US: First coronavirus death recorded in ICE detention

Tens of thousands remain detained in ICE facilities, which advocates say are a breeding ground for the coronavirus.

The first immigrant in detention in the United States has died of the novel coronavirus, local health authorities in the state of California said on Thursday, as infections steadily climbed among the country’s approximately 30,000 immigrant detainees.

A 57-year-old man, who was held at the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego before being hospitalised in late April, died on Wednesday, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency said.

More:

  • US stocks rise, driven by tech sector and easing of lockdowns

  • Trump signs fourth coronavirus relief package worth $484bn

  • Coronavirus: Overwhelmed US funeral homes turn families away

ICE did not respond to a request by the Reuters news agency for comment.

While ICE has dialled back arrest operations and agreed to review cases of some at-risk immigrants in custody, it still has tens of thousands in detention and is proceeding with deportation flights.

Pro-immigrant advocates have called for detainees – particularly low-level offenders – to be released from custody given the risks of contracting COVID-19 in detention.

Lawyers have filed lawsuits seeking parole for many detainees and so far, ICE said, nearly 200 have been released after court orders and most of them had criminal charges or convictions.

Source: Read Full Article

Kafer: Colorado legislature has a bipartisan opportunity to protect free speech

As one of nearly 500 volunteers who collected signatures over the past two weeks, I had the experience of asking perfect strangers for their John Hancock. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds; most happily took the pen and signed. Democrats and Republicans, unaffiliated voters, lifelong prolifers and prochoicers who want limits, suburbanites, urbanites, and small town denizens signed the petition to place an initiative on the ballot to prohibit abortion after 22 weeks gestation except if needed to save the life of the mother. On Friday, proponents of Initiative 120 turned into the Secretary of State five times the number of additional signatures needed for
the initiative to qualify for the November ballot.

The positive experience of collecting signatures notwithstanding, volunteers did run into unanticipated difficulties. The pandemic and related social distancing measures didn’t make signature gathering easy. Worse, some signature gatherers were harassed while engaging in this legal and constitutionally-protected activity. I’m not talking about the occasional nasty comment hurled at volunteers, but the act of denying volunteers space to gather signatures.

In addition to public areas such as sidewalks and parks, volunteers have the right to solicit petition signatures in common areas on commercial property subject to time, place, and manner restrictions under the Colorado Supreme Court precedent Bock v Westminster Mall Co. The right to petition the government and the right to free speech are protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Article II, Section 10 of the Colorado Constitution also protects free speech and “provides greater protection of free speech than does the First Amendment” according to the Colorado Supreme Court.

In Bock v Westminster Mall Co, volunteers with The Pledge of Resistance, a group opposing U.S. military involvement in Central America, were soliciting signatures from people willing to commit civil disobedience should the U.S. escalate military action in Nicaragua or El Salvador. It was 1985, the height of the Cold War, and the mall denied them permission to pass out literature and solicit pledge signatures. The American Civil Liberties Union defended their rights before the courts and ultimately won.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the Pledge of Resistance volunteers had a right to conduct free speech activities in the mall for two reasons. Spaces outside of businesses have become the new town center where people congregate. Indoor and strip malls provide space for a variety of non-commercial activities such as Girl Scout cookie sales, Salvation Army bell ringers, voter registration efforts, and other activities. They have become public spaces. Secondly, many malls, big box stores, and grocery stores have some public involvement. They
lease their parking lots from a municipality or have some preferential tax, finance, or security arrangement with the city. That public-private partnership comes with a responsibility to the public. “Where governmental entities or public monies are shown by the facts to subsidize, approve of, or encourage private interests and such private interests happen also to restrict the liberty to speak and to dissent, this court may find that such private restrictions run afoul of the protective scope of Article II, Section 10.,” wrote Justice Mullarkey in the decision.

