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US financial news | Summary news 20 October

US financial news | Summary news 20 October

US finance news: live updates

Headlines: Friday 20 October 2023

- Fed Chair Jerome Powell says the central bank is unlikely to raise interest rates again

- 30-year fixed-rate mortgage daily average hit 8% for first time in 23 years

- Gas prices continue to fall in the US, regular $3.558 per gallon according to AAA

Rite Aid announces which stores will close as part of the drugstore chains restructuring 

- Medicare Open Enrollment period has begun. Here's what you should know...

- Social Security Administration (SSA) announces 3.2% COLA for 2024

- Average Social Security retirement recipient to receive at least $50 more per month

- Mortgage rates continue to climb. When will homebuyers get relief?

- Which US states are issuing stimulus checks and tax rebates?

Check out some of our related news articles:

Housing market: Why did home sales hit a 13-year low?

High-interest rates and a short supply of houses have led to a historic home sales decline across the United States. The average interest rate for a 15-and-30-year mortgage is 7.63 and 6.92 percent, respectively, which makes the actual value of purchasing a home much more expensive compared to a low-rate environment. Read more. 

Elon Musk announces two more subscription tiers for Twitter: What do they include?

Elon Musk has announced that there will be two new subscription tiers, a total of three models that will be determined by the amount of advertising they will be subject to.

What do the two new forms of subscription have to offer?


ATM fees higher than ever

The Biden Administration has launched a campaign against junk fees, but ATM surcharges are higher than ever. According to a study by the personal finance site Bankrate, clients who use an “out-of-network” ATM pay $4.73 in fees, on average.

Banking experts say they may be leveraging out-of-network fees to replace lost revenue from other sources.


Stocks face most volatility since regional banking crisis

Volatility greeted investors over the past week as uncertainty about the Fed's plans for interest rates and rising bond yields have weighed on equities, per Yahoo Finance.

On Thursday, the CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street's favorite gauge for fear and volatility, hit 21 for the first time since a regional banking crisis rocked the stock market in March.

Geopolitical tensions are rising in the Middle East and fears of recession are still proliferating through corporate America. There is uncertainty around leadership in Congress and what that could mean for another government shutdown. Bond yields are at 16-year highs, and oil prices have been resilient, too.

These factors have spooked what was previously a roaring 2023 market rally.

The different kinds of stocks explained

You’ve got some expendable cash, and you’re ready to risk your money in the stock market. Experts say it’s important to diversify your portfolio to manage risk. But before you can do that, it's best to know what's out there for you.

Here are the different kinds of stocks so that you can choose what is best for your financial goals, as well as what is a better fit for the type of investor that you are.

Costco Salaries: What are the highest and lowest paying jobs at the company?

Costco is the largest price club supermarket chain in the world. The company offers discount prices on name-brand products and provides specialized departments as well as member-only services.

According to the job portal Zippia, Costco has a renowned employee retention rate, in addition to having more holidays than other supermarkets in the United States. But how much do its workers earn? 

Learn about salaries, as well as the best and worst paying jobs in the company.


Economists expect Federal Reserve to hike rates in December

BofA Global Research said on it now expects the Federal Reserve to deliver a 25-basis-point rate hike in December instead of November.

Economists at the brokerage believe that recent comments from policymakers at the central bank suggest "they will opt for one last hike in December".

How will the new IRS free online tax filing service work for 2024?

Tax filing time is still a while away, thank goodness, but that doesn’t mean preparations are yet to begin. Indeed, the IRS has announced plans for a huge trial for a new federal income tax pilot that aims to finally make taxes free, easy, and accessible.

The “Direct File” pilot test will provide taxpayers with the choice to electronically file their federal tax return directly with the IRS for free. Taxpayers can choose to use it for tax year 2023 and it will be a mobile-friendly, interview-based service that works on all devices. It will be an option for hundreds of thousands of taxpayers in 13 states in 2024. Read more. 

When will home prices go down in the US? This is what the experts say

Compared to the first half of 2020 with prices seen during the same period in 2023, the average price for a sold home in the US has increased by 32 percent. However, compared to the latter half of 2022, the average has fallen from $550,200 to $500,200.

However, the New York Fed reported that supply remains extremely tight, and unless more houses are put on the market, prices are unlikely to fall dramatically.

Social Security Payments: Who will benefit from the 2024 COLA increase before the end of 2023?

