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Top Finance and Hip-Hop News – 7.3.20

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MARKETS

NASDAQ 10,207.63

+ 0.52%

S&P 3,130.01

+ 0.45%

DJIA 25,827.36

+ 0.36%

GOLD 1,787.80

+ 0.44%

10-YR 0.673%

– 0.50 bps

OIL 40.25

+ 1.08%

*As of market close
  • Markets: No need to check Robinhood today—the stock market is closed for the holiday weekend. The three major indexes all posted strong gains over the short week.
  • Economy: How low can they go? We’re talking about the average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, of course, which hit its lowest level ever this week.

Stocks rise after better-than-expected jobs report to close out winning week

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/01/stock-market-futures-open-to-close-news.html?utm_source=morning_brew

Stocks rose on Thursday following a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report as the economy tries to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 92.39 points higher, or 0.4%, at 25,827.36. The Nasdaq Composite hit a record high, climbing 0.5% to 10,207.63. The S&P 500 also gained 0.5% to end the day at 3,130.01. Boeing contributed to the gains, rising 0.6% after the airplane maker completed recertification flights for its grounded 737 Max jet.

Jobs Increase in June

Thursday’s gains led to strong weekly performances for the major averages. The Dow rose 3.3% this week and the S&P 500 climbed 4% in the same time period. It was the Dow and S&P 500′s biggest weekly gains since June 5. The Nasdaq posited its best weekly performance since May 8, jumping 4.6% this week. U.S. markets will be closed on Friday for the July Fourth holiday.

the Bureau of Labor Statistics said, “I gotchu.” It reported that the U.S. added a meaty 4.8 million jobs in June, dropping the unemployment rate to 11.1%.

Those jobs returned to industries that took the hardest hits—more than 40% (2.1 million jobs) were in leisure and hospitality⁠. Food services added about 1.5 million.

Don’t take that unemployment rate at face value. May’s 13.3% unemployment was artificially low because the Labor Dept. has been misclassifying some workers as employed. For June, that error (though smaller) could mean unemployment is closer to 12.1%.

And there are other measures of the labor market that paint a different picture. Indeed Chief Economist Jed Kolko says “core unemployment,” which leaves out temporary layoffs, accelerated to 5.9% in June from 5% in May. That could indicate deeper economic pain than what appears in the BLS report.

Another Day, Another Coronavirus Record In Florida

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/07/02/886595119/another-day-another-coronavirus-record-in-florida

Florida’s surge of COVID-19 cases shows no signs of slowing down. The state Department of Heath reported Florida set another daily record Thursday, with 10,109 cases, surpassing Saturday’s record of 9,585 cases. That brings Florida’s total confirmed coronavirus cases to nearly 170,000 and a death toll of 3,617 (with 67 new deaths reported Thursday).

The new record continues a marked upturn in cases that began last month, weeks after Florida started allowing businesses to reopen. Gov. Ron DeSantis has defended that decision, saying that for most of April and May, the number of new cases and the percentage of those testing positive for the virus remained low.

Jeff Bezos is reportedly now worth over $171 billion, more than he was worth before his divorce

https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-jeff-bezos-net-worth-reaches-new-high-2020-7

Jeff Bezos’ net worth appears to have soared to an all-time high.

The Amazon CEO’s fortune swelled after the company’s shares reached a new high on Wednesday of $2,878.70. The surge pushed Bezos’ net worth to $171.6 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg notes that Bezos, the world’s richest person, has added $56.7 billion to his fortune just in 2020.

Bezos’ net worth took a dip after his divorce from MacKenzie Bezos last year. As part of the settlement, MacKenzie Bezos received 25% of the couple’s Amazon shares, or about 4% of the company, worth about $38 billion at the time. The ownership shift skyrocketed MacKenzie Bezos in the ranking of the world’s richest women — given Amazon’s recent gains, she is now the second-richest woman in the world behind L’Oreal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.

