US and European stocks reverse losses as Yellen signals inflation won’t hurt recovery and commodities rally

wall street new york stock exchange

US stocks rose slightly on Wednesday after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she doesn’t expect inflation to be a problem, underplaying previous comments that it may be necessary to raise interest rates to prevent economic overheating.

Futures on the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq rose 0.3%, suggesting a higher start to trading at the market open.

Yellen’s remarks the previous day were likely about longer-term rates, rather than breaking historic convention and commenting on monetary policy, Deutsche Bank strategists said. She also seemed to project the Fed has the necessary tools to address inflation if it were to occur.

But her initial comments prompted a sell-off in tech shares and sent longer-dated Treasury yields higher.

“So it seems like a small matter-of-fact statement has been magnified around financial markets, which just shows how sensitive we all are to rates and inflation,” Deutsche’s strategists said.

A decline in large-cap Wall Street tech darlings led the Nasdaq 1.6% lower at Tuesday’s close as investors dumped their shares on concerns of rising interest rates.

With the S&P 500 around 1% away from record highs, UBS Global Wealth Management says plenty of good news is priced into the market, suggesting stocks are potentially vulnerable to disappointments.

Chief investment officer Mark Haefele said such worries can continue to be seen as a source of volatility rather than developments that are likely to end the equity rally.

“Investors can brace for future bouts of volatility through diversification, and use market swings as an opportunity to build long-term exposure,” he said. “We believe the backdrop of accelerating growth and continuing policy support means that markets can advance further.”

Investors in Europe initially took their cue from the weakness across the US market, but those losses reversed with another busy start to corporate earnings and a burst higher in the commodities complex. Results from car manufacturer Stellantis, insulin-maker Novo Nordisk, and Danish shipping company AP Moller-Maersk are due.

Surging commodity prices pushed up mining stocks in the region, as recovery sentiment lifted. UK mining stocks including Rio Tinto, BHP, and Anglo American each rose about 2% alongside copper prices rising past $10,000 a tonne for the first time in years.

London’s FTSE 100 rose 1%, the Euro Stoxx 50 rose 1.3%, and Frankfurt’s DAX gained 1.4%.

Asian shares were largely muted as markets in China, Japan, and South Korea are still closed for public holidays. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.5%, led by weakness in the tech sector.

Oil prices climbed against the backdrop of easing lockdowns in the US and Europe. Brent crude futures rose 3%, to $69.70 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate rose 1.1%, to $66.45 per barrel.

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US markets dip after a lag in high-flying tech stocks, while European stocks trade higher on reopening confidence

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US markets edged lower on Tuesday after mega-cap technology stocks dropped despite largely upbeat quarterly results over the past week.

Futures on the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq fell between 0.1% and 0.3%, suggesting a weaker start to trade at the opening bell later.

Declines in shares of Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, and Microsoft have weighed on the broader market. Chipmakers have also been under pressure, as the current semiconductor shortage is having tremendous impacts on lead times and pricing, according to Deutsche Bank strategists.

“There appears to be a general inflation of prices across most, if not all, supply lines,” they said. “This dovetails with what many companies are reporting during this earnings season, and has caused more than a few to lower production guidance for 2021, even as consumer demand continues to rebound with the overall economy.”

But with results in from a majority of the S&P 500 names, 85% of companies have beaten expectations.

UBS chief investment officer Mark Haefele said investors should be careful to avoid over-allocating to mega-cap tech companies in their portfolios. “In an environment of accelerating growth, we continue to prefer cyclical and value sectors such as financials and energy, while positioning for long-term structural growth in industries which could provide ‘The Next Big Thing’,” he said.

The US dollar rallied after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the US economic outlook has “clearly brightened,” but has been slower for those in lower-paid jobs. In terms of rising house prices, Powell cited a sharp increase in demand fueled by low mortgage rates and fiscal stimulus. He expects “it is going to be a tight housing market for some time now because demand is just very, very high.”

