Walmart is Hurting, Stimulus is Coming and More – Financial News Summary for Tuesday, December 22, 2020

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The stock market came out mixed today as new details start to emerge about the stimulus package that’s set to be signed any day now. The Dow Jones came in down 0.67% at 30,015.51. The NASDAQ came in up 0.51% to close at 12,807.92 and the S&P 500 came in down 0.21% to close at 3,687.26. STOXX Europe saw improvement today, coming in up 1.18% to close at 391.25.

Walmart is coming under fire from the Department of Justice as even more cases arise from the opioid crisis. In fact, the Justice Department says that Walmart is to blame for contributing to the current crisis because they filled thousands of invalid prescriptions as well as failing to report suspicious orders. The Department is now seeking potentially billions in civil penalties and says that the company violated the Controlled Substances Act as a pharmacy operator and a wholesale drug distributor.

“As one of the largest pharmacy chains and wholesale drug distributors in the country, Walmart had the responsibility and the means to help prevent the diversion of prescription opioids,” said the Department’s Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Division Jeffrey Bossert Clark. He alleged that Walmart for years “did the opposite.”

A stimulus package is coming, with a price take of $900 billion after the Senate and House finally passed a bipartisan bill that President Trump is expected to sign. But is this package going to be enough? Many say that it’s not even close to what’s needed and that it’s going to be a drop in the bucket for those who have been struggling for nine months trying to keep their family and their homes afloat. But for others in Congress this bill is the only one that they see passing, at least in the near future. So there’s no telling what could be coming.

“The package is a fraction of what is required to address the monumental economic damage caused by [the] inadequate response to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Thea Lee, president of the progressive Economic Policy Institute, said.

Crude oil prices came in up today, by 0.06% to close at $46.83. Gold saw some improvements today as well and came in up 0.07% to close at $1,863.54 per ounce. The treasury yield saw its first down day in a while, with the 10 year yield coming in at 0.93 and the 30 year yield coming in at 1.65.

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