Tech rally lifts stocks to record
A technology rally drove U.S. stocks to fresh records at the start of a busy week for corporate earnings, economic data and Federal Reserve speakers. Treasuries climbed. Gains in tech outweighed losses in energy and financial companies in the S&P 500 Index. The Nasdaq-100 and the Dow Jones industrial average also closed at all-time highs. Citigroup Inc., the first giant U.S. bank to report results, was little changed. After last week’s surge, Treasury 10-year yields dropped as investors bought bonds at cheaper prices. Oil fell below $60 a barrel. Traders will sift through speeches by Fed officials after Chairman Jerome Powell left it all but certain that the central bank will reduce rates for the first time in a decade. As the July 30-31 meeting nears, the debate now is how deep they will cut and what will they do afterward. Key data points such as U.S. retail sales may provide more clarity as the earnings season gets under way. Bitcoin trimmed losses, following another weekend sell-off that saw some digital tokens plunge by more than 20%. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday that the Trump administration has “very serious concerns” about Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency Libra.
Death on scooter renews concerns
A YouTube star’s death on an electric scooter may renew safety concerns as scooter companies aggressively seek to expand their presence as “alternative transportation.” Emily Hartridge, a television presenter who made videos about fitness and mental health, died after her scooter was hit by a truck in London, apparently making her the first such fatality in Britain, The Guardian reported. Some officials in the U.S. have been reluctant to allow e-scooters, citing safety to both the rider and the public, as well as clutter from riders leaving scooters on sidewalks. Nashville Mayor David Briley said in June that he would recommend banning them after a 26-year-old resident died after a scooter accident.
Purchase may not save iron, steel
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday mandating a greater use of U.S.-made steel and iron in federal infrastructure projects. But despite the federal support, the U.S. steel industry has yet to see the kind of lasting prosperity Trump promised. While the tariffs did fuel a short-term rise in steel prices and production, the import taxes didn’t lead to a major increase in manufacturing jobs, largely because modern mills don’t require more manpower to operate at a higher capacity. Trump’s steel tariffs are costing U.S. consumers and businesses more than $900,000 a year for every job created, according to a report by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a think tank that supports free market policies.