Thus petitioners on such property can be asked to locate to a reasonable area but they cannot be told to leave. Unfortunately, some store managers may be unaware of or confused about this important legal precedent. Others may be willing to discriminate based on their own political leanings or pressure from outside groups. During the brief legislative session, lawmakers have an opportunity to ensure this doesn’t happen again. They should codify the court’s decision in Bock v Westminster Mall Co in statute to ensure space for peaceful free speech activities. Businesses that enjoy public benefits (e.g., tax finance, security, or lease agreements) and/or provide a common space for other free speech activities cannot deny signature gathering on the property, subject to reasonable time, manner, and place restrictions.

The right to free speech and to peacefully gather signatures for a ballot initiative or a pledge benefits all Americans regardless of ideology or political persuasion.

Krista L. Kafer is a weekly Denver Post columnist. Follow her on Twitter: @kristakafer

Source: Read Full Article

Two days of rain have revived the roar of waterfalls in Salalah

As a tropical cyclone develops just offshore, it has been raining heavily for two days in southern Oman.

Two days of rain have renewed the waterfalls that only ever exist during this sort of weather in the Omani governate of Dhofar.

The crescent of inland cliffs that front the Dhofar Mountains that surround Salalah, and the flood plain beneath, are renowned for becoming green during the monsoon season that brings rain to India. Traditionally, camel herders graze their animals on the green flourish for the three months of continuous cloud cover and drizzle.

As of Saturday, the circulating cluster of thunderstorms now approaching Salalah has not been named and has not produced strong enough winds to warrant the category of a tropical storm.

It has, however, produced two days of continuous rain over Salalah and the surrounding area.

Some 260 millimetres of rainfall in two days have been reported, already causing flooding in the city but, more beautifully, filling the wadis and starting the significant water flow that dives off the cliff faces and is watched as a spectacle from the plains below.

The forecast from the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre is for this storm system to develop but wander without purpose during the next two days.

Without damaging winds, which are currently blowing at about 45 km/h (28 miles per hour), and the slow-moving nature of the system, extreme flooding is the biggest risk to the area. The eventual rainfall total may well be in excess of 500mm.

During both the onset and retreat of the Southwest Monsoon, cyclones are likely to form in the Arabian Sea. Two or three of these tropical spinners per advance or retreat of the monsoon are not uncommon. Some make landfall and a favoured area is southern Oman.

2015 was a particularly violent year with Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Chapala and then Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Megh hitting the island of Socotra in the north of Somalia, then southern Yemen. Chapala was the strongest tropical cyclone on record to hit Yemen. Megh was the worst tropical cyclone ever to hit Socotra.

For Salalah, Cyclone Mekunu has proved the most destructive. It became an Extremely Severe Cyclone before hitting the city on May 25, 2018. The wind speed was recorded at 200km/h (124mph) and Salalah was swamped with more than 617mm (24.3 inches) of rainfall, which is almost five times Salalah’s average rainfall.

Source: Read Full Article

Wall Street ends mostly higher as U.S.-China spat simmers

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks finished mostly higher on Friday after President Donald Trump announced measures against China in response to new security legislation that were less threatening to the U.S. economy than investors had feared.

The Dow ended the session slightly lower, but all three indexes rose for the week and registered a second straight month of gains. The S&P 500 added 17.8% for April and May, its biggest two-month percentage gain since 2009.

The S&P 500 initially extended losses after Trump said he was directing his administration to begin the process of eliminating special treatment for Hong Kong in response to China’s plans to impose new security legislation in the semi-autonomous territory.

But Trump made no mention of any action that could undermine the Phase One trade deal that Washington and Beijing struck early this year, a concern that had cast a cloud over the market throughout the week.

“He began speaking in a very tough tone,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte, North Carolina. “The market was worried he was going to announce something substantial, something detrimental to the U.S. economy. Then, as he spoke, it became clear the actions being taken were not going to be as dramatic as originally feared.”

Trump also said the United States is terminating its relationship with the World Health Organization, something he had threatened to do earlier this month.

S&P 500 technology shares .SPLRCT gave the index its biggest boost, while financials .SPSY were the biggest drag.

The latest confrontation between the U.S. and China has fueled concern that worsening tensions between the two world’s largest economies could derail the recent sharp gains in the stock market.