Jerome Powell
Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Across the pond, the European Commission is proposing a travel plan that would replace the current blanket ban for non-essential travel to the region that has been in place for about a year, according to the Guardian. People who have been fully vaccinated from countries with low infection rates could be allowed to travel to the EU by the start of June under a proposed vaccine passport system.

In the UK, a string of local and regional elections will be taking place on Thursday after being delayed last year due to the pandemic. The Bank of England will announce its latest monetary policy decision the same day.

“In terms of when they might begin to taper their Quantitative Easing operations, (economists) think it’s a close call between May and June, but ultimately the BoE will wait until June,” Deutsche strategists said.

London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6%, the Euro Stoxx 50 was about flat, and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.2%.

Activity in Asian markets was somewhat muted by holidays in China and Japan on Tuesday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.8%.

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Global stocks ease as investors take profit after record highs on the back of strong economic data and robust earnings

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Global stocks edged lower on Friday as investors digested a fusion of strong US economic data, continued Federal Reserve commitment, and better-than-expected earnings releases with caution.

Futures on the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq fell between 0.1% and 0.3%.

But the MSCI World Index, that tracks equity performance across 23 developed countries, rose 0.7% to its own record high.

The US economy grew at an annualized pace of 6.4% through the quarter that ended in March, versus 6.7% expected, leaving GDP less than 1% beneath its pre-COVID peak in the fourth-quarter of 2019. Adding to the recovery sentiment, US initial jobless claims dipped to 553,000 last week and marked a third straight decline.

The positive backdrop doesn’t mean that the current period of low volatility will persist, according to Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.

We expect bouts of market turbulence, as investors fret over rising inflation and the uneven global progress in combating the pandemic,” he said. “With global stocks close to record highs, the market is also likely to be vulnerable to disappointing news on the economy or COVID-19.”

On tech earnings, Amazon was the latest to post solid results on Thursday and saw shares rise 3.2% in after-market trading on a huge earnings beat in Jeff Bezos’ last quarter as CEO. Quarterly revenue rose 44% to $108.52 billion, and the company indicated that aspects of the pandemic bump in online sales may endure.

Twitter’s shares meanwhile slid 7% on its lower revenue outlook, even though quarterly revenue rose 28% to $1.04 billion. One issue for the company may be stronger ad revenues seen by rivals Google and Facebook earlier this week, Deutsche Bank strategists said.

Elsewhere in Europe, the French economy grew more than expected in the first three months of the year, with an expansion of 0.4% from the fourth quarter. Austria returned to growth after shrinking in the previous quarter, but Spain stagnated by 0.5% in the first three months of 2021.

London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2%, the Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.1%, and Germany’s DAX rose 0.5%.

Emerging markets such as Brazil and India continue to reel from a severe COVID-19 wave. Total fatalities in Brazil have topped 400,000, reporting more deaths so far in 2021 than in the whole of last year, as it struggles with vaccination.

India reported over 386,000 new cases in the past 24 hours, while related deaths rose by more than 3,400 in the same period. Several states have run out of vaccines ahead of a planned nationwide inoculation drive, according to Reuters.

More positively, BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said he’s confident the COVID-19 vaccine his company developed jointly with Pfizer will be effective against the variant found in India.

Asian shares traded lower against the backdrop of weak China data and a continued anti-trust crackdown on tech companies within the country. Growth in China’s services and manufacturing sectors fell short of expectations in April, signalling a drop in economic activity at the start of the second quarter.

China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.8%, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.8%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.1%

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Global stocks wobble as concerns of rising COVID-19 virus cases overshadow robust earnings

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  • Concerns of recovery optimism affected world stocks on Wednesday, casting doubt on global growth.
  • The latest jump in case counts undermines the global recovery narrative, Deutsche strategists said.
  • Travel-related concerns prompted by fears of a COVID-19 variant in India is hanging over markets.
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Global stocks were trading lower on Wednesday, as investors weighed up the potential economic impact of rising coronavirus cases across multiple regions in recent days.

The global rate of increase stands at the highest level since the start of the pandemic, as recorded cases are up by more than five million a week, according to Deutsche Bank strategists.