FedEx, which paid $205 million for naming rights to the Washington Redskins’ stadium, asks team to change its name

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/02/fedex-asks-washington-redskins-to-change-team-name.html

FedEx has asked the Washington Redskins to change its team name, which many people consider a racial slur against Native Americans.

A FedEx spokesman told CNBC: “We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name.”

FedEx is the most important business partner of the team to take a stance against the name yet. It bought naming rights to the team’s home stadium, FedEx Field, in 1998 for $205 million in a deal that runs through 2025. Frederick Smith, FedEx CEO, is a minority owner of the team.

Earlier this week, a group of investors publicly pressured big companies such as Nike, FedEx, and Pepsi to sever relationships with the team over the name. Native Americans have challenged the team name going back to the 1960s.

Meek Mill Sued For Allegedly Stealing Lyrics For Songs ‘Cold Hearted II’ & ‘100 Summers’

https://hiphopdx.com/news/id.56635/title.meek-mill-sued-for-allegedly-stealing-lyrics-for-songs-cold-hearted-ii-100-summers

Meek Mill is reportedly being accused of jacking two songs from another artist and passing them off as his own.

According to Bossip, Dream Rich Entertainment has filed suit against Meek’s record label Dream Chasers and its parent company Atlantic Records for civil conspiracy to commit copyright infringement. Dream Rich claims Meek stole their copyrighted work “Cold Hearted II” and “100 Summers” and used them on his 2018 album Championships.

The suit states one of the company’s contracted songwriters penned the two songs in early 2018 and alleges Meek later had “access” to the copywritten works and stole them. Dream Rich also claims the Philadelphia rapper has been ignoring their attempts to contact him. They’re looking for at least $75,000 for each alleged infraction, which equates to more than $300,000.

Championships dropped in November 2018, serving as Meek’s first album following his release from prison that April. The album included appearances from JAY-Z, Rick Ross, Future, Young Thug, 21 Savage, Kodak Black and even Drake, officially ending the infamous beef the pair had for three years prior.

Considered a major success, the effort debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with roughly 229,000 album-equivalent units sold in its first week.

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Hip-Hop Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is also a speaker, and bestselling author of six books. Ash has established himself as a thought leader and trusted voice with Corporate America, Colleges, Churches, and Community based organizations. Ash is best known for helping people maximize their full potentials by giving them the inspiration, tools, and resources needed to live their best lives. For more info on Ash please visit www.IamAshCash.com

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Podcasts

Top Finance and Hip-Hop News – 8.11.20

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MARKETS

NASDAQ 10,968.36

– 0.39%

S&P 3,360.59

+ 0.28%

DJIA 27,792.88

+ 1.31%

GOLD 2,034.80

+ 0.34%

10-YR 0.581%

+ 1.30 bps

OIL 42.02

+ 1.94%

*As of market close
  • COVID-19 update: High-level metrics show generally positive news for the outbreaks in Florida, Arizona, California, and New Jersey. But infections among children grew 40% in the second half of July.
  • World: Lebanon’s government (the prime minister + cabinet) resigned following last week’s deadly explosion, but reform may be a long way off. “Lebanese politics is a corrupt and generally ineffective balancing act between the interests of powerful factions, including Hezbollah,” Axios’s Dave Lawler writes.

Dow futures jump 280 points after Russia coronavirus vaccine claim, S&P 500 nears all-time high

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/10/stock-market-futures-open-to-close-news.html

Futures tied to major U.S. equity averages advanced in early morning trading Tuesday after days of gains on Wall Street pushed the S&P 500 within striking distance of a record high.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 286 points, or 1%. The move pointed to a gain of about 266 points at the market open. S&P 500 futures added 0.7%. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.6%. The S&P 500 closed Monday just 0.97% from its record set in February.

The move higher comes shortly after local news agencies reported Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed the country had given regulatory approval for the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine.