Expectations of a quick economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic have driven the S&P 500 .SPX up more than 30% from its March lows.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 17.53 points, or 0.07%, to 25,383.11, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 14.58 points, or 0.48%, to 3,044.31, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 120.88 points, or 1.29%, to 9,489.87.

For the month, the Dow added 3.9%, the S&P 500 gained 4.5%, and the Nasdaq rose 6.8%. For the week, the Dow and S&P 500 each rose more than 3%, and the Nasdaq gained 1.8%.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday that New York City is “on track” to enter phase one of reopening on June 8, and he said five upstate regions will now transition to phase two.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, speaking in a webcast organized by Princeton University Friday, reiterated the U.S. central bank’s promise to use its tools to shore up the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Twitter (TWTR.N) was down 2% and Facebook Inc (FB.O) shares slipped 0.2%, a day after Trump signed an order threatening social media firms with new regulations over free speech.

Upscale department store chain Nordstrom Inc (JWN.N) slumped 11% after it reported a near 40% fall in quarterly sales due to pandemic-led store closures.

Salesforce.com Inc (CRM.N) slipped 3.5% as the cloud-based business software maker cut its annual revenue and profit forecasts.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.04-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.04-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 17 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 60 new highs and 14 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 13.62 billion shares, compared to the 11.3 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Source: Read Full Article

What is the way forward in India-Nepal border dispute?

India says new road to Lipulekh falls within Indian territory, but Nepal claims at least 17km of it lies on its land.

Kathmandu, Nepal – For several weeks, Indian soldiers have been engaged in a standoff with their Chinese counterparts along their disputed border, even as New Delhi is busy planning a strategy to resolve a land dispute with another neighbour, Nepal.

India’s latest diplomatic row with Nepal erupted on May 8 when New Delhi announced the inauguration of a Himalayan road link that passes through the disputed area of Kalapani.

More:

  • Why Nepal is angry over India’s new road in disputed border area

  • New Nepal map heightens land dispute with India

  • India’s updated political map stirs controversy in Nepal

Under pressure from the opposition, civil society and a vociferous Nepali press, the government of Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli issued a new political map of the country, showing Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura within its borders.

India objected, saying the new Nepal map “included parts of the Indian territory”.

The dispute’s origins lay in the November 2019 release of India’s new political map, which showed Kalapani within India.

The announcement saw Nepal’s capital Kathmandu rocked by protests, while Oli’s government requested a high-level meeting to resolve the dispute. But India was not forthcoming.

The two neighbours entered a new paradigm of “cartographic war” as anger grew on both sides.

Acrimonious exchanges

It began with an ill-placed remark by the Indian army chief, General Manoj Mukund Naravane, that suggested Kathmandu had acted at the behest of China.

Nepal’s Defence Minister Ishwor Pokhrel dubbed General Naravane’s comments an insult to the Nepali soldiers working in the Indian Army. Nearly 40,000 Nepali Gurkha soldiers are part of 40 battalions.

Not to be outdone, Prime Minister Oli questioned India’s commitment to its national motto of “Satyamev Jayate” (truth prevails) by suggesting New Delhi subscribed to “Singhamev Jayate” (the lion prevails).

His remarks about the “Indian virus” spreading the coronavirus pandemic into Nepal added fuel to the fire.

Oli’s nationalist position seemed to be directed at his domestic audience as he used the issue to deflect criticism from his government’s handling of the pandemic, as well as consolidate his beleaguered position within his party.

But experts believe New Delhi risks damaging the relationship further through its hawkish commentators and nationalist media.

“Oli’s response did not precede but followed the public uproar,” said Akhilesh Upadhyay, former editor of The Kathmandu Post and a senior fellow at the Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), a Kathmandu-based think-tank.

He pointed at Nepali objections to the 2015 bilateral agreement between India and China that opened up Lipulekh for trade, to say Nepal’s position has remained consistent despite multiple governments.

India has argued that the road is completely in its territory but Nepal says at least 17km of the new road “passes through Nepali territory,” arguing that the road crosses over to the east bank of the Mahakali River.

