Stocks Up: U.S. markets appear to like the continuation of a balance of power across the executive and legislative branches. Also, perhaps lost in the headlines on Friday, was a very positive jobs report of 638,000 new jobs—well ahead of consensus estimates of 580,000 additions. This news, plus upward revisions to September’s number, lowered the unemployment rate to 6.9% versus an estimated 7.6%.
What We All Have in Common: A survey on Visual Capitalist lists the most important core values of people from all over the world that drive human behavior. The top five values shared by people speaking 152 languages across the world: family, relationships, financial security, belonging and community. It is a remarkable reminder of just how much we have in common when it comes to the things that matter most to us.
COVID-19 Continues to Surge in US: The US recorded 121,888 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. It is the highest single-day increase to date and taking the national total to 9.61 million. New deaths totaled 1,210, bringing the total to 234,944.
Wednesday was the first time nationwide new cases have topped 100,000 on a single day, and pushed the seven-day average of daily new infections to a record 89,858. Countries around the world are battling against resurging outbreaks as winter temperatures set in and pandemic-fatigued people move indoors.
New Normal Continues per First Trust Market Commentary: Both consumers and workers are adapting to the new normal born out of the pandemic. Employees are not only working from home they are also on the move. Upwork Inc. estimates between 14 million and 23 million Americans plan to relocate to more affordable housing markets to work remotely. In many cases, the migration of workers is expected to come out of the major urban areas. The National Retail Federation says consumers are eager to shop despite the challenging climate. Consumers are adapting to online shopping at a blistering pace. Adobe Analytics estimates online holiday shopping in 2020 (November and December) will surge 33% year-over-year to a record $189 billion. That equates to around two years of e-commerce growth in just one season. Adobe noted online sales could exceed $200 billion if consumers receive another round of government stimulus checks or if brick-and-mortar stores are forced to shut down due to the spread of COVID-19. The firm expects smartphones to account for 42% of all online sales.
Need Ideas for Some Outdoor Fun?: Callaway Golf Company announced a deal to acquire driving range company Topgolf for $2 billion. Half party venue and half golf “experience,” Topgolf is not your granddaddy’s driving range. The company:
- operates 63 locations around the globe with open-air, climate-controlled bays.
- creates an “immersive” driving range experience – think Angry Birds simulation for kids and margarita delivery service for the adults.
- Last year, 23 million guests visited Topgolf with more than 50% identifying as “non-golfers.”
Note, the transaction is subject to the approval of Callaway shareholders, and will close in 2021 assuming no wedge is driven between the companies.