While there was skepticism about whether Russia had developed a safe vaccine so quickly, the news triggered optimism from investors about the race for an inoculation and perhaps that the market isn’t pricing in how quickly a valid one could be ready.

Shares of stocks that would benefit most from a vaccine jumped in premarket trading. American Airlines gained 6%. Norwegian Cruise Lines climbed 6% as well. Casino shares rose. Mall-owner Simon Property Group was higher. Goldman Sachs over the weekend raised its economic growth outlook, predicting at least one vaccine approved by the end of this year and widespread distribution of the drug by the second quarter of next year.

The 30-stock Dow gained about 350 points in regular trading on Monday, posting its seventh positive session in a row — its longest winning streak since September 2019. The S&P 500 gained 0.2%, sitting just below its record high set in February. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq underperformed with a 0.4% loss as investors rotated out of some of the high-fliers.

Millions of unemployed will NOT get $400-a-week boost this week Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin admits saying ‘most states’ might be able to pay ‘in next week or two’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8613649/Steven-Mnuchin-admits-millions-unemployed-NOT-400-week-boost-week.html

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday that millions of jobless Americans may not see the promised $400-per-week unemployment boost for a few weeks as several states say they don’t have the money to help pay those increased benefits.

‘We’re thinking within the next week or two most of the states will be able to execute,’ Mnuchin told reporters when pressed on a timetable for the new payments at a press briefing Monday evening.

During Donald Trump’s coronavirus briefing, however, the president could not say if all the governors had signed off on paying out 25 per cent of the $400-per-week boost.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday that millions of jobless Americans may not see the promised $400-per-week unemployment boost for a few weeks as several states say they don’t have the money to help pay those increased benefits.

‘We’re thinking within the next week or two most of the states will be able to execute,’ Mnuchin told reporters when pressed on a timetable for the new payments at a press briefing Monday evening.

During Donald Trump’s coronavirus briefing, however, the president could not say if all the governors had signed off on paying out 25 per cent of the $400-per-week boost.

Georgia police officers put on leave, under investigation after shooting at five black minors

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/georgia-police-officers-put-leave-under-investigation-after-shooting-five-n1236292

Two Georgia police officers are under investigation after shooting at five black minors during a traffic stop on Saturday morning.

No one was struck by the gunfire, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).

According to a GBI report, a police officer witnessed a traffic violation in Waycross, a city near the Georgia-Florida state line, at about 8 a.m. Saturday and tried to get the car’s license plate information. The exact traffic violation was not disclosed.

In the car were five Black minors, all siblings, aged 9, 12, 14, 15, and 16.

As the officer approached the car, the three youngest children ran out of the car toward their mother’s house, another sibling, Savannah Boyd, told NBC affiliate FirstCoastNews. According to the GBI report, the officer followed the three children who had fled the car and a second officer was called to the scene.

The two older children were still inside the car when the second officer approached from the front and opened fire; the officer told investigators that the car had been driving toward him and that the teenagers jumped out as the car was still moving, the GBI reported.

An altercation ensued between the second officer and the 15-year-old, who was later treated for minor injuries while being handcuffed.

Boyd, who posted a Facebook Live video about the incident, had harsher words for the interaction:

“He’s Black. He’s a Black young man in this country, and it’s a scary situation and I feel for him,” she told FirstCoastNews. “Stuff like that shouldn’t happen. Police are supposed to be here to protect and serve.”

The siblings were dropping off their 9-year old brother at a football game, according to Boyd. They decided to return home once they realized the officer was following them, but were pulled over while turning onto their street.

It was then, she said, that the oldest brothers told their three youngest siblings to run to their mother’s house down the street.

“The youngest one I really feel for. Every football game he’s going to think, ‘Wow I almost got shot before a football game,'” Boyd said. “He’s going to tell this story. He’s going to remember this. My little sister is going to remember running from the police and falling in her own yard almost getting shot.”

The two older boys in the car were detained and are facing charges while the two officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.

