US financial news live updates: Social Security checks, $500 monthly payments, debt ceiling, interest rates
Finance news live: all the latest information
Headlines | Saturday, 27 May 2023
- Optimism over agreement being found in debt ceiling debate
- The day the US could default on its debts, otherwise known as the 'X Date', extended from 1 June to 5 June
- US employment still going strong with fewer initial UI claims than expected, continuous UI claims drop
- The median selling price of homes sold in the US fell to $420,800 in April, the lowest level recorded in the last year.
- Experts remain divided over whether the Fed will announce another rate hike in June.
- The impact of a default could present greater challenges for some states over others.
- Can President Bidenuse the Fourteenth Amendment to increase the debt limit?
Read more from AS USA:
You have until July 17 to claim your 2019 tax refund
The IRS is reminding nearly 1.5 million people with unclaimed refunds for tax year 2019 that they face a July 17 deadline to submit their tax return.
The agency estimates almost $1.5 billion in refunds remain unclaimed because people haven't filed their 2019 tax returns yet. The average refund is $893 for the year, and the IRS has done a special state-by-state calculation to show how many people are potentially eligible for these refunds.
"The 2019 tax returns came due during the pandemic, and many people may have overlooked or forgotten about these refunds," said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. "We recommend taxpayers start soon to make sure they don't miss out."
Under the law, taxpayers usually have three years to file and claim their tax refunds. If they don't file within three years, the money becomes the property of the US Treasury.
It’s springtime and that generally means the rush to go house hunting. This year, however, would-be homebuyers are entering a market where fewer homes are available than had been the norm prior to the covid-19 pandemic but slightly better than the past two years. Homebuyers also have to contend with higher mortgage rates on top of elevated home prices.
As prospective homeowners look for a new residence, they can look to these cities for a better deal.
Tax season was over for most people a month ago, with many already getting back their returns. It’s a good time to think about next year since you can look at your 2022 return to help you plan for the next filing.
Although the pandemic has reached manageable levels, inflation continues to be high and many families continue to have difficulties with putting food on the table. This has prompted some states to offer their own help in the absence of a fourth federal stimulus check.
These states have chosen to offer their own form of financial assistance. Here are six states with aid projects for 2023.
Bud light’s latest ad campaign featuring trans TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney has proven disastrous for the company, with sales dropping and stock prices continuing to slide.
“Shark Tank” investor Kevin O’Leary has weighed in on the backlash Anheuser Busch is experiencing, and as this story reports, he's calling Bud Light the “poster boy for brand mismanagement”.
Whether you decide to go on a road trip, hold a barbecue cookout with friends and family, or simply relax at home on Memorial Day, it is likely that you will be needing some supplies.
Some stores will be closed for business on Memorial Day like Costco, which is closed on this holiday every year, but those that will be open might be offering attractive sales.
Here is a list of stores that will be open on Monday.
Americans increasingly delaying health care due to cost
A new Federal Reserve survey found that 28% of respondents went “without some form of medical care” due to cost in 2022, which represented a 4 percentage-point year-over-year increase, according to Yahoo! Finance.
The survey found that dental care was the most frequently skipped medical service, followed by a doctor’s visit, prescription medication, a follow-up visit, and mental health care or counseling.
Almost 38 million Americans living in poverty
According to the latest report from the United States Census Bureau, 37.9 million Americans live in poverty, accounting for 11.6% of the total population, even as the US ranks first as the richest nation in the world in terms of GDP.
“Poverty and economic insecurity are widely common,” Shailly Gupta Barnes, policy director at the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice told CNBC.
The number reported by the Census Bureau is based on the official poverty measure, which is virtually unchanged since the mid-1960s.
Grace Bonilla, president of United Way of New York City, said the official poverty measure doesn’t take important indicators into consideration, such as family composition or the cost of child care.
The Census Bureau developed the Supplemental Poverty Measure in 2011 as an improvement over the existing measure. It incorporates the cost of basic needs like food, clothing, as well as geographical differences and household size.
But Bonilla says that is not enough. “It’s a step in the right direction but it falls so short of actually giving us an accurate count of poverty in the United States,” she said.
Last year, after inflation reached historical levels, several states across the US approved the sending of stimulus checks and tax refunds to their residents to provide economic relief in the face of high prices.
The number of states that are sending money is decreasing, but residents of some cities and counties in the United States may be eligible to participate in pilot guaranteed income programs that have been set up and that will issue payments of $500 or more each month.
Here's a look at programs providing those who are eligible with monthly payments as part of these initiatives.
Wall Street indexes jump higher on optimism about debt ceiling
Stocks finished sharply higher on Friday as talks on raising the debt ceiling progressed, while chip stocks surged for a second straight day on optimism about artificial intelligence.
After several rounds of talks, President Joe Biden and top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy appeared to be nearing a deal to increase the government's $31.4 trillion debt limit for two years, while capping spending on most items, a US official told Reuters.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended a five-day losing streak, while the Nasdaq Composite Index and S&P 500 closed at their highest levels since August 2022.