Nepal considers east of the river to be its territory based on the 1816 Sugauli Treaty signed with British colonial rulers.

In a series of articles, Kantipur, Nepal’s biggest-selling newspaper, presented the historical evidence: Five British-Indian maps issued between 1819 and 1894 that show Limpiyadhura as the headwaters of the Mahakali; a 1904 letter written by then Prime Minister Rana Chandra Shamsher to village chiefs of the triangle; and evidence of a 1958 voter list and the 1961 census by Nepali authorities in the region.

Nepal also possesses land registration records and tax receipts from the disputed territory.

“The heart of the dispute,” Upadhyay said, “lies in differing cartographic interpretations about the headwaters of the Mahakali river.” Nepal argues Limpiyadhura is the location of the headwaters; India regards a smaller stream flowing down from Lipulekh as the river’s headwaters.

The dispute is further muddied by the presence of Indian troops in Kalapani since before the 1962 war with China.

The Sugauli Treaty remains, for Nepal, the “mother of all documents”, Upadhyay said, according to which the Mahakali is the boundary river between the two countries, and any future demarcations will be based on the treaty.

What is the way forward?

The row appears to have reached an impasse.

“The Nepal prime minister’s earlier remarks on a solution, with possible road leasing to India, was a welcome step towards de-escalation, but since then, we have only seen repeated moves from both sides that have raised the temperature, further politicised the issue and thus made dialogue more difficult,” said Constantino Xavier, a fellow at Brookings India.

Similarly, Sudheer Sharma, editor of Kantipur daily, said, “The dispute has become more complicated after a hardening of stances on both sides. Nepal’s earlier demands were focused on the withdrawal of troops from Kalapani; its recent position now includes the insistence of Limpiyadhura as the headwaters. The dispute looks like it is heading towards a point of no return.”

The presence of the Indian army in the trijunction that connects India, China and Nepal complicates the issue.

Analysts say it is difficult to foresee a withdrawal of troops, as the official Nepali position demands.

Sharma said: “There had been proposals in the past where India would withdraw its troops while Nepal would guarantee Indian security interests in the region. But this looks difficult now.”

The situation acquires a further hurdle against the background of a simmering India-China border dispute along their de facto border – the Line of Actual Control (LAC) – a border that remains undemarcated.

Furthermore, Nepal’s ruling Communist Party government has reached out to China for investment and better connectivity in recent years, which has troubled India.

But Beijing’s ambiguous position that Kalapani is a bilateral issue between India and Nepal has been keenly watched by Nepali analysts since the current road is a result of its 2015 agreement with New Delhi.

Despite the tensions – the second over Kalapani in six months and the most serious bilateral dispute since the 2015 unofficial blockade – analysts on both sides have begun to call for a political solution to Kalapani.

India may continue to defuse the crisis through back channels, said Xavier from Brookings, but “this is no longer sustainable”, as the dispute had become a “permanent irritant” in bilateral relations.

Similarly, Upadhyay said because both sides have an “irreconcilable position”, the dispute will not end “based on cartography”.

Broader engagement from both sides is essential towards finding a solution that satisfies both sides, said Xavier.

“There are many possible modalities. Maybe it could include joint military deployment, special access rights for Nepali citizens or even a free-trade zone with China,” he said.

Many have also pointed to India’s resolution of the border with Bangladesh in 2015 – “far more intractable”, according to Jayant Prasad, ex-ambassador to Nepal – as a possible way out.

Most of the 1,751km-long Nepal-India border has been demarcated through a joint boundary committee except for Kalapani and Susta, which lies in southern Nepal.

“[The] India-Nepal border issues appear more easily solvable, so long as there is political goodwill and statecraft exercised on both sides. The way to move forward is to formally approve the strip maps, resolve the two remaining disputes, demarcate the entire India-Nepal boundary, and speedily execute the work of boundary maintenance,” Prasad wrote in The Hindu.

However, Sharma of the Kantipur daily cautioned that dialogue looks unlikely soon.

