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David Becker
US Stock Markets

US stocks moved higher with the Nasdaq hitting a fresh all-time high. This is the 28th all-time high for the Nasdaq in 2020. Sectors in the S&P 500 index were mixed, led by financial and cyclical, while materials were the worst-performing sector. James Bullard was on the tape as one of the Fed officials talking to CNBC saying that he believes that the unemployment rate will hit single digits by the end of the year. Currently, the US unemployment rate is 11.4%. United Airlines announced that it might be forced to lay off half its workforce by October due to the lack of travel driven by the spread of COVID. The dollar moved lower on Wednesday helping to buoy gold and gold miners. Oil prices also moved higher but failed to lift the energy space.

United Announces Possible Layoffs

United Airlines announced on Wednesday that the company could be forced to shed almost half its U.S. workforce, telling 36,000 employees that they could be furloughed at the beginning of the Q4. The lack of travel in the US due to the pandemic has curtailed passenger demand. Chicago-based United is the first major U.S. carrier to detail possible mass furloughs despite the billions of dollars in federal aid provided to airlines.

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Fed Governors have Mixed Views

Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said that her region was experiencing slowing growth due to rising coronavirus cases, and she sees more policy help necessary to help the economy through the pandemic. Mester reiterated her colleague Atlanta counterpart, Raphael Bostic, who also said he sees a rougher road to recovery. This compared to James Bullard’s take on the economy which is very constructive as he sees the unemployment rate dipping into single digits by the end of the year despite the continuous spread of COVID.

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