India reported over 2,000 virus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, while Turkey, Argentina, and Japan are also grappling with a new wave.

Futures on the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq were about flat, and suggested a steady open for US indices, which have hit record highs this week, later in the day.

The risk to markets is that the latest jump in case counts undercuts the narrative that the global economy is on an unstoppable path back to normality as vaccinations take place worldwide, Deutsche’s strategists said. Higher numbers also raise the odds of a more dangerous variant emerging that proves resistant to existing vaccines, they said.

On the earnings front, Proctor & Gamble smashed Wall Street estimates, as the company’s quarterly net sales rose 5% to $18.1 billion. Johnson and Johnson also topped estimates, reporting quarterly sales of $100 million of its COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, Netflix shares dropped as much as 12% in after-hours trading as the company added fewer than 4 million customers in the first quarter, compared to the 6 million analysts expected.

Elsewhere in Europe, the UK reported inflation jumped from 0.4% to 0.7% in March, driven by higher costs of fuel and clothes. “The fact it fell short of the 0.8% forecast helped nip any inflationary pressure panic in the bud,” Connor Campbell, a financial analyst at SpreadEx, said.

Optimism over rising vaccination rates in the US, Britain, and Europe is for now overshadowing the question of the risk of the COVID-19 variant, or variants, in India.

London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6%, the Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.9%, and Germany’s DAX rose 0.4%.

Asian equities fell, as some countries questioned the outlook for global growth as Japan announced Tokyo would enter a state of emergency on April 29. China’s Shanghai Composite was about flat, Japan’s Nikkei fell 2%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.6%.

Oil prices were dented by the escalating virus situation in India, which is the world’s third-largest importer of crude. Brent Crude fell 0.2%, to $66.42 a barrel, and West Texas Intermediate fell 0.3%, to $62.48 a barrel.

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Global stocks pull back from record highs as COVID-19 cases rise at the fastest rate since the pandemic began

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Global stocks edged below record highs on Tuesday as investors digested a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases around the world in one of the fastest rates since the pandemic began.

The VIX index, which is often referred to as Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” logged its biggest rise in three weeks by ticking up 1.04 basis points to 17.35, suggesting markets expect a rise in volatility over the next 30 days.

The global coronavirus case count is continuing to rise rapidly, with record case numbers being reported around the world. Japan is considering another virus state of emergency, the UK implemented a travel ban for visitors from India due to high case counts, and Argentina is being hit by a fierce second wave.

Numbers in the US are fairly stable, but that shadows a noticeable divergence between states, Deutsche Bank analysts said.

Separately, earnings this week could provide another catalyst that gives the overall market a sense of direction. United Airlines fell 2.1% after Monday’s close as the company indicated quarterly losses would continue until air travel bounces back to 65% of 2019 levels. Tesla fell 3.4% after two men died in one of its cars that Texas local authorities said were driverless.

Futures on the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq rose 0.2%, suggesting a slight rise in US indices later in the day.

Bitcoin dropped another 3% on Tuesday to around $54,000 – almost 18% lower from its all-time high last week.

Elsewhere in Europe, publicly-traded football clubs were among the biggest winners following news of the Wall-Street financed breakaway European Super League. Shares in the Italian club Juventus soared 17% in its best day since 2013, while Manchester United jumped 8%.

But plans by Europe’s biggest clubs to launch a separate competition have come under criticism, and politicians have stepped in. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted these would be “very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action.”

Separately, the European Union on Monday expanded an advance purchase agreement to receive an extra 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, taking the total number of doses delivered to the bloc to 600 million.

London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.2%, the Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.3%, and Germany’s DAX rose 0.08%

Asia stocks retreated after investors followed weakness in the US tech sector’s corporate earnings.

China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.2%, Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.9%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.09%.

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Global shares edge higher as investors look past Archegos shockwave to COVID-19 developments, while US tech shares ease

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Global stocks rose on Tuesday, as investors shrugged off worries about wider fallout from the $35 billion Archegos default to focus instead on the worldwide progress of the COVID-19 vaccination program.