The shooting is one of four incidents in less than 24 hours being investigated by the GBI. The bureau has investigated more than 55 officer-involved shooting incidents this year so far.

Diddy, Charlamagne, Nick Cannon & More Call On Joe Biden To Pick Black Woman For VP

https://hiphopdx.com/news/id.57252/title.diddy-charlamagne-nick-cannon-more-call-on-joe-biden-to-pick-black-woman-for-vp

Dozens of Black public figures have signed a letter urging Joe Biden to pick a Black woman as his vice presidential candidate. Diddy, Charlamagne Tha God, Nick Cannon, Timbaland, Ty Dolla $ign, Akon, Doug E. Fresh and Jacquees were among those in the music industry to attach their names to the message.

“Failing to select a Black woman in 2020 means you will lose the election,” the letter reads. “We don’t want to choose between the lesser of two evils and we don’t want to vote the devil we know versus the devil we don’t because we are tired of voting for devils — period.”

More than 100 men signed the letter, which also calls out Biden’s past involvement in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Other notable names adding their signatures include Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Chris Paul, Van Lathan, Bishop William J. Barber and Cedric The Entertainer.

Biden is expected to announce his vice presidential candidate this week. The 2020 Democratic National Convention is scheduled to begin next Monday (August 17).

Black women such as Kamala Harris, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Karen Bass, Stacey Abrams, Susan Rice and Val Demings have been mentioned as Biden’s potential VP selections.

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Top Finance and Hip-Hop News – 8.10.20

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MARKETS YTD PERFORMANCE

NASDAQ 11,010.98

+ 22.72%

S&P 3,351.28

+ 3.73%

DJIA 27,433.48

– 3.87%

GOLD 2,046.10

+ 34.61%

10-YR 0.568%

– 135.20 bps

OIL 41.60

– 32.04%

*As of market close
  • Markets: The S&P and Dow are both on a six-day winning streak. Investors will be watching how the latest U.S.-China flare-up plays out, as well as coronavirus developments, of course.
  • World: A group of countries has pledged nearly $300 million in humanitarian aid to Lebanon following the explosion that killed more than 150 people last week. French President Emmanuel Macron has been spearheading efforts.

Trump Springs Into Executive Action

On Saturday, President Trump fired off a series of measures to juice the economy after congressional efforts sputtered.

The backstory: Democrats have pushed for a $3.4 trillion aid package; Republicans countered with a $1 trillion alternative. On Friday, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Republicans had rejected an offer to split the difference.

So Trump took the ball and started his own game

He signed an executive order plus three memoranda that include:

  • An additional $300/week in unemployment benefits drawn from the federal government’s Disaster Relief Fund, plus another $100 to be provided by the states (the $600 in extra benefits provided by the CARES Act expired July 31).
  • A temporary deferment of the payroll tax for employees earning less than $100,000/year. Workers would still have to pay up eventually, but Trump is asking the Treasury to look for ways to wipe the debt away entirely.
  • Extend a moratorium on some evictions and foreclosures and push off student loan payments.

The big speedbump: The president can’t spend money unilaterally—only Congress can write checks for the U.S. government. So the additional unemployment benefits are probably headed for a courtroom.

  • That’s also probably why Trump didn’t extend aid to small businesses or to local and state governments. He doesn’t have that power.

You’ll never believe it: Dems don’t like it

Speaker Pelosi said yesterday that states can’t cover the $100 in added unemployment benefits because of their perilous budget situation from the pandemic. Democrats have demanded relief for states and cities in their aid package proposals.

  • Trump’s actions were criticized by members of his own party, too, for being non-workable. Republican Sen. Ben Sasse called the measures “unconstitutional slop.”

Bottom line: The presidential election is 85 days away, and both Trump and the Democrats are keenly aware of how the economy’s health can shape the outcome.

