The protests around the nation continue to be out of control. Several states have already activated the National Guard, including Washington D.C., where protestors became out of control near the White House. President Trump is now considering invoking the Insurrection Act, which would let him deploy active U.S. troops to quell the riots in which more than 4,000 people have been arrested.
The Insurrection Act was last used during the riots surrounding Rodney King in 1992. They were invoked in Los Angeles after the Governor there asked the President to do so. President Trump has called the governors of states where rioting was out of control “weak.” Most likely, this is going to result in much stronger steps being taken to stop the rioting and looting. Trump told them to use the National Guard to put a quick end to the rioting.
Reduced Hours at Target, Amazon, and Apple
Because of the riots in some cities, the retailers Amazon Whole Foods, Apple, and Target have either closed their stores or adjusted their hours in those locations. Some of the retailers’ stores have been damaged in the riots. While Amazon Whole Foods has either restricted hours or delivery routes, Target has closed 175 stores in riot areas. Walmart is also closing hundreds of its stores because some of them were damaged or looted. CVS reports that it had over 250 of its stores damaged.
China Stops Buying Farm Goods from the U.S.
In light of the pressure being built up around the Hong Kong issue, China has officially told companies that are state-owned to stop buying some farm products from the United States. The list so far bans them from buying corn, cotton, pork, and soybeans. Beijing has further threatened to expand this list if the U.S. decides to take more action concerning the Hong Kong situation. One order of 20,000 tons of pork to China was canceled when this announcement was made.
The United States is currently looking to consider a bill to take in Hong Kong residents that are willing to move here, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. The White House is also considering reducing the special treatment that Hong Kong enjoys in its relationship with the U.S. but does not want to endanger its status as a world financial center. Britain has already made it known that it will help people that want to leave the city and move there.
McConnell Wants More Money for PPP
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that he hoped that a new bill that was already passed by the House would soon pass in the Senate. Among other things, the bill will enable more funds to be put into the Paycheck Protection Program. The program has already provided billions of dollars to small businesses that are struggling because of being closed as a result of coronavirus. One change that the bill will make is that small businesses will have 24 weeks to use the funds instead of the original eight weeks.
Car Sales Drastically Reduced
Although cars are being manufactured again, people are just not buying as many as they did last year. Travel has opened up in most places, which is revealed by the amount of gas being consumed across the U.S. Year-end estimates by Cox Automotive reveal that sales look like they will be down by six million cars compared to 2019.
Besides the major carmakers seeing a reduction in orders, Tesla car sales have also lost their momentum. Delivery times for Tesla cars have been moved up by four weeks, which looks like demand for the new cars has been slowed.
Despite the negative news of coronavirus, sales, and protests, the stock market has continued to rise. All three major markets showed an increase – but the reality of what is happening could affect the market tomorrow.