US Financial News: news summary | 17 July 2023
US Financial News: Latest Updates
Headlines | Monday, 17 July 2023
- Monday, 17 July is the last day to claim a 2019 tax refund from the IRS up to $6,557
- Biden administration cancels $39bn in student loan debt for 800k borrowers
- Inflation in the US dropped to 3% in June,lower than forecast
- June jobs report: The US economy added 209,000 jobs in June as labor market cools
- Federal Reserve expected to raise interest rates later in July
- How to participate in the SNAP Program as a merchant
- The White House announces the SAVE planto help student loan borrowers
Hollywood strikes to hit theaters hard
Hollywood's double strike will hit movie theater chains the hardest while streaming companies like Netflix are best-positioned in the event of a prolonged work stoppage, according to a new report by Moody's, per Yahoo Finance.
SAG-AFTRA- the union that represents around 160,000 actors, recording artists, and other media professionals around the world- joined writers on the picket lines after the guild failed to negotiate a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers which bargains on behalf of studios including Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Apple, and NBCUniversal.
Moody's is predicting "a relatively long strike" which would hit movie theater companies such as AMC Entertainment and Cineworld first, followed by media companies transitioning to streaming.
Los Angeles has long been a dream city for many people around the world, but the recent housing crisis has made it very difficult to find a reasonably priced place to live in. In recent months the number of affordable homes has decreased, but there are still some areas where you can avoid high rental costs.
Annual increases can reach up to 10% depending on the city and the regulations that exist for rent control in California. As residential property owners continue to increase rental rates for residents, here are five apartment complexes available for less than $1,000 a month in the Golden State.
Steep housing prices in the United States are not affordable for many, which is why millions of people choose to rent houses or apartments. After the covid-19 pandemic, rental prices skyrocketed.
However, a recent analysis indicates that they have now fallen in some areas.
Twitter in the red due to nearly 50% drop in ad revenue
Twitter's cash flow remains negative because of a nearly 50% drop in advertising revenue and a heavy debt load, according to Elon Musk, falling short of his expectation in March that Twitter could reach cash flow positive by June.
"Need to reach positive cash flow before we have the luxury of anything else," Musk said in a tweet replying to suggestions on recapitalization.
Musk said in another tweet that Twitter did not see the increase in advertising revenue that had been expected in June, adding, "July is a bit more promising." Twitter Spaces also hasn't generated revenue yet and is "all-cost", Musk said.
This is the latest sign that the aggressive cost-cutting measures since Musk acquired Twitter in October alone are not enough to get Twitter to cash flow positive, and suggests Twitter's ad revenue may not have recovered as fast as Musk suggested in an interview in April with the BBC that most advertisers had returned to the site.
The Social Security Administration sends payments to different beneficiaries each month, including retired workers, survivors, and those receiving disability benefits from the Supplemental Security Income program and Social Security Disability Insurance.
The SSA continues to send monthly payments for 2023. The agency has already sent payments for the first half of the year and the first two weeks of payments for July.
Here are the payment dates of the remaining benefits from July to December.
How to benefit from high interest rates
Higher interest rates are hard on many people, especially if you are taking out a loan on a home or a car, or are struggling to catch up with credit-card debt.
But for some, steep interest rates are not actually bad news.
That is because they can finally put their savings to work. In fact, 38% of people say they have benefited from higher interest rates during the past year, according to a new survey from Allianz Life Insurance.
“That’s the dichotomy: Higher interest rates are both crushing some people and benefiting others at the same time,” says Kelly LaVigne, vice president of Consumer Insights for Allianz Life.
“If you are a saver, suddenly you are seeing higher rates on anything from Certificates of Deposit to annuities for the first time in a while.”
It all stems from the Federal Reserve, which has set its target Fed funds rate at 5-5.25%, in an ongoing effort to tamp down inflation. That key rate then affects other areas of the economy, such as what mortgage lenders or credit-card companies are charging.
A few segments of the population who can benefit from this "new normal" are bond investors, savers, and annuity purchasers.
When you apply for unemployment compensation, you will need to provide information about your employment history, reason for unemployment, and other relevant details. During the following 52 weeks or benefit year, no extra checks need to be taken. It begins on the date you file your initial claim or application for unemployment benefits.
There is no need to reapply for unemployment compensation each week or month in this period. This changes at the end of the year. If you are still unemployed and meet the eligibility criteria, you will need to reapply for unemployment benefits. This involves submitting a new application and providing updated information about your employment status and circumstances.
Read more on how to re-apply for benefits in our full coverage.