S&P 500 futures are flat to start week as White House, Congress battle over coronavirus relief

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/09/stock-market-futures-open-to-close-news.html

U.S. stock futures were flat early Monday morning after President Donald Trump signed several executive orders aimed at extending coronavirus relief.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up about 70 points, indicating a gain of around 60 points at market open. S&P 500 futures were little changed, while Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.1%.

Those orders continue the distribution of expanded unemployment benefits, defer student loan payments through 2020, extend a federal moratorium on evictions and provide a payroll tax holiday. However, the unemployment benefit will be continued at a reduced rate of $400 per week. Originally, the benefit provided workers impacted by the pandemic with $600 per week.

Trump’s moves come after congressional leaders failed to make progress on a new coronavirus stimulus package last week. Several benefits from a package signed earlier in the year lapsed at the end of July, raising uncertainty about the U.S. economy moving forward.

Trump’s orders will quickly face a legal challenge, as continuing the programs would require federal funding, which Congress controls.

“The fiscal cliff still represents downside risk for August,” said Aneta Markowska, chief financial economist at Jefferies. Markowska added, however, any weakness from this will be “short-lived.”

“By September, another round of fiscal support will create positive momentum. The reopening of schools, even if only in some states, will reinforce the positive momentum by (1) boosting back-to-school shopping and (2) allowing more parents to return to work in September,” she said in a note to clients. “Bottom line, all the stars are lining up for another inflection point in activity and a second leg up in the reopening.”

Wall Street was coming off a strong weekly performance. The Dow rose 3.8% last week for its biggest weekly gain since June. The S&P 500 climbed 2.5% along with the Nasdaq Composite. Last week’s gains come during a historically tough time for the market as August kicks off the worst three-month stretch for the S&P 500.

Those gains were led in part by Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, all of which rose by more than 3% last week. They also left the S&P 500 just 1.2% below its Feb. 19 record high.

Michelle Obama says she’s suffering from ‘low-grade depression’

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/06/us/michelle-obama-coronavirus-depression-trnd/index.html

Former First Lady Michelle Obama says she’s suffering from a “low-grade depression.” The reasons? The pandemic, race relations in the US and the political strife surrounding it all, she says.

“I’m waking up in the middle of the night because I’m worrying about something or there’s a heaviness,” Obama said in her “The Michelle Obama Podcast” on Wednesday. “I try to make sure I get a workout in, although there have been periods throughout this quarantine, where I just have felt too low.”

It’s a familiar feeling for many Americans.

A Census Bureau survey found that one in three Americans are reporting symptoms of depression or anxiety, more than three times the rate from a similar survey conducted in the first half of 2019. And because one of the best ways to fight coronavirus is through social distancing, people have gone long stretches of time without seeing their friends or family, exacerbating the already widespread problem of loneliness, which can be deeply harmful to one’s mental health.

In her podcast, Obama also discussed the racial reckoning in America following the death of George Floyd this summer. She explained it is “exhausting” to be “waking up to yet another story of a Black man or a Black person somehow being dehumanized, or hurt, or killed, or falsely accused of something.”

She also discussed her frustration with people who refuse to wear masks. “There’s almost like there’s a limit to our sacrifice and it was about a month and then we just got tired of the virus,” she said. “That’s been disheartening to see so many people who have grown tired of staying at home because the virus didn’t impact them.”

Obama emphasized that while “we’ve been through tough times in this nation” before, “we are in a unique moment in history… We are living through something that no one in our lifetimes has lived through.”

North Carolina’s strongest earthquake in 94 years shakes area along Virginia border

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/09/us/north-carolina-earthquake-charlotte/index.html

A 5.1-magnitude earthquake hit about 2 miles from the town of Sparta, North Carolina, early Sunday, along the state’s border with Virginia, according to the preliminary report from the US Geological Survey.

It’s the strongest quake to shake the state since 1926, according to the North Carolina Geological Survey.

The quake, whose epicenter is in Alleghany County, was felt as far away as Washington D.C. and Atlanta, according to reports to the USGS.

