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Sen. David Perdue quarantines after contact with someone infected with Covid, days before Georgia runoff

Sen. David Perdue of Georgia is quarantining after contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19, his campaign said Thursday, less than a week before the Republican’s runoff election against Democrat Jon Ossoff. Perdue has tested negative for the coronavirus, according to his campaign, which did not say how long the 71-year-old incumbent would remain in quarantine. His contest against Ossoff is one of two runoffs in Georgia on Tuesday that will determine whether Republicans or Democrats have majority control over the U.S. Senate in 2021. In the other race, incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler, Perdue’s fellow Republican, faces Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock. Recent...

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Dow rises nearly 200 points, hits record high to wrap up wild 2020

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 rose to all-time highs on Thursday as Wall Street wrapped up one of the most volatile years for the market in recent memory. The Dow closed 196.92 points higher, or 0.7%, at 30,606.48. The S&P 500 climbed 0.6% to 3,756.07, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.1% to 12,888.28. The major averages hit their session highs with less than one hour left of trading. Intel rose 2.2% to lead the Dow higher. Financials and utilities advanced more than 1% each to lift the S&P 500. Thursday’s moves came after the release of a better-than-expected reading on...

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Unemployment Claims Remain High as Millions Still Struggle to Find Work

To many people, the economy will not noticeably improve for several months at least. Ms. Swonk expects hiring to have been unchanged or decline in December from November. “The overall labor market is losing momentum at a critical juncture as cases soar,” she said. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of new state claims was 787,000, a decrease from 806,000 in the previous week. The economic relief package will issue payments of $600 and distribute a federal unemployment benefit of $300 for at least 10 weeks. Find more about the measure and what’s in it for you. For details on how to...

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Will an Overdraft Balance Impact Your Stimulus Check?

Bank fees are adding extra pain to some Americans’ pandemic-induced woes. In 2019, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, big banks collected more than $11 billion in overdraft fees from their customers, with 9 percent of customers paying more than 80 percent of the fees. For the first nine months of 2020, customers of big banks paid $6 billion in overdraft fees, according to Rebecca Borné, a researcher at the nonprofit, which advocates better treatment of consumers by financial institutions. The total amount of penalty fees that bank customers paid in 2020 could end up being lower than last year,...

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What Giant Skeletons and Puppy Shortages Told Us About the 2020 Economy

The result has often been referred to as a “K-shaped economy,” in which the well-off are on a rapid ascent while those with lesser means — and disproportionately Black, Hispanic and female workers — are suffering the pandemic’s economic consequences. As the rich get richer and more mobile in the work-from-home era, they’re buying houses. AMERICA HAS ZOOM TOWNS. Many middle-class millennials who lingered on the housing market’s sidelines for years reported that the pandemic had hastened their buying plans. They have been lured by the Fed’s pandemic-tied interest rate cuts, which have made mortgages cheap, and by the prospect of more...

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U.S. Companies to Face China Tariffs as Exclusions Expire

WASHINGTON — American companies are facing the prospect of higher taxes on some of the products they import from China, as the tariff exclusions that had shielded many businesses from President Trump’s trade war are set to expire at midnight on Thursday. Mr. Trump began placing tariffs on more than $360 billion of Chinese goods in 2018, prompting thousands of companies to ask the administration for temporary waivers excluding them from the levies. Companies that met certain requirements were given a pass on paying the taxes, which range from 7.5 percent to 25 percent. Those included firms that import electric motors,...

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Stimulus Money Should Have Gone to the Jobless, Economists Say

But in terms of the multiplier effect, it’s likely to pale in comparison to the impact in the spring, when the unemployment rate was much higher and there were real fears the country could experience a second Great Depression. “The more you hit the stimulus button, the less impact you see,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West in San Francisco. And the hardest hit sectors — dining, entertainment and travel — are unlikely to see much of a boost now, since consumers are wary of going out or live in states like California and New York where...

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Dow futures rise more than 100 points after Wall Street’s record-setting jump on Monday

U.S. stock futures were higher early Tuesday morning following a rally that lifted the major averages to fresh record highs. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded 152 points higher. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also both traded in positive territory. The Dow jumped 204 points, or 0.7%, earlier in the day, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.9% and 0.7%, respectively. Those gains came after President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion coronavirus relief package into law. The measure includes a direct payment of $600 to most Americans. The signing came days after Trump demanded a $2,000 direct payment. The...

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Kentucky Hurting While Awaiting Federal Pandemic Aid

In Perry County, Ky., the local government is cutting back on garbage pickup. Magoffin County is laying off public safety workers. And in Floyd County, where food pantries are reporting that demand has tripled over the past month, officials are trying to figure out how to avoid cuts to a program distributing food to families. “A lot of these kids, this is the only meal they get in a day,” said Robert Williams, Floyd County’s judge-executive, the chief elected official. “I can’t ask a kid to sit on a computer all day with nothing to eat.” In cases and deaths, Kentucky hasn’t...

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House passes bill for $2,000 stimulus checks – leaving it up to GOP-controlled Senate

The House voted Monday to increase the second round of federal direct payments to $2,000 as Democrats embrace President Donald Trump‘s calls to put more money in Americans’ pockets. The measure would boost the stimulus checks in the year-end coronavirus relief and government funding package to $2,000 from $600. The vote came a day after Trump signed the more than $2 trillion pandemic aid and full-year government spending bill into law. The House passed the payments in a fast-track procedure with just enough support to meet the two-thirds threshold needed. The chamber approved the measure in a 275-134 vote. Democrats backed the bill...

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