Gains in technology stocks are outweighing losses in health care and other sectors.
Many market watchers think the recent surge is out of whack with the weak state of the economy even as many areas start to reopen.
EXISTING HOME SALES
Existing home sales plunge 9.7% in third straight monthly drop
WASHINGTON (AP) — US existing home sales plunged 9.7% in May. It was the third straight monthly decline and further evidence of the harm the virus pandemic has done to the housing market.
The National Association of Realtors said Monday that the May decline pushed sales down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.91 million, the slowest pace since a home buyers tax credit expired in October 2010.
Sales were down in all parts of the country with the biggest decline coming in the Northeast.
AP POLL-VIRUS OUTBREAK-ECONOMY
AP-NORC poll: Politics drive divergent view of US economy
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans’ outlook on the national economy has improved somewhat from its lowest points during the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. But a new poll suggests Democrats and Republicans are living in alternate economic realities amid the sharpest recession in the nation’s history.
A new survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that 85% of Democrats call economic conditions “poor,” while 65% of Republicans describe them as “good.”
Overall, 63% of the country says the economy is in poor shape, down somewhat from the 70% who felt that way in May.
SUPREME COURT-SECURITIES FRAUD
Supreme Court rules SEC can recoup money in fraud cases
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has preserved an important tool used by securities regulators to recoup ill-gotten gains in fraud cases.
The justices said by an 8-1 vote Monday that the Securities and Exchange Commission can seek to recover the money through a process called disgorgement. Last year, the SEC obtained $3.2 billion in repayment of profits from people who have been found to violate securities law.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court that the award must be limited to no more than “a wrongdoer’s net profits.” Justice Clarence Thomas dissented.
Citing virus, Valentino sues to get out of Fifth Ave. lease
NEW YORK (AP) — Valentino wants out of New York’s prestigious Fifth Avenue.
The Italian fashion house is suing its landlord, hoping to break its lease early. The company says that the coronavirus pandemic has made it impossible to offer a high-end shopping experience at the Fifth Avenue address.
In a lawsuit filed Sunday, Valentino said it told landlord Savitt Partners that it would vacate the store at the end of this year, nearly nine years before it could, but Savitt refused to end the lease.
A lawyer for Savitt declined to comment Monday, adding that his client doesn’t “litigate through the media.”
Production workers strike against major Navy shipbuilder
BATH, Maine (AP) — More than 4,000 workers are on strike against one of the Navy’s largest shipbuilders.
Machinists Union Local S6 overwhelmingly rejected a three-year contract at Maine’s Bath Iron Works, and pickets formed early Monday in the first strike by production workers in two decades.
The labor dispute focused on subcontracting, work rules and seniority over wages and benefits, and it threatened to further delay production. Bath Iron Works already had fallen six months behind on ship construction, partly due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The shipyard is one of two that manufacture destroyers for the U.S. Navy.
ATLANTIC CITY CASINOS REOPENING NJ sets reopening of Atlantic City casinos for July 2 at 25%
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says Atlantic City’s casinos will be able to reopen July 2 at 25% capacity.
In a Twitter post Monday, the Democratic governor also said indoor dining can resume on that date, with restaurants also operating at 25% capacity.
The city’s nine casinos have been waiting for a reopening date for weeks, even as casinos in other states reopened.
The governor says additional safety and health guidelines will be released in the coming days for casinos and restaurants. Many of the casinos have been planning on their own for a reopening, and have adopted measures including increased hand sanitizers and social distancing to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
VIRGIN GALACTIC-NASA Virgin Galactic inks NASA deal for commercial space flights
NEW YORK (AP) — Economies aren’t just opening up on Earth. Virgin Galactic has agreed to a deal with NASA to boost commercial human spaceflight to the International Space Station and develop a “robust economy” in space.
Financial terms of the Space Act Agreement with NASA weren’t disclosed, but Virgin Galactic said it would eventually take passengers to the space station, where it occupies space in “low earth orbit.”
SpaceX became the first private company to launch people into orbit last month, ushering in a new era in commercial space travel.
AMERICA PROTESTS-LUXURY FASHION
Luxury fashion challenged to confront racist attitudes
MILAN (AP) — Luxury fashion got a whole lot of blowback when the brands lined up social media posts to show solidarity with Black Lives Matters protests.
U.S. actor Tommy Dorfman has called Salvatore Ferragamo out for a “homophobic and racist work environment” and transgender model and actress Munroe Bergdorf accused L’Oreal of hypocrisy for firing her three years ago when she used strong language to complain about racism.
Global fashion brands have been challenged in the past to become more racially inclusive. But the U.S protests against systemic racism are increasingly targeting the fashion world and its role as a cultural beacon. Influencers and brand ambassadors now feel emboldened to speak out about behind-the-scenes bad behavior.