1. S&P 500 struggles to overtake record high
For most of this week, investors have watched the S&P 500 flirt with and briefly top its record close from Feb. 19, but a new record seems unlikely this week as the market is on pace for an opening loss.
The S&P 500 closed Thursday just 0.6% below its all-time intraday high set on Feb. 19. The broader market index is about 13 points below its record closing high of 3,386.15.
The S&P 500 futures dipped 0.1% in premarket trading on Friday, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 100 points.
2. Stimulus stalemate could drag on for weeks
The coronavirus relief bill keeps stalling as Congress and the White House again made no progress toward an agreement. It could take weeks for lawmakers to even agree on another aid package as no talks are scheduled and 2020 political conventions will consume the major parties for the next two weeks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she will not restart discussions until Republicans increase their aid offer by $1 trillion, which the GOP won’t compromise.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, left, listens as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, speaks to members of the media following a meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020.
Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images
3. Two Tesla upgrades
Tesla received two upgrades from Wall Street in less than 24 hours after shares surged on its announcement of a stock split.
Adam Jonas, a widely followed analyst from Morgan Stanley, upgraded the electric car maker to equal weight from underweight Thursday evening. The upgrade comes just two months after he issued his underweight rating on Tesla. But the increasing prospects of Tesla building an electric-vehicle battery supply business has made the analyst more constructive on the stock.
This morning, Bank of America analyst also hiked the rating on Tesla. Shares of Tesla have soared 11.5% week to date.
Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk speaks at an opening ceremony for Tesla China-made Model Y program in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020.
Aly Song | Reuters
4. U.S. and China to review phase one trade deal
Top U.S. and Chinese trade officials — U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He — are scheduled to hold a video call on Saturday to review its progress on the phase-one trade deal the two sides reached in January.
The call comes as China’s promised purchases of U.S. exports are behind schedule, while tensions between the two countries have risen. Last week, the Trump administration sanctioned on 11 individuals, including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam for “implementing Beijing’s policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes.” President Donald Trump also banned transactions with popular Chinese app TikTok if its parent ByteDance does not reach a deal to divest it in 45 days.
US President Donald Trump and Chinas Vice Premier Liu He, the country’s top trade negotiator, hold a press conference before they sign a trade agreement with the US and China during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on January 15, 2020.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
5. Michael Rubin’s Fanatics now valued at $6.2 billion
Michael Rubin’s e-commerce company Fanatics has increased its value to $6.2 billion, up from $4.5 billion, after raising a $350 million Series E funding round, a person familiar with the company’s transactions told CNBC.
The company, which grossed $2.5 billion in 2019, plans to use the new funding to accelerate its E-commerce strategy, through additional rights acquisition and mergers and acquisitions. The funding round is the last financing as a private company, and it is believed Fanatics’ next announcement will be an IPO although no timetable has been decided.
Cameron Costa | CNBC