Futures on the Dow Jones rose 0.2% and the S&P 500 was about flat, suggesting a mixed open for US indices later in the day, while futures on the Nasdaq 100 fell 0.5%, pointing to a lower start for the technology sector. The Dow Jones hit an all-time high on Monday, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq saw a bigger pullback.

A spokesperson for Archegos, the family office of “Tiger cub” Bill Hwang, told Bloomberg in an email “all plans are being discussed” to determine the best path forward. Shares in banks linked to the risky trades didn’t see as much of a decline as Monday, when the financial sector was among the worst performing sectors of the European stock market.

US regulators have called in the banks involved for a “fireside chat,” according to Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

Meanwhile, ViacomCBS fell a further 6.6%, losing more than half its value since a week ago, and Discovery fell another 1.6%.

“Just because markets appear to have moved on this morning, doesn’t mean the dust has settled on Archego Capital’s collapse,” Connor Campbell, a financial analyst at SpreadEx, said. “That situation could still have some nasty surprises up its sleeve.”

Separately in the US, President Joe Biden is expected to deliver a speech on infrastructure spending on Wednesday. The plan could cost as much $4 trillion in new outgoings and include $3.5 trillion in tax hikes, according to the Washington Post. The administration is not expected to expand the child tax credit permanent. Investors are also anticipating the next non-farm payrolls scheduled to release on Friday.

The 10-year US Treasury yield continued its march higher, rising 5 basis points to 1.77%, its highest since the start of the pandemic just over a year ago.

While Europe is at the forefront of a potential new wave of coronavirus infections, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has also warned the country risks facing a fresh wave of cases.

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was hopeful no more lockdowns would be required as the country took its first significant step of easing out of restrictions on Monday.

London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.7%, the Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.5%, and Germany’s DAX rose 0.6%.

The Ever Given ship in the Suez Canal was finally freed by a huge dredging vessel after being stuck for nearly a week, allowing normal traffic to resume. But the canal authority says it could take multiple days to clear out the backlog of ships that had built during the blockage. Oil prices were mostly tepid, with Brent crude falling slightly by 0.2% to $61.45 and West Texas Intermediate falling 0.1% to $64.87.

Asian markets received a boost from the Suez Canal news, helped by ByteDance’s latest $250 billion valuation in the private market. China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.6%, Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.2%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.8%.

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The SEC’s ‘crypto mom’ Hester Peirce hopes 2021 will be a turning point for crypto regulation in the US as she says authorities are spending too much time on its illegal uses

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SEC commissioner, Hester Peirce.

  • The SEC’s “crypto mom” Hester Peirce is hopeful 2021 will be a turning point for US crypto regulation.
  • She said authorities must look at the flipside of cryptocurrencies, rather than focusing on their illicit uses.
  • The SEC’s “ever-moving goalposts” are unfair to firms that plan to launch crypto products, she said.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

SEC commissioner Hester Peirce said at a virtual conference last week she hopes 2021 will be a “turning point” for crypto regulation in the US.

Peirce, who has been nicknamed “crypto mom” for her support of digital assets, said US authorities have been spending an unreasonable amount of time focusing on the illegal uses of the technology, rather than on its protective value.

She outlined an exceedingly positive view of cryptocurrencies at the British Blockchain Association’s conference on March 15, saying their ability to function without the need for financial intermediaries could help those “living under the threat of harm by their families, people in their communities, or repressive governments.”

“The disproportionate focus on illicit uses and the underestimation of the protective uses of crypto is one example of how evidence-based rulemaking is not yet the norm in crypto-regulation,” she said. “We can do better, and I hope that this year will mark a turning point for the United States, which in turn may spur other countries similarly to take a more sensible approach to crypto regulation.”

She offered her view on the SEC’s decision-making over approval of crypto exchange-traded products, given that at least 10 firms have filed and so far failed to gain approval for the much-anticipated product. Meanwhile, three exchange-traded funds have already won regulatory approval in Canada.