“There are new complications because positions have hardened on both sides. Further, more than India, it may not be as easy for the Nepali side to come to a political solution because of the domestic backlash any leadership that negotiates on Kalapani will face.”

Although the Nepali position has hardened over perceptions that New Delhi has not been forthcoming in Kathmandu’s efforts to resolve the dispute, India sought to defuse the crisis on Friday by calling for “constructive and positive efforts”, and said that it had taken the dispute’s “seriousness” into account.

Source: Read Full Article

In broadside against China, Trump moves toward erasing Hong Kong privileges

WASHINGTON/HONG KONG (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he was ordering his administration to begin the process of eliminating special treatment for Hong Kong to punish China for its plans to impose new security legislation there, a potential bombshell for the territory’s status as a global financial center.

In making the announcement at a White House news conference, Trump aimed some of his toughest rhetoric yet against China, saying it had broken its word over Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Trump called this a tragedy for the people of Hong Kong, China and the world, having already attacked Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Trump said China’s “malfeasance” was responsible for massive suffering and economic damage worldwide.

“We will take action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory from the rest of China,” Trump said, adding that the United States would also impose sanctions on individuals seen as responsible for “smothering – absolutely smothering – Hong Kong’s freedom.”

Trump said his announcement would “affect the full range of agreements we have with Hong Kong,” from the U.S. extradition treaty to export controls on dual-use technologies and more “with few exceptions.”

Related Coverage

  • Britain may offer 'path to citizenship' for nearly 3 million in Hong Kong
  • Factbox: Some options open to Trump in response to Hong Kong crisis

“Our actions will be strong, our actions will be meaningful,” Trump added.

Trump gave no time frame for the moves, suggesting he may be trying to buy time before deciding whether to implement the most drastic measures that have drawn strong resistance from U.S. companies operating in the territory.

He said he also would issue a proclamation on Friday to better safeguard vital university research by suspending the entry of foreign nationals from China identified as potential security risks.

Sources, including a current U.S. official, told Reuters on Thursday that the latter move, which had been expected, could impact 3,000 to 5,000 Chinese graduate students.

Trump’s tough rhetoric against China comes in the midst of a 2020 re-election campaign in which opinion polls show U.S. voters increasingly embittered toward Beijing, especially over the novel coronavirus.

However, Trump may be mindful that a more serious rupture with China could upend his hard-fought Phase One trade deal with the world’s second-largest economy, which he has counted on for economic benefit in major U.S. farm states.

He also will have to take into account the effect on the more than 1,300 U.S. firms that have offices in Hong Kong and provide about 100,000 jobs.

Trump’s announcement follows Chinese plans to impose new national security legislation on the former British colony. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the territory no longer warrants special treatment under U.S. law that has enabled it to remain a global financial center.

Earlier Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed government told the United States to keep out of the debate over national security legislation being imposed by China, and warned that withdrawal of the financial hub’s special status under U.S. law could backfire on the American economy.

“Any sanctions are a double-edged sword that will not only harm the interests of Hong Kong but also significantly those of the U.S.,” it said in a statement late on Thursday.

It said that from 2009 to 2018, the cumulative U.S. trade surplus of $297 billion with Hong Kong was the biggest among all U.S. trading partners.

In the latest assertion of Beijing’s authority over Hong Kong, China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said it would “direct and support Hong Kong police to stop violence and restore order.”

Chinese authorities and Hong Kong’s government say the legislation poses no threat to the city’s autonomy and the interests of foreign investors will be preserved.

Source: Read Full Article

US consumer spending tanks; savings hit record high

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US consumers cut spending by the most on record for the second straight month in April while boosting savings to an all-time high, and the growing frugality reinforced expectations the economy could take years to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report from the Commerce Department on Friday (May 29), together with news that monthly exports collapsed, left economists anticipating the largest contraction in gross domestic product in the second quarter since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Data has also been dismal this month on the labour market, manufacturing production and homebuilding.

