Pearce married Ray a year ago — on Oct. 6, 2019, to be exact — at the peak of a high-profile romance that occurred while her Lee Brice duet, “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” was on its way to becoming her biggest single to date. The joy of that moment was shadowed by the death of her producer, busbee (Maren Morris, Lady A), which brought both grief and a creative issue: Nothing else on her self-titled sophomore album had the ’90s vibe that “Hope You’re Happy” maintained, and she felt she needed to cement the direction that single had led her.

“I had to have a really big ‘come to Jesus’ with myself and go, ‘Do you have something on this album that follows it up correctly?’ And also, ‘Do you have a song that you identify with?’ ” remembers Pearce. “I didn’t, and I have a great team that allowed me to kind of shut the door on that album.”

She enlisted songwriter-producers Shane McAnally (“One Night Standards,” “Nobody but You”) and Josh Osborne (“Happy Anywhere,” “One Man Band”) to produce the next project, and when they met up via Zoom in June to write at a COVID-19-induced distance, she clued them in to her personal news: She was about to file for divorce, and she intended to write about the split.

“I’ve always been somebody who’s very transparent,” she says, “and this is not something that I’ve gone through once. This is something that I’ve encountered quite a bit in my life.”

“Next Girl” was the third or fourth song they wrote for her next project. She brought in the title and originally planned to open it with a formal salutation, “Dear next girl.” Osborne and McAnally convinced her to change it to “Hey, next

Kelcy Warren, the Dallas billionaire known for controversial pipelines and aggressive dealmaking, is stepping down as chief executive officer of Energy Transfer LP. But if the move is anything like those of fellow moguls in the pipeline industry, he isn’t going far.

The company late Thursday named chief operating officer Mackie McCrea and chief financial officer Tom Long as co-CEOs. Warren, 64, will stay on as executive chairman and remains the top investor. He’ll also retain a majority stake in the so-called general partner that controls Energy Transfer’s board.

Warren appears to be following a playbook employed by his billionaire rivals in the pipeline industry. Kinder Morgan Inc. founder Rich Kinder continues to serve as his company’s chairman despite relinquishing the CEO title in 2015, and Randa Duncan holds the same spot at Enterprise Products Partners LP after her father, the company’s founder, died in 2010.

“Although I am stepping away from the day-to-day management of our business, I will continue to be intimately involved in the strategic growth of Energy Transfer,” said Warren, who has a net worth of about $3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Warren co-founded Energy Transfer in 1996 alongside Ray Davis, who now co-owns the Texas Rangers baseball team. Warren’s appetite for takeovers and his use of the tax-advantaged master limited partnership model allowed him to turn 200 miles of natural gas conduits into one of the biggest pipeline operations in the country.

Those same characteristics have frequently earned him the ire of everyone from regulators to environmental groups to investors.

Warren rose to national attention for his Dakota Access crude oil pipeline, which triggered months of on-the-ground protests after the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe objected to the path of the project in North Dakota. Even once Dakota Access faded from headlines after

The numbers: The huge service side of the U.S. economy — retailers, restaurants, banks, hospitals and the like — expanded in September for the fourth month in a row and employment also grew for the first time since the pandemic began, a survey business executives showed.

An index of non-manufacturing companies rose to 57.8% last month from 56.9% in August, the Institute for Supply Management said Monday.

Any number above 50% means more companies are expanding. Strong gains in both the ISM service and manufacturing indexes suggest the recovery set down more roots in September.

Read:Consumer confidence surges to highest level of coronavirus era

The surveys are limited in what they reveal, however. The ISM survey of senior executives asks if business has gotten better or worse compared to the prior month, but it doesn’t reveal how much better. As the result, the relatively high level of the index overstates how well the economy is performing.

While many companies have fully reopened and are getting back up to speed, others like restaurants and airlines continue to operate under government restrictions or have suffered a deep decline in customer traffic that won’t be quickly reversed.

What happened: New orders and production both grew a bit faster in September.

The index of new orders dropped rose to 61.5% from 56.8%. And the gauge for production edged up to 63% from 62.4%.

The best news was employment turning positive for the first time since February. The employment gauge climbed to 51.8% from 47.9%, suggesting companies are adding more workers than they are letting go.

Service-oriented businesses cut millions of jobs earlier in the pandemic and employment remains well below precrisis levels, however. Nor is the coast entirely clear.

Read:U.S. adds 661,000 jobs in September and unemployment rate falls to 7.9%


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Forget the chaos of the first presidential debate—it’s the chaos surrounding the last-ditch efforts at a Covid-relief bill that’s really causing the market consternation.

You wouldn’t know it from just looking at where the stock market finished. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

gained 329.04 points, or 1.2%, to 27781.70, while the

S&P 500

rose 0.8% to 3363.00, and the

Nasdaq Composite

advanced 0.7% to 11167.51.

Given that the market was deep in the red in the early hours of the morning, we’re happy to take an up day like that. But it could have been so much better. At its peak, the Dow was up more than 573.67 points, a result of comments made by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s optimistic comments about a possible relief bill. Senator Mitch McConnell, however, threw cold water on the possibility of a deal, and the Dow shed 250 points.

“The conversation will continue, but will it be enough to get the Senate to move?” asks Evercore ISI’s Dennis DeBusschere. “This is really tough to game out. Would say that it doesn’t look dead, but Trump is going to have to push McConnell / Senate it seems.”

That it finished the day higher was likely due to positive economic releases, including better-than-expected Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Index and ADP jobs releases, and another big jump in pending home sales. And with the official payrolls report due Friday, and more negotiations on a relief package still to come, the last two days of the week could be pretty wild.

“Today’s volatile session was likely the start of a three-day ‘trade-fest’ as the second half of the week looks at least as action-packed,” writes Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman. “The slew of bullish economic releases, the heated presidential debate, and the rampant stimulus-related speculation led to

Read about how Congress delaying the stimulus doomed lots of smaller businesses. How to artfully negotiate a correction. Why Consumer tech spending could accelerate. Why many market views have become predictable despite so much uncertainty and possible outcomes. And how you may regret waiting for another market pullback before buying. It’s all on Real Money right now.

a sign at night: 5 Best Stories on Real Money: Cramer's DC Failure, Market Turns

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5 Best Stories on Real Money: Cramer’s DC Failure, Market Turns

Here are five must reads from the columnists of Real Money and Real Money Pro, our premium sites for Wall Street professionals and active investors:


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Jim Cramer: Thanks for Nothing, Washington

Washington failed. Without a stimulus, it’s too late. While it may be great for the stock market, it’s horrible for the 14 to 15 million souls trying to put food on the dinner table, writes Jim Cramer.

When people say the stock market doesn’t reflect the real economy they are missing a salient point: By designating some companies as essential and others as non-essential, the state governments doomed lots of smaller businesses. They ended up desperate for funds.

Rev Shark: The Art of Navigating a Correction

Most traders and investors experience a similar pattern of profits and losses in their accounts. We work hard to steadily build gains in our accounts and then the market will suddenly reverse and we see weeks or even months of hard work suddenly disappear in just a few days.

It can be discouraging and downright depressing and we will berate ourselves for not being more careful. We assure ourselves we will not let it happen again, but of course it does, says James “Rev Shark” DePorre. Sizable, sudden losses will occur when the market turns. Find ways to use that to your advantage.

Jhonsa: Stimulus and Cold Weather Could Light Fresh