She said the SEC’s constantly moving goalposts for applicants are “unfair to innovators who spend ever-increasing amounts of money on attorneys and quantitative experts only to find that they have failed to hit a target that has moved once again.”

Peirce thinks regulators should offer more clarity so that traditional financial institutions can engage with cryptocurrencies more confidently. She said massive interest is pressuring the SEC to deal with difficult questions.

“A final regulatory lesson then is that the regulatory work is only just beginning,” she said.

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Fed Chair Jerome Powell says central bank-backed digital currencies must coexist alongside cash and other forms of money

jerome powell fed mask
Jerome Powell.

  • Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said potential central bank digital currencies must coexist with cash.
  • COVID-19 has brought forward the need to address the limitations of current payments, he said.
  • Achieving an improved payments system would require multiple stakeholders to collaborate, he said.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday prospective digital currencies issued by central banks must accompany cash and other types of money within a flexible payment system.

“A recent report from the Bank for International Settlements and a group of seven central banks, which includes the Fed, assessed the feasibility of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in helping central banks deliver their public policy objectives,” Powell said in prepared remarks at a payments conference hosted in Basel, Switzerland.

“One of the three key principles highlighted in the report is that a CBDC needs to coexist with cash and other types of money in a flexible and innovative payment system.”

The COVID-19 crisis has underscored the less systematic areas of the current payment system and sped up the need for digitalization, he said. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is said to be collaborating with MIT researchers to explore digital currencies in addition to experiments the Fed’s board of governors is conducting.

Powell was addressing attendees at a conference aimed at discussing improvements in cross-border payments hosted by the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures.

“By definition, cross-border payments involve multiple jurisdictions,” he said. “So it will only be through countries working together, via all of the international forums-the Group of Seven, the G-20, the CPMI, the FSB, and others-that solutions will be possible.”

He said that achieving an improved payments system would be made possible through the combined engagement of policymakers, private-sector participants, and academia.

Powell recently said that a potential digital dollar is a “high priority” project for the US, although that comes with notable technical and policy-related issues. As the issuer of the world’s reserve currency, the US doesn’t have to be the first to create one, but it does have to get it right, he said.

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Global stocks edge lower on fresh concerns of COVID-19 cases despite Biden signing the $1.9 trillion stimulus deal

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Global stocks dipped on Friday despite President Joe Biden signing the $1.9 trillion stimulus package into law, a day earlier than planned, as fresh concerns grew over rising COVID-19 cases in Europe.

Futures on the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq fell between 0.2% and 1.4%, suggesting a lower open for US markets later in the day.

“The Dow Jones’s stimulus-package celebrations appear like they have come to an end,” said Connor Campbell, a financial analyst at SpreadEx, after the S&P 500 and Dow closed Thursday’s session at record highs. “It isn’t expected to endure much of a hangover, however,” he said.

In his first prime-time address since moving to the White House, Biden said all adults in the US would be eligible to receive vaccine shots by May 1. The White House separately announced that the $1,400 stimulus checks would be sent out as early as the weekend.

UBS said it expects market conditions to remain volatile, with three main drivers supporting equities – stimulus, pandemic news, and recent inflation data.

Yields on the 10-year Treasury note rose by 7 basis points on Friday to 1.591% after spending most of Thursday’s session lower.

“We continue to see developments supporting the upside for equities,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. “As growth accelerates, we see the best performance from cyclical parts of the market, including small-caps and emerging markets.”

Elsewhere in Europe, France and Germany are resisting imposing lockdowns, even as the former sees 350 cases per 100,000 inhabitants weekly and the latter, the most cases since late-January.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank signaled on Thursday it would accelerate the pace of asset purchases to cap rising yields.

“The ECB did what was expected on policy-nothing,” said Paul Donovan, chief economist at UBS Global Wealth Management. “After a slow start, they have promised to start buying bonds more quickly. Higher-yielding Euro area government bonds liked that. Other markets were indifferent.”

However, the euro seemed to have gained a “pass mark”, because the ECB didn’t increase the size of its bond-buying program and instead chose to front-load it, said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.4% and Germany’s DAX fell 0.3%.