The Commerce Department said consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, plunged 13.6 per cent last month, the biggest drop since the government started tracking the series in 1959. It eclipsed the previous all-time decrease of 6.9 per cent in March.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast consumer spending would plummet 12.6 per cent in April. Spending was depressed by a decrease in outlays on healthcare as dental offices closed and hospitals postponed elective surgeries and non-emergency visits to focus on patients suffering from Covid-19.

The disease has killed over 100,000 people in the United States, the highest death toll in the world.

Spending declined at restaurants, which have shifted to delivery and pick-up service only, and hotels and motels.

Spending on food and beverages fell in April.

But the Covid-19 crisis boosted incomes for consumers in April as the government’s historic fiscal package worth nearly US$3 trillion (S$4.2 trillion) doled out one-time US$1,200 cheques to millions of people and boosted unemployment benefits for the roughly 31 million out of work to cushion against economic hardship wrought by the pandemic.

Personal income surged a record 10.5 per cent last month after falling 2.2 per cent in March. Savings soared to a historic US$4 trillion, with the saving rate hitting a record 33 per cent. But business closures weighed on wages, which dropped 8 per cent in April after falling 3.5 per cent in March.

“The saving rate represents both opportunity and a warning,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FHN in New York.

“If the economy reopens quickly without consequence these savings represent considerable spending power in the second half. If it takes longer to reopen the economy, these savings will be used for sustenance over the next few months.”

The economy is gradually reopening after nonessential businesses were shuttered in mid-March to slow the spread of Covid-19, raising hope economic slump was nearing a bottom.

Stocks on Wall Street were trading lower as investors braced for a US response to China’s national security law on Hong Kong. The dollar fell against a basket of currencies, while US Treasury prices rose.

TRADE COLLAPSES

In a second report on Friday, the Commerce Department said goods exports tumbled 25.2 per cent to US$95.4 billion in April, a 10-year low. The broad decline in exports was led by a 65.9 per cent collapse in shipments of motor vehicles and parts. That outpaced a 14.3 per cent tumble in imports. As a result, the goods trade deficit widened 7.2 per cent to 69.7 billion last month.

The wider goods trade deficit is likely a drag on second quarter gross domestic product, which economists expect could drop at as much as a 40 per cent rate, a pace not seen since the 1930s.

The economy contracted at a 5 per cent annualised rate last quarter, the deepest pace of decline in GDP since the fourth quarter of 2008. Consumer spending tumbled at a 6.8 per cent rate, the sharpest drop since the second quarter of 1980.

With consumer spending depressed in April, inflation pressures were weak, with the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding the volatile food and energy components falling 0.4 per cent. That was the largest drop since September 2001 and followed an unchanged reading in March.

In the 12 months through April, the so-called core PCE price index rose 1 per cent, the smallest gain since December 2010 which followed a 1.7 per cent increase in March. The core PCE index is the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure. The US central bank has a 2 per cent inflation target.

“The core PCE decline reflects some big collapses in the prices of a limited number of the most-affected services,” said Andrew Hunter, a senior US economist at Capital Economics.

“It is not evidence of a widespread Japanese-style deflation ensnaring America.”

Source: Read Full Article

S&P 500, Dow dip on jitters over Trump's China response

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and Dow slipped on Friday as investors were nervous ahead of a U.S. response to China’s national security law on Hong Kong that threatens to take the shine off another month of strong gains for the stock market.

President Donald Trump, who has warned of a tough response to China’s move, is expected to make an announcement later in the day.

“Tensions between the world’s two largest economies are as high as they’ve been in memory, higher than last year’s trade war that was economically focused,” Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Sachin Raghavan said.

Adding to the downbeat mood, economic data showed U.S. consumer spending dropped by a record in April as the COVID-19 pandemic undercut demand, buttressing expectations that the economy could contract in the second quarter at its steepest pace since the Great Depression.

Financial stocks .SPSY, the best performing S&P sector this week, were the biggest drag on the benchmark index.

Still, Wall Street’s main indexes were set to end May with a second straight month of gains on hopes of a return to economic normalcy after a coronavirus-led slump.

At 9:54 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 65.18 points, or 0.26%, at 25,335.46, and the S&P 500 .SPX was down 2.31 points, or 0.08%, at 3,027.42.

