“With virus fears on the rise, jobs being lost and incomes squeezed, we feel the recovery could be much bumpier than markets seemingly do, and think we are in for some data disappointment over the next couple of months,” James Knightley, chief international economist at ING, said in a recent note to clients.
Signs of economic weakness should add pressure on Congress to come to terms on its next stimulus package. This week is crunch time ahead of lawmakers’ summer recess.
Time is of the essence. Without a stopgap measure, Americans could see a decline in income of $18 billion per week, according to Bank of America economists Michelle Meyer and Stephen Juneau. That would weigh on the spending that powers roughly two-thirds of the US economy.
Meyer and Juneau think that lawmakers can strike an agreement early this month. They expect the price tag to come in above the $1.1 trillion bill introduced by Senate Republicans, but well short of the $3.4 trillion legislation approved by House Democrats.
Don’t overlook these strong performers
Knockout earnings for the biggest US tech companies are sapping up a lot of investor attention. But Amazon, Apple and Facebook aren’t the only companies posting solid results during a pandemic.
Here are some smaller winners you may have missed:
- Procter & Gamble (: People are scrubbing down their homes and washing their dishes more often. That’s a win for a company that owns brands like Tide laundry detergent and Dawn dish soap; sales rose 5% to $17.7 billion in April-to-June quarter compared to one year ago. P&G’s stock is up 5% this year. )
- Scott’s Miracle-Gro (: Shares of the lawn care company have jumped 49% this year, with sales rising 28% in the most recent quarter as more people try out their green thumbs. Scott’s Miracle-Gro raised its full-year guidance, citing “a year of unprecedented success.” )
- Kellogg Company (: Demand for cereal and frozen food helped Kellogg increase revenue 9% last quarter, excluding the impact of exchange rates and lines of business it sold last year. Kellogg also raised its full-year guidance. Shares are flat year-to-date. )
Friday: US jobs report