Happy Friday! Today is August 14th and the S&P 500 struggles to overtake its close record high. Retail sales for July came in lower than expected and Fortnite was kicked off Apple and google app stores after Epic Games violated guideline in order to bypass fees. The Congress coronavirus stalemate could drag on for weeks as Congress leaves town for the next two weeks. California court rules Amazon can be liable for defective goods sold on its marketplace.
For most of this week, investors have watched the S&P 500 flirt with and briefly top its record close from Feb. 19, but a new record seems unlikely this week as the market is on pace for an opening loss. The S&P 500 closed Thursday just 0.6% below its all-time intraday high set on Feb. 19. The broader market index is about 13 points below its record closing high of 3,386.15. The S&P 500 futures dipped 0.1% in premarket trading on Friday, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 100 points.
Consumers spent less than expected in July as a boom in retail sales cooled while efforts to reopen the econmoy stalled.Retail sales rose 1.2% for the month, against the expected increase 2.3% in July from economists surveyed by Dow Jones.
Apple and Google yanked “Fortnite,” one of the world’s most popular videogames, from their app stores in an escalating battle over the fees they charge developers to distribute their software and process in-app purchases. The conflict reflects growing pushback against Apple Inc.’s App Store and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Play store on how they operate. Other app makers, including Netflix Inc. and Spotify Technology SA, have also butted heads with Apple on developer fees.
Congress and the White House again made no progress toward a coronavirus relief agreement as financial lifelines for Americans continue to expire. It could take weeks more for lawmakers to even agree on another aid package as no talks are scheduled and 2020 political conventions will consume the major parties for the next two weeks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she will not restart discussions until Republicans increase their aid offer by $1 trillion, a step the GOP does not want to take.
A California appeals court ruled Thursday that Amazon can be held liable in the state for faulty products sold on its website. The ruling deals a major blow to Amazon, which has for years fought off product liability lawsuits. Amazon’s marketplace helped the company deliver record earnings last quarter.