It struck about 8:07 a.m. ET.

Lizzo Signs Huge Deal With Amazon Studios

https://allhiphop.com/news/lizzo-signs-huge-deal-with-amazon-studios-7Zcl1PeMQku-jXl71rVuyw

Lizzo has set her sights on conquering the small screen after teaming up with Amazon Studios bosses for a first-look production deal.

The “Truth Hurts” hitmaker, who had a minor role in Jennifer Lopez’s stripper movie “Hustlers,” will develop TV projects for the streaming platform, although details about the kind of material she will be bringing to the screen have yet to be revealed.

The deal was announced on Thursday, as Lizzo made a surprise appearance during the company’s digital presentation at the virtual Television Critics Association event, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“I’m so excited to partner with the amazing team at Amazon,” the singer said. “Thank you to (Amazon Studios head) Jen Salke and the rest of the team for making this dream come true. I can’t wait to get started and share my vision with the world.”

Salke added, “Lizzo is one of the most exciting, creative, joyful artists in the industry, and it is such a pleasure to announce this new deal with her. She has such a unique perspective and we’re so excited to hear her ideas for new content that our Prime Video customers are sure to love.”

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Podcasts

Top Finance and Hip-Hop News – 8.7.20

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MARKETS

NASDAQ 11,108.07

+ 1.00%

S&P 3,349.16

+ 0.64%

DJIA 27,387.18

+ 0.68%

GOLD 2,073.30

+ 1.17%

10-YR 0.540%

– 1.50 bps

OIL 42.01

– 0.43%

*As of market close
  • Economy: Jobless claims dipped below 1.2 million last week, the first decline in two weeks. However, the extra $600/week supporting unemployed Americans no longer exists…and Congress can’t agree on a new relief bill. Which is why yesterday President Trump said he might take things into his own hands.
  • Economy reprise: This morning we’ll get the July jobs report, the most closely watched economic data point of the month.
  • Currency: The Turkish lira hit an all-time low against the (also slumping) dollar as the country battles high inflation and meager foreign currency reserves.

Dow futures fall 140 points amid Trump’s executive order on Chinese apps, virus stimulus talks

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/06/stock-market-futures-open-to-close-news.html

Futures tied to major U.S. equity averages fell on Friday after an executive order from President Donald Trump raised tensions further with China. Investors were also eyeing virus stimulus talks in Washington and a big jobs report due Friday.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures lost 141 points, or 0.5%. The move implied a drop of more than 150 points at the open. S&P 500 futures lost 0.5%. Nasdaq 100 futures also shed 0.5%.

The overnight moves came after U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday issued executive orders to address “the threat posed” by Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat. As part of the order, any transaction with ByteDance and Tencent, the parent companies of TikTok and WeChat, respectively, will be barred in 45 days.

It comes as tensions between Washington and Beijing continue to escalate over several issues including the origins of the coronavirus and democracy in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, investors are watching closely for the upcoming monthly jobs report due at 8:30 a.m ET Friday.

t’s widely expected that the labor market’s rebound has slowed down amid a spike in coronavirus cases across the U.S. Economists predicted that the economy gained 1.48 million jobs in July, down sharply from the 4.8 million new payrolls in June, according to Dow Jones. The jobless rate is expected to dip to 10.6% in July from 11.1%.

Mortgage rates hit another all-time low

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/06/success/mortgage-rates-record-low-august/index.html

If it seems like you keep hearing about mortgage rates hitting yet another record low, that’s because you are. The 30-year mortgage rate just hit its eighth record low so far this year.

The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low of 2.88% this past week, according to Freddie Mac. That’s the lowest level in the nearly 50 years of the mortgage giant’s survey. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 2.44%.

The low rates give potential home buyers more purchasing power and should strengthen demand in the real estate market, Freddie Mac said.

