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Financial News

Dec 6, 2021

The Weekly Scan December 6, 2021

By Stash Team

Find out what’s happening in the world of business this week

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Welcome to the Weekly Scan. Here’s what we’re following for the week of December 6, 2021.

Good for now? Congress reached a budget deal, called a stopgap spending bill, that will keep the government funded through mid-February, 2022. The bill, passed in both the House of Representatives and Senate on December 2, 2021, will maintain federal spending at a 2021 level, and will temporarily prevent a government shutdown. Congress last agreed on a short-term  spending plan in October, 2021, which expired December 3. Federal spending for fiscal year 2021, which ended September 30, 2021, was approximately $7 trillion

  • The takeaway. Congress still needs to pass a permanent budget plan for the fiscal year 2022, and the stopgap bill initially encountered resistance in the Senate, due to opposition to President Biden’s Covid-19 federal testing and vaccine mandates. The bill also does not solve the deadline for extending the national borrowing limit, which will be reached on December 15, 2021. Failure to expand the $28.9 trillion debt ceiling could result in a default on national debt, and could lead to potentially severe problems for the economy, according to experts.  

The Hill and Reuters

New kid on the block. Payments company Square announced on December 1, 2021, that it will change its corporate name to Block to better align with its focus on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, among other business lines. Its seller business will reportedly remain as Square. 

  • The takeaway: The news comes barely a month after Facebook founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg announced he would rename his company Meta, reflecting his desire for Facebook to be known as more than its social network. And it comes only a few days after Jack Dorsey, Square’s co-founder and chief executive, announced he would step down from his role as chief executive officer of Twitter, which he co-founded in 2006. He has run both Square and Twitter since 2015. Dorsey launched Square in 2009.

Barrons and Wired

High fashion. Clothing prices for all apparel are expected to increase 3% on average in 2022, according to a recent poll of fashion industry executives, conducted by consulting company McKinsey & Co. Fifteen percent of the polled executives said they would increase prices by 10% or more next year. The primary reason is supply chain problems including increased shipping costs, manufacturing delays, and resource shortages. Nevertheless, the fashion industry is expected to grow between 3% and 8% in 2022, according to the report. 

  • The takeaway. Supply chain issues and inflation have recently affected consumer prices in numerous industries, with five straight months of inflation above 5% as of October, 2021. That’s the fastest pace of price increases in approximately 30 years. Food has surged more than 5%, plus fuel oil and motor fuel prices reportedly surged 59% and 50% respectively year-over-year in October. Car and truck rental costs increased 39%, while used car and truck prices climbed 26% over the same period.

Fortune and Marketwatch

 Here’s what we covered in last week’s Scan

  • Scientists discover a new variant of Covid-19, and markets react.
  • Black Friday in-store sales recover from last year’s slump.
  • Jack Dorsey steps down as Twitter’s CEO.

Nothing in this material should be construed as an offer, recommendation, or solicitation to buy or sell any security. All investments are subject to risk and may lose value. All product and company names are trademarks ™ or registered ® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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