The S&P closed at yet another all-time higher after the White House announced a deal with Abbott Laboratories (ABT) to purchase 150 million rapid-result COVID-19 tests to help contain the spread of the virus. The S&P has had only one down day so far in August. This against a back – ground where Personal Consumption Expenditures (“PCE”) rose in July from the month before and beat estimates, but growth in spending slowed. Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker said the central bank could let inflation run as high as 3% to reach an average target of 2%. This indicates more easy-money policies in order to spur growth. Final August Consumer Sentiment rose from the prior reading, as consumers became more optimistic on the short-term economy. There were no updates on stimulus negotiations, and talks have no timetable to start back up. In contrast European Indices again closed in the red despite Euro Zone Economic Sentiment coming in better than expected in August, signalling economic recovery optimism is growing. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the Coronavirus was likely to worsen in the coming months, adding the government will continue to support the economy and protect jobs. French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the country will do everything it can to avoid another devastating economic shutdown like it experienced earlier this year, after reporting over 7000 cases on Friday, the highest number since April. Elsewhere, Gold closed 2% higher as the Federal Reserve signalled that it would let inflation run above 2%, weakening the dollar. Treasuries rose six basis points, reversing most of Thursday’s decline.
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