But the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 45.26 points, or 0.48%, at 9,414.25, with technology-focused firms Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Facebook Inc (FB.O), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) being a bright spot.

A day after Trump signed the order threatening social media firms with new regulations over free speech, Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) hid a tweet from the President and accused him of breaking its rules by “glorifying violence”.

Twitter shares were down 2.8%.

Focus is also on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell who will speak in a public webcast, where he is expected to detail the central bank’s next phase of coronavirus response. The event is slated to start at 11:00 a.m. ET (1500 GMT).

Salesforce.com Inc (CRM.N) slipped 4.8% as the cloud-based business software maker cut its annual revenue and profit forecasts.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers nearly 2-to-1 on the NYSE and 1.43-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded four new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 23 new highs and four new lows.

Source: Read Full Article

W SKRÓCIE-KGHM: Sierra Gorda podpisała umowę pożyczki z Bankiem Gospodarstwa Krajowego

29 maja (Reuters) – KGHM Polska Miedz SA:

* SIERRA GORDA PODPISALA UMOWE POŻYCZKI Z BANKIEM GOSPODARSTWA KRAJOWEGO

* POŻYCZKA ZOSTANIE PRZEZNACZONA NA WSPARCIE BIEŻĄCEJ DZIAŁALNOŚCI SIERRA GORDA W ODPOWIEDZI NA OBECNĄ SYTUACJĘ MAKROEKONOMICZNĄ WYWOŁANĄ PRZEZ COVID-19

* WARTOŚĆ GWARANCJI UDZIELANEJ PRZEZ KGHM WYNIKA Z POSIADANYCH UDZIAŁÓW W SIERRA GORDA (55% UDZIAŁÓW) ORAZ CAŁKOWITEJ KWOTY KREDYTU (200 MILLION USD) I WYNOSI 110 MILLION USD Pełny komunikat spółki w serwisie Eikon jest dostępny tutaj: Aby zobaczyć pozostałe depesze na temat spółki, kliknij tutaj (Gdansk Newsroom)

Source: Read Full Article

Futures tick lower on jitters over Trump's China response

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and the Dow were set to open lower on Friday as investors braced for a U.S. response to China’s national security law on Hong Kong, threatening to take the shine off another month of strong gains for Wall Street.

President Donald Trump is due to make an announcement later in the day and has vowed a tough response to China’s move, which many fear could erode some of the U.S. economic privileges that Hong Kong enjoys.

U.S. stocks sold off in the closing hours of Thursday’s session as worries about worsening relations between the world’s two biggest economies and an expected executive order related to social media companies weighed on the sentiment.

“If Trump decides to proceed with mild action, like travel and/or financial sanctions on Chinese officials, we don’t expect equities to tumble much,” said Charalambos Pissouros, Cyprus-based senior market analyst at JFD Group.

“In case the U.S. response is a bolder one, like scrapping the ‘Phase One’ trade deal and/or imposing fresh tariffs, the slide in risk assets could be larger, bringing into question further recovery in the broader sentiment.”

Hopes of a quick post-pandemic economic recovery have driven the S&P 500 .SPX to a near three-month-high as it heads for its second straight month of gains.

A day after Trump signed the order threatening social media firms with new regulations over free speech, Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) hid a tweet from the President and accused him of breaking its rules by “glorifying violence”.

Twitter shares were down 0.8% in premarket trading.

At 8:32 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were down 151 points, or 0.59%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were down 11.5 points, or 0.38% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 2.25 points, or 0.02%.

Focus is also on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell who will speak in a public webcast, where he is expected to detail the central bank’s next phase of coronavirus response. The event is slated to start at 11:00 a.m. ET (1500 GMT).

Among stocks, Salesforce.com Inc (CRM.N) slipped 3.4% as the cloud-based business software maker cut its annual revenue and profit forecasts.

Technology-focused companies Facebook Inc (FB.O), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) rose between 0.7% and 0.9%, after their rally lost steam in late May.

Source: Read Full Article