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Stocks at record highs and bond yields not far from their historic lows are telling two different stories, but Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he isn’t worried about the disparity.  In fact, the central bank chief said during a news conference yesterday, the low rates are helping justify the surge in stocks that has gone on largely unabated since the March pandemic lows.  The Fed also affirmed they are unlikely to raise interest rates through at least 2023.  They also said they see the US economy growing by 4.2% in 2021.

 

U.S. retail sales fell more than expected in November, likely weighed down by raging new Covid infections and decreasing household income, adding to growing signs of a slowdown in the economy’s recovery from the pandemic recession.  The second straight monthly decline in retail sales could nudge Congress to agree on another fiscal stimulus package.

 

The first home test for COVID-19 that doesn’t require a prescription will soon be on U.S. store shelves.  U.S. regulators authorized the rapid coronavirus test, which can be done entirely at home. The announcement by the FDA represents another important step in efforts to expand testing options.  This will allow sales in places like drugstores “where a patient can buy it, swab their nose, run the test and find out their results in as little as 20 minutes.  Australian manufacturer Ellume said it expects to produce 3 million tests next.  A company spokesperson said the test will be priced around $30 and be available at pharmacies and for purchase online.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I’m Tyler Simones.

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