In late June, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a reminder to the nearly 1.5 million people nationwide who are eligible to file a claim tax refund of nearly $900. The IRS says it has millions of refunds that remain unclaimed because people haven’t filed their 2019 tax returns yet. According to the agency, the average refund is $893.
To claim it, taxpayers have to meet the 17 July deadline to submit their return; this is the last warning!
“Time is running out for those taxpayers who may have a refund pending,” according to IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel.
Read our full coverage for details on how to file your 2019 return.
The cost of housing in the United States has increased by 3.5 percent since January, as inflation in other good and service markets has begun to fall. Renters are feeling the pinch, with the average rental price rising 8.3 percent since June 2022.
While part of the rise can be explained by the decrease in rental prices seen in the early months of the pandemic, prices remain twenty percent higher than they were in the summer of 2019. These substantive increases come as real wages for private sector workers in the United States have fallen by 1.2 percent in the same period.
Read more for the details on the ten most expensive rental markets in our full coverage.
SNAP recipients in can receive money back that was scammed. Scammers using ‘skimming’ devices to steal Electronic Bank Transfer (EBT) cards from some of America’s poorest families have taken millions of dollars.
However, to counter this, spending plans announced by the US Department of Agriculture last December requires states to reimburse stolen funds. Maryland was the first state to have their plan approved, rescuing $2.5 million for nearly 4,000 victimes.
A breakdown of ‘skimming’ scams
‘Skimming’ is the act of capturing credit card data without the cardholder’s knowledge. Criminals use skimming devices to gather this information, which can then be used to create counterfeit cards or for other fraudulent purposes.
The cardholders will be unaware that their information has been compromised until unauthorized charges appear on their accounts or they experience other forms of identity theft. This is particularly troubling for SNAP beneficiaries due to the precarious financial situation that necessitates the use of SNAP in the first place.
Now that the pandemic emergency has been lifted, Mississippi has removed 29,000 Medicaid recipients —a figure that represents around 47 percent of all those that were enrolled during the pandemic, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. However, over 32,000 recipients have had their cases reviewed and will continue to receive health insurance through Medicaid.
After inflation reached historic levels last year, several entities in the US approved the sending of stimulus checks or tax refunds to help those who were most affected.
Although inflation has fallen considerably in recent months, some states across the country continue to send out checks to help their residents.
Here are the states that are sending financial assistance in July and how much they will be giving out.
There are several food aid programs in the United States. One of the most popular is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.
SNAP provides money to low-income families to buy food using an electronic benefits transfer card (EBT). This works like a debit card that can be used at certain grocery stores, as well as markets.
If you are a merchant and want to accept SNAP benefits at your store or market, there are a few steps to take. We’ll walk you through the process.
Want to go green? IRS will give you a tax credit for up to $7,500
The IRS offers a tax credit for buying an electric vehicle as an incentive to promote the use of more energy-efficient vehicles and lessen reliance on fossil fuels. Electric cars produce zero emissions, which helps to reduce air pollution.
The credit was created as part of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 and is known as the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit. This allows taxpayers who purchase a qualifying EV to claim a credit on their federal income tax return of up to $7,500.
Inflation in the US is on the way down. Perhaps as a response to the Federal Reserve’s brutal interest rate hikes that have been killing purchasing power and getting many workers sacked, the Consumer Price Index measuring inflation is tumbling down.
Core inflation, which doesn’t include the oft volatile food and energy prices, was 0.2 percent last month, the smallest single month increase since August 2021. Year-on-year inflation in 3%, rapidly closing in on the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%.
Good news for everyone right?Well, not if you are living in Florida.
Mortgage rates jump 30-Yr FRM approaches 7%
The average weekly mortgage rate climbed for a third straight week with the 30-year fixed-rate just shy of 7% at 6.96%. The average weekly 15-year fixed-rate rose to 6.30% from 6.24% the prior week according to Freddie Mac data.
After receiving two payments in June and zero in July, some Social Security recipients will get their next payment 1 August.
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In June, the US economy experienced a slower growth compared to the previous month, with the addition of 209,000 jobs, falling short of the predictions made by Wall Street analysts. This data, provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, represents the first time in 15 months that non-farm payrolls have been lower than expected by financial experts. The unemployment rate for June was 3.6%, in line with economists' expectations, a slight decrease from the 3.7% recorded in May.
In terms of inflation, the June report revealed a decrease in price increases, surpassing earlier predictions. However, wage growth remained stagnant. Investors are anticipating that the Federal Reserve will halt the rate hikes after an anticipated 25 basis point increase when policymakers convene in the last week of July.