Today’s Big Picture
Equities in Asia finished mostly higher today, capping off a positive week in full. Japan’s Nikkei traded off modestly today as did Hong Kong’s Hang Seng while China’s Shanghai Composite climbed 1.7% after reopening following the conclusion of the Golden Week holiday. Data from China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism showed 637 million trips in China over the eight-day holiday, which generated revenue of $69.5 billion – now to wait and see what if any fall out there is on the COVID-19 front.
By mid-day trading, European equities were mostly higher and U.S. futures point to a continuation of the week’s move higher for all of the U.S. equity indices. Spurring them on this morning is the continuation of what we can only call fiscal stimulus headline roulette as President Trump says he wants a “big deal” before the election that includes more comprehensive relief. With 24 days until the 2020 presidential election, barring a quick compromise between the two sides, the probability of a fiscal stimulus deal before the election looks increasingly less likely as each day ticks by. Weekend news-watching will be a must as any developments good or bad will set the tone for how global equity markets start next week.
Because a global pandemic, record-destroying fires in the west, and a few hurricanes already under the south’s belt this year just aren’t nearly enough for the joy that is 2020, Hurricane Delta has strengthened to a Category 3 as it churns toward storm-weary Louisiana. It is expected to make landfall as Category 2 or 3 late Friday, battering some of the same areas ravaged by Hurricane Laura.
August Household Spending in Japan fell 6.9% YoY, matching expectations for the month and compared to the 7.6% drop in July. On