a softball team.

“For many years GameStop has been a strong go-to market partner for our gaming products, and we are excited about continuing and evolving that relationship for the launch of the Xbox Series X|S,” Microsoft Xbox chief Phil Spencer said in a statement. “GameStop’s extensive store base, focus on digital transformation in an omni-channel environment and expert gamer associates remain an important part of our gaming ecosystem, and we’re pleased to elevate our partnership.”

The Xbox Series S, left, and the Xbox Series X. (Microsoft Photos)

News of the deal caused GameStop shares to jump 21%, which is enough to qualify this as the first good news that GameStop has received in quite some time. While GameStop is still the single largest video game retailer in the world, with more than 5,000 retail stores worldwide, it was seen as being on a downward spiral even before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, Sept. 29:

a close up of a sign: Coronavirus, Covid-19 Aid, Microsoft, Micron - 5 Things You Must Know Tuesday

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Coronavirus, Covid-19 Aid, Microsoft, Micron – 5 Things You Must Know Tuesday

1. — Stock Futures Pull Back

Stock futures declined modestly Tuesday as the global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic passed 1 million and investors assessed a fresh $2.2 trillion aid proposal from House Democrats.


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Wall Street also was looking ahead to the first presidential debate Tuesday evening between U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27 points, S&P 500 futures were down 3 points and Nasdaq futures declined 29 points.

Stocks finished sharply higher Monday as equities came off a four-week losing streak. The Dow gained 410 points, or 1.51%, to close at 27,584, the S&P 500 rose 1.61% and the Nasdaq rose 1.87%.

The scaled back $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package released by House Democrats Monday evening would restore $600 weekly jobless benefits. The proposal is less than the $3.4 billion bill passed by the House in May, but remains above what Senate Republicans have said they would accept.

A vote on the legislation could come later this week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Monday evening and the two agreed to talk again Tuesday. Negotiations over Covid-19 relief have been at a stalemate since early August.

“While investors may be feeling optimistic about a stimulus, I think there are still some significant risks ahead the market today does not seem to be reflecting,” said Ken Moraif, senior financial advisor at Retirement Planners of America. “We have what I believe is complete uncertainty about the impact of the upcoming election, the future path of Covid-19, and worries about rising infections in the winter, which could all

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