TikTok, Taylors, SpaceX and Stimulus - 5 Things You Must Know Monday

Stock futures edge lower as investors look to Washington for fresh stimulus support, TikTok is on the clock and Microsoft is at the ready, retailers continue to struggle and SpaceX splashed down Sunday, ending the first American spacecraft voyage in nearly a decade,
Author:
Publish date:

Here are five things you must know for Monday, August 3

1. -- Stock Futures Ease on Stimulus Concern

 U.S. equity futures edged lower Monday, while gold tested fresh all-time highs and Treasury yields fell, as investors kicked-off the month in a cautious mood, eyeing stimulus talks in Washington and a coronavirus infection surge in major economies around the world.

 .Lawmakers on Capitol Hill carried talks on a new stimulus package into the weekend Saturday, and while both sides hailed "good progress' from the meetings, Republicans and Democrats remain at least $1 trillion apart on their proposed bills.

Against that backdrop, new coronavrius infection rates continue to trend at around 60,000 per day, taking the U.S. total to around 4.75 million, with at least 157,000 deaths since its outbreak earlier this year.

Around the world, infections have risen past 18 million, with at least one million added to the total every four days now that outbreaks are being recorded in Britain, Australia, Japan and many other nations around the Asia region.

U.S. earnings, however, have also head steady investor nerves, with the collective estimate for the second quarter season improving to a decline of -33.8% from -40.3% last week following a series of blowout reports from tech giants such as Apple, Amazon and Facebook.

Around 132 S&P 500 companies are expected to report this week, including Walt Disney DIS, CVS Health CVS, Bristol Myers BMY and Lowes L.

U.S. equity futures, meanwhile, are pointing to a softer start to the week, with contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which gained 2.38% in July, priced for a 67 point pullback and those linked to the S&P 500, which is up 1.25% for the year, suggesting little change at the start of trading. 

2. -- Stuff a Fever, Starve a COVID?

U.S. lawmakers ended weekend talks on a new coronavirus stimulus package without a deal on Saturday, despite the expiration of emergency unemployment benefits that were adding $18 billion into economy each week.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected a proposal from Republicans that would have extended the $600 benefit for another week, noting that the two sides are not on a path towards a broader, more longer-term deal.

"I'm not optimistic that there will be a solution in the very near term," White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CBS' "Face the Nation" "We continue to see really a stonewalling of any piecemeal type of legislation that happens on Capitol Hill,."Hopefully that will change in the coming days."

The two sides remain stuck on the total amount of emergency benefits -- which Democrats want held at $600 and Republicans would like cut to $400 -- and the overall cost of their respective bills, which range from $1 trillion for the GOP to $3.3 trillion for the Democrats.

3. -- The Clock is TikToking 

Microsoft Corp.  (MSFT) - Get Report, is ready to step in and purchase the U.S. operating of TikTok, the China-based social media group with over 100 million users, following weekend talks with President Donald Trump.

Trump has grown concerned with the influence of TikTok, a short-form media app popular with teenagers and young adults around the world, following reports that users may have influenced the low turnout at his July rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Trump has also noted issues with privacy and data protection linked to the app, which is owned by China-based ByteDance and valued at around $50 billion.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has said ByteDance must fully divest its U.S. operations, and Trump has given Microsoft 45 days to complete the transaction following a Sunday phone call with Microsoft CEO . 

4. -- A Bad Weekend For Tailors  (and Taylors)

Tailored Brands  (TLRD) - Get Report because the latest victim of the country's retail sector collapse this year after the Men's Wearhouse owner filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday after reaching an agreement with creditors to reduce it debts by around $630 million.

Tailored Brands, like many non-essential retailers, was forced to close the bulk of its U.S. stores -- including Jos. A. Bank, Moores Clothing for Men and K&G Fashion Superstore -- during the peak of the cornavirus pandemic, triggering a switch in consumer spending to online giants such as Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Report, which saw its revenues rise to a record $88.9 billion over the three months ending in June.

The Houston-based retailer's Sunday bankruptcy was followed by a similar Chapter 11 filing by Lord & Taylor, a nearly 200-year old department store chain that now plans to liquidate inventory at its 38 locations around the United States. 

5. -- What a Ride! 

 Following two months at the international space station, a team of two NASA astronauts aboard the SpaceX's Crew Dragon craft has returned to Earth Sunday afternoon.

The mission marks a first for SpaceX, founded by Tesla TSLA honcho Elon Musk. It was also the first water landing -- or "slashdown" -- of an American crew aboard U.S.-made spacecraft in 45 years, according to NASA. 

The astronauts -- Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken -- said they were "feeling well" upon landing, according to live video of the event.

U.S. astronauts Hurley and Behnken made the splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico at around 2:50 p.m. ET on Sunday.

The SpaceX capsule had earlier made headlines on May 31 when it hooked up with the international space station. The trip will likely be widely seen as a major step in the emerging commercial partnership with the U.S. aeronautics and space agency.