New York Attorney General Letitia James sues to dissolve NRA for ‘fraud and abuse’

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/new-york-attorney-general-letitia-james-files-lawsuit-dissolve-nra-n1236009?utm_source=morning_brew

New York Attorney General Letitia James sued the National Rifle Association and four individuals, including its chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, on Thursday, seeking to dissolve the gun rights advocacy group and accusing top executives of “years of illegal self-dealings” that funded a “lavish lifestyle.”

James said the NRA, a not-for-profit organization, undercut its charitable mission by engaging in illegal financial conduct, including diverting millions of dollars “for personal use by senior leadership, awarding contracts to the financial gain of close associates and family, and appearing to dole out lucrative no-show contracts to former employees in order to buy their silence and continued loyalty.”

Also named in the complaint are Wilson “Woody” Phillips, a former treasurer and chief financial officer; Joshua Powell, a former chief of staff and the executive director of general operations; and John Frazer, the corporate secretary and general counsel. They are accused in the suit of failing to manage the NRA’s funds and abide by state and federal laws, contributing to the loss of more than $64 million in three years.

James alleged that the executives had used the corporation as a “personal piggy bank” and that millions of dollars from NRA reserves were used on trips for them and their families and to pay for private jets and expensive meals. LaPierre is also accused of having spent more than $500,000 on eight trips to the Bahamas over three years, securing luxury black car services, paying for hair and makeup for his wife and obtaining a post-employment contract valued at $17 million.

Also Thursday, District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine sued the NRA and the NRA Foundation, its charitable arm, which is incorporated in D.C. The suit alleges that they misused charitable funds “to support wasteful spending by the NRA and its executives.” The suit seeks the return of money that it says was donated to the NRA Foundation but was improperly diverted to the NRA and to ensure that the foundation is “operated independently and fulfills its charitable purposes.”

NRA President Carolyn Meadows called the New York complaint a “baseless, premeditated attack on our organization and the Second Amendment freedoms it fights to defend.” She said the organization would “confront it and prevail.”

Biden seeks to clarify comment that Latino community is diverse, ‘unlike the African American community’

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/06/politics/joe-biden-clarifies-diverse/index.html

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden sought Thursday night to limit the political damage after he said in an earlier interview that the Latino community in the United States was diverse, “unlike the African American community with notable exceptions.”

In three tweets, Biden said he wanted to “clarify” his remarks, which President Donald Trump’s campaign had seized on in its latest effort to undercut the former vice president’s support among Black voters.

“Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify. In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith — not by identity, not on issues, not at all,” Biden said.

“Throughout my career I’ve witnessed the diversity of thought, background, and sentiment within the African American community. It’s this diversity that makes our workplaces, communities, and country a better place,” he said. “My commitment to you is this: I will always listen, I will never stop fighting for the African American community and I will never stop fighting for a more equitable future.”

Biden’s comment had come in a pre-taped interview hosted by the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

“What you all know but most people don’t know, unlike the African American community with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things,” Biden said in that interview. “You go to Florida, you find a very different attitude about immigration in certain places than you do when you’re in Arizona. So it’s a very different, a very diverse community.”

His comment, campaign adviser Symone Sanders later said, was “referring to diversity of attitudes among Latinos from different Latin American countries.”

Walmart launching drive-in movie theaters at 160 stores amid COVID-19. Here’s how to reserve a parking space.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/08/05/walmart-free-movies-parking-lots-drive-in-movie-theaters-coronavirus/3300073001/

Walmart parking lots across the country are being transformed into drive-in theaters.

From Aug. 14 through Oct. 21, the retailer will have 320 movie showings at 160 of its stores, including “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Black Panther” as well as animated movies like “Cars” and “The Iron Giant.”

Walmart in early July announced plans to show free movies, which are being curated by the Tribeca Film Festival, and on Wednesday released the list of the movies with dates and cities where the movies would be shown.

Starting at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, consumers can sign up to reserve a parking space for a viewing at thewalmartdrivein.com.

 

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