The SSA has announced the increase to COLA for 2024.

However, some beneficiaries will receive the increased payment before the end of the year.

The complete Social Security payment schedule for 2024

For the full lowdown on Social Security and SSI payment dates in 2024, let me recommend this piece by AS USA's Corina González and Oli Povey.

Rite Aid Files for Bankruptcy: Full List of All Pharmacies Closing

The US pharmacy chain Rite Aid has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, partly due to the company’s enormous debts related to opioid crisis lawsuits. The lawsuits have taken a severe toll on their balance sheets, and company leaders stated in their most recent earnings report that this year, they expect to see a net loss between $650 million and $680 million.

This news has taken a toll on the store’s stock price, which has lost around 94 percent of its value over the last six months.

Read our full coverage for the complete list of Rite Aid locations that will close in the near future. 

More Wells Fargo and Bank of America branches to close in coming days: Full list of offices

With the rise of online banking, more and more customers prefer banking operations through their smartphones instead of going to a branch or office of their choice.

For this reason, and with the aim of adapting to the needs and preferences of customers, the closures of various bank branches have not ceased in the United States... The most recent? Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

Read more on which locations will be closing in our full coverage. 

Netflix raises prices again in October 2023: how much do subscriptions cost now?

Netflix is raising prices again following a successful third quarter for the company and a password-sharing crackdown that went better than expected.

Here's how much more it will cost to stream Netflix...

This city will pay you up to $15,000 if you move there

Through the Choose Topeka program, this Kansas city is offering up to $15,000 to select individuals and families who opt to move there for economic opportunities.

Find out more about the program...

What did Elon Musk say about the high interest rates in the US?

Elon Musk spoke to investors during an earnings call after Tesla reported its third-quarter results which underperformed expectations. The electric-vehicle manufacturer missed Wall Street forecasts for both earnings and revenue, the first time since the second-quarter of 2019.

Tesla’s stock rose initially after the report but then sank upon hearing the billionaire’s pessimistic outlook on the economy and what it could mean for the company. Particularly, he said that he’s “worried about the high interest rate environment we’re in.”


Gas prices coming down across the US, plummeting in California

The average price per gallon of regular nationwide is down over 30 cents compared to a month ago according to AAA data. On Friday the national average was $3.558 a gallon. 

However, home of the most expensive gasoline in the United States, in California the average is almost $2 more.

Drivers in the Golden State, which saw prices spike in September, have watched with relief as they have come down steadily this month. Issues at four refineries were partly to blame for the rapid increase in late summer but those are now improving. Gas Buddy is predicting that they will drop by around $1 per gallon before Thanksgiving, three times what is expected for the rest of the nation.


Federal Reserve to continue working towards inflation goals

Inflation is still too high, and a few months of good data are only the beginning of what it will take to build confidence that inflation is moving down sustainably toward our goal.

We cannot yet know how long these lower readings will persist, or where inflation will settle over coming quarters.

Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chair

Federal Reserve unlikely to raise interest rates again

Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell says that the central bank is not likely to raise interest rates again, as data from recent months have demonstrated stable inflation and strong employment. 

He says the committee is proceeding carefully, and will only raise rates again if it sees that the progress made so far has been jeopardized.

Mortgage rates reach 8%: When will they start decreasing according to experts?

Over the past two years, mortgage rates have been on the rise, and average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have now hit 8%. This comes after rates dropped to historic lows during the covid-19 pandemic.

The high mortgage rates have further limited the options of potential home buyers. Will relief be coming? What do experts have to say about the matter?

Why is Elon Musk considering taking X out of Europe?

Twitter, the social network for which billionaire Elon Musk paid $44 billion and whose name was later changed to X, is in the middle of another controversy.

The social media platform could be saying goodbye to Europe, since the company faces a serious problem if it wants to continue operating in the continent.


US finance news, live updates: welcome

Good morning and welcome to AS USA's daily live blog for Friday 20 October 2023, bringing you the latest US financial news.

We’ll be looking at the major stories affecting Americans like the Social Security 2024 COLA increase that will boost benefits for the over 70 million recipients of monthly payments from the agency. Also changes to SNAP benefits and when they will be paid.

Likewise, how inflation is still being felt by consumers across the country and what the Federal Reserve's next steps will be. Additionally, the knock-on effects of those measures.