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A Wall Street chief strategist says US lawmakers need a deal on fiscal aid – even a small one will help save consumer spending

A Wall Street chief strategist says US lawmakers need a deal on fiscal aid – even a small one will help save consumer spending

FILE PHOTO: Traders gather at the booth that trades Abbott Laboratories on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, December 10, 2012.   REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Traders gather at the booth that trades Abbott Laboratories on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange


  • Crossmark Global Investment’s chief market strategist Victoria Fernandez told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” Tuesday US lawmakers need to decide on a fiscal package, even if it is smaller in size, to save consumer spending.
  • She said consumers have almost spent their consumer checks which is worrisome going into the holiday season. 
  • “Even if it is a smaller number, or a one-time check, it is going to give support to that consumer as we go into the last quarter of the year and that is where you need to start looking at your portfolio to balance that out a little bit,” she said. 
  • She said investors should look at a combination of growth and value stocks, as well as different segments of the financial services sector to weather uncertainty. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

US lawmakers need to decide on a fiscal stimulus package, even if it is a smaller one, to prop up consumer spending, particularly going into the holiday shopping period, Victoria Fernandez, chief market strategist at Crossmark Global Investments told CNBC’s”Trading Nation” Tuesday 

“We really need that consumer to hang in there. For that to happen, we will need to see another round of stimulus, even if it is a smaller deal, or not the $600 we saw before,” she said. “Even if it is a smaller number, or a one-time check, it is going to give support to that consumer as we go into the last quarter of the year and that is where you need to start looking at your portfolio, to balance that out a little bit.”

With around 10 million Americans still out of work, many consumers will have long since spent their

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White House’s line on economic aid descends deeper into incoherence

White House’s line on economic aid descends deeper into incoherence

It was six days ago when Donald Trump, after weeks of confusing and contradictory messages, announced that he was pulling the plug on bipartisan talks on an economic aid package. White House officials said the process was over and negotiations would not begin anew before the elections.

It was four days ago when the president, realizing he’d “messed up tactically,” began calling for renewed talks on economic aid.

And it was three days ago when Trump told Rush Limbaugh that his newest position was the opposite of the one he’d held earlier in the week.

“I would like to see a bigger stimulus package than, frankly, either the Democrats or the Republicans are offering,” Trump said on an appearance of the Rush Limbaugh Show on Friday, acknowledging it was “the exact opposite” of his initial demands.

I realize that the president doesn’t generally keep up on current events, but when he mentioned the package “Republicans are offering,” he was referring to the proposal floated by his own White House. It’s his own team that’s responsible for making the “offer,” which in turn created an awkward dynamic: Trump effectively told Limbaugh that he’s against Team Trump’s plan.

While the president was delivering that message, his team was extending a new pitch to congressional Democrats: a $1.8 trillion aid package, well below the $2.4 trillion package House Democrats recently approved, and roughly half the $3.4 trillion proposal Democrats pushed several months ago.

Trump told Fox News yesterday that GOP lawmakers are fully on board with the $1.8 trillion offer. That wasn’t even close to being true: Senate Republicans actually wasted little time letting the White House know they’re staunchly opposed to the latest proposal, as are House Democrats. In fact, if Trump’s comments to Limbaugh were sincere, even he’s against his own

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‘Shoppers aid growth but economic slowdown ahead’

‘Shoppers aid growth but economic slowdown ahead’



a person standing in front of a store


© Getty Images


The UK economy may have grown by as much as 17% in the three months to the end of September, says the EY Item Club, but slower growth may follow.

Shoppers splurged during the period as coronavirus lockdown restrictions were lifted, it said.

It is a rosier vision than the one offered by Item Club economists in the summer, but they warned that growth for the rest of 2020 would be far slower.

Growth for the final three months will be 1% or less, they predicted.

“The UK economy has done well to recover faster than expected so far,” said Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club.

“Consumer spending has bounced back strongly, while housing sector activity has also seen a pick-up, in part thanks to the stamp duty holiday.”