The UK posted a 3.9% decline in January GDP, affected by tougher lockdown restrictions that led to shuttered businesses. That left the economy 9% smaller than what it was before the pandemic struck in March 2020, the Office for National Statistics said. But this was well above expectations for a contraction of 4.9% in the first month of the year.

London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.2%.

In Asia, China’s antitrust regulator has slapped fines on some of its biggest tech companies including Tencent and Baidu, which dented sentiment in the tech sector.

But Biden’s stimulus is expected to be a short-term driver for Asian markets. China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.4%, Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.7%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.3%.

Oil markets slipped, as the recent bull market correction continued. Brent crude futures fell 0.4% to $69.35 and West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.6% to $65.65.

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Nearly three dozen GOP mayors back Biden’s COVID-19 relief package

David Holt
Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt.

  • Roughly 32 GOP mayors are backing Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.
  • The support is a stark contrast to the bill’s opposition among congressional Republicans.
  • The House passed the bill on Saturday and it now heads to the Senate where resistance is anticipated.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

While President Joe Biden faces firm opposition to his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package from congressional Republicans, many elected GOP officials outside of Washington DC are singing a different tune.

Roughly 32 GOP mayors, representing cities from Oklahoma City and Arlington, Texas to Carmel, Indiana and Mesa, Arizona, are among 425 mayors who backed the relief bill in a letter through the US Conference of Mayors to Congress.

“American cities and our essential workers have been serving at the front lines of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for nearly a year,” the mayors wrote. “Despite immense fiscal pressure, your local government partners oversaw those efforts, while trying to maintain essential services and increase our internal capacity to provide support for residents and businesses who have been crippled by a tanking economy.”

Congressional Republicans have blasted the price tag of Biden’s bill, deriding the local economic relief as a “blue state bailout” for Democratic cities and states.

GOP Rep. Trent Kelly of Mississippi echoed such a sentiment at a House committee meeting this week.

“What I see is a bailout for poorly-run (cities and states), not money that is earmarked for those who have discovered losses based on COVID,” he said.

Some Republicans have also argued that the economic forecasts for many localities were above expected projections, eliminating the need for increased federal funds.

During a CNN segment yesterday, GOP mayors David Holt of Oklahoma City and John Giles of Mesa defended the need for additional aid.

“I don’t know a city where revenues have gone up,” Holt said. “That is news to me and I think that is not true. Whether your mayor is a Republican or a Democrat, revenues are down.”

He added: “The idea that this is a red state/blue state or red city/blue city thing is really a myth. Everybody is down. Everybody needs some support to get their services back to the level that people expect.”

When asked if Mesa was a “poorly-run city,” Giles rejected such a characterization.

“I’m very proud of the way that we’ve administered the COVID relief that we received a year ago,” he said. “There are a lot of people in Mesa that received food and utility assistance. Our first responders were funded. We were able to get kids back into school, to help with our school districts to have the remote learning devices they needed.”

He emphasized: “I would invite any scrutiny that partisans would like to apply to the way that we’ve administered the funds that we’ve received thus far.”

After the relief bill passed the House in a near party-line 219-212 vote yesterday, the group praised the outcome as it heads to the Senate.

“The fiscal relief passed today will help close deep budget holes and enable cities to be an engine of our recovery,” they wrote. “But the job is not done. Mayors urge the Senate to now act quickly on this package and preserve the desperately needed resources for cities of all sizes.”

Earlier this month, a group of GOP senators led by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine sought to reduce the size of the relief package to roughly $600 billion, but Democrats proceeded with their bill through the reconciliation process, which would allow them to pass the bill through party-line votes.

If all 50 Democrats back the relief bill on the Senate floor in the face of united GOP opposition, then Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote will assure its passage.

Holt, for his part, said that he was singularly focused on the well-being of his city.

“I’m a one-issue voter,” he told USA Today. “If it’s good for cities, and especially for Oklahoma City, I’m going to be supportive. The $350 billion for cities and states is a no-brainer to me, regardless of your political party.”

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