The economy probably grew 16-17% in the third quarter of the year compared with the second quarter, it said. It had been expecting growth of 12%.

Trade deal risk

While government help such as the furlough programme has provided “much-needed support”, growth will now begin to fade, said Mr Archer.

The end of the furlough scheme, under which workers had part of their salary paid by the government, will mean higher unemployment and sluggish growth, said the forecasters, who use a similar economic model to the Treasury.

That said, the UK economy is now predicted to regain its pre-pandemic size in the second half of 2023. Back in July, the EY Item Club did not expect that to happen until late 2024.

Official figures from the Office for National Statistics showed last week that The UK economy continued its recovery in August, growing by 2.1% in the month, as the Eat Out to Help Out scheme boosted restaurants.

It was, however, smaller than economists

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HCA Says Return of $6 Billion Pandemic Aid to Restore Financial Flexibility

HCA Says Return of $6 Billion Pandemic Aid to Restore Financial Flexibility

HCA Healthcare Inc.’s

decision to pay back $6 billion in federal pandemic aid and loans offers the company financial flexibility it lost when it took the infusion of cash, executives said.

HCA, one of the nation’s largest hospital chains, on Thursday said it would return the roughly $1.6 billion it received in direct relief from the government and repay its relief loans totaling $4.4 billion ahead of schedule. Chief Executive Sam Hazen called the move “appropriate and the socially responsible thing to do.”

On Friday, the company’s finance chief told analysts on a conference call the repayment would allow HCA to reconsider moves it made in the spring to conserve cash.

“We’ve historically had a very balanced allocation of capital between our internal capital spending, acquisition capital, dividends and share repurchase,” Chief Financial Officer William Rutherford said. “With the return of our Cares Act, we do see some flexibility to evaluate when is the right time to return to some of those historical allocation policies.”

Under relief packages this spring, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Congress approved $175 billion in direct aid for health-care providers and offered pandemic relief loans, which hospitals must eventually repay. Hospital revenue plunged with pandemic preparations that halted some surgeries to prepare for Covid-19 patients.

But HCA and other hospital chains rebounded more quickly than expected from spring losses, moving to restart elective procedures in late April and early May. Hospitals continued surgery through new outbreaks of the virus, though with some interruption where cases surged.

Hospital analysts said few in the sector have announced plans to return pandemic relief.

Encompass Health Corp.

, which operates rehabilitation hospitals, home care and hospice services, previously returned funds it received.

Mr. Hazen, HCA’s CEO, said in an interview the experience of managing surgery

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Canada launches new business rent aid program, expands other coronavirus support

Canada launches new business rent aid program, expands other coronavirus support

By Julie Gordon

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada on Friday announced a round of new and enhanced support for businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, including a new rent subsidy program to replace its previous, and much criticized, rent-relief program.

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy program will provide direct support to businesses and other organizations that are facing revenue losses, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a news conference. The program will run through June 2021.

The government will also provide “additional, targeted” supports to businesses that are forced by public health order to temporarily close to help curb coronavirus infections, Freeland said.

“As we fight the second wave of COVID-19, public health officials have been imposing new restrictions. That is the right thing to do, but it imposes costs,” Freeland said. “This new targeted support will help businesses get through the lockdowns.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking at the same news conference, said Canada is at a tipping point in the fight against a second wave of the novel coronavirus.

Freeland said the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program had been extended to June 2021 and that the Canada Emergency Business Account would be expanded to allow for larger, partially-forgivable loans.

Together, the three programs are expected to cost an additional C$19.6 billion ($14.9 billion) through to December 19, 2020.

Trudeau’s Liberal government said in July that the fiscal 2020-2021 deficit would likely hit C$343.2 billion, mostly due to COVID-19 aid, the largest shortfall since World War Two.

Under the previous rent-relief program, which expired at the end of September, landlords had to apply for a forgivable loan that would cover half of a tenant’s rent. The tenant had to pay a quarter of it and the landlord had to absorb the remainder.

It was budgeted at C$2.97 billion. As of

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