Investors were closely watching debt ceiling talks as Biden and McCarthy still seemed at odds over several issues heading into the long weekend, with the stock market closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.
"All the signs point to a deal getting done and this rally being sustained, but if we get through the weekend and we don't have a deal or it falls apart in some way, then we're going to wake up Tuesday morning to some pretty material losses," said Scott Ladner, chief investment officer at Horizon Investments in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Are social security checks too high?
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made the case for the need for Congress to sort things out.
“Think about the last time a person said that the government does too much for them, that their Social Security check was too high, that teachers are paid too much.”
Listen to her below.
Failing to raise the debt ceiling would have dire economic effects such as spending cuts, as well as a reliance on incoming revenues to help the government pay its obligations. A possible slash in spending if the ceiling is not raised could mean late monthly Social Security payments or reduced benefits.
This could pose financial hardship for many recipients, especially for the millions whose monthly checks serve as the main source of income. For about four out of 10 Social Security beneficiaries, the payments represent 90% of their income.
Biden pushes small business progress
Calling them the "engine of our economy, the soul of our communities," President Biden has highlighted that since he's been in office, we’ve seen 10.5 million new small business applications—the highest two years on record.
"One of the best investments America can make," he adds.
Republicans "constitutional duty" to raise debt ceiling
Congressman for New York's 10th District in the House of Representatives, Dan Goldman, spoke to CNN about the situation currently being faced.
"It's true hostage taking," he says.
You may remember that this isn’t the first time that lawmakers have played chicken with the hitting the “X Date.”
Those previous moments have had their own economic consequences for the US public even resulting in the US credit rating being downgraded for the first time ever. The 2011 standoff is estimated to have raised borrowing costs by a total of $1.3 billion that fiscal year according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Replacing kid's social security card
Wondering how to replace your child’s SSN card? Well help is at hand. First thing to know is that you'll need to complete an Application for a Social Security card and provide evidence of:
- Your identity.
- The child’s identity.
- U.S. citizenship if you have not established the child's U.S. citizenship with us.
- Your custody of or relationship to the child.
Head across to the SS website for all you need to know.
Latest quotes on debt ceiling
Things are looking good. I'm optimistic.
I'm hopeful, but we have to make sure we have a line on tax, we have a line on agreement - there’s significant challenges ahead.
June 5 bill problems for Biden
As you may have heard, yesterday the US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that the government would run short of money to pay its bills on June 5, which would trigger the potentially calamitous default, unless Congress raises the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling.
Yellen's announcement allows a little more time for Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy to reach an accord to raise the federal government's self-imposed borrowing limit.
Previously Treasury had said the deal needed to be reached as soon as June 1. Four days is a long time in certain circumstances...
With June just a few days away, pay attention.
Every month, the Social Security Administration (SSA) issues millions of payments to beneficiaries of the Social Security Program, who are mostly retired workers and people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
In fact, the latter will see an increase in their monthly checks starting in June thanks to the complementary payment plan approved in 33 states across the nation.
Strong consumer spending puts Fed in tough spot
Based on last month's figures, consumer spending increased more than expected in April, boosting the economy's growth prospects for the second quarter, and inflation picked up, which could prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates again next month.
The growth picture was further brightened by other data from the Commerce Department on Friday showing a surprise rebound last month in orders of manufactured non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans.
The reports added to labor market resilience, a rebound in factory production and a pickup in business activity in suggesting the economy was experiencing a spring revival after hitting a speed bump in the first quarter. They also increased the chances that the central bank would hike rates in June.
A debt ceiling breach would have a number of wide-reaching consequences for Americans and funds will not be available for every federal need.
Initial unemployment claims tick up, long-term claims drop
The US Labor Department released unemployment insurance claims data for the week ending 20 May which showed a slight increase of 4,000 in the number of first-time claims rising to 229,000. Economists polled by Reuters had predicted the number to be 245,000.
Data for the previous two weeks was revised down sharply as fraudulent applications from Massachusetts were stripped out. In early May the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance sounded the alarm that it was "experiencing an increase in fraudulent claim activities” from people attempting to gain access to current UI accounts as well as individuals using stolen personal data to fraudulently obtain unemployment benefits.
Strength in the US labor market was further indicated by a reduction of over 48,000 continuing UI claims suggesting another month of strong employment gains and a lower jobless rate. Jobs growth data for May is due out on Friday 2 June. The Federal Reserve will be watching the incoming economic data closely as they weigh whether to implement another interest rate hike or not at their next meeting 13 and 14 June.
The Social Security Administration has continued to send monthly benefits to retired workers in 2023. The SSA is also responsible for sending Supplemental Security Income benefits, disability and survivor benefits.
As we near the end of May, here are the payment dates for the month.
Finance and economic news: welcome
To the dismay of many progressive Democrats, the White House seems to have placed itself in a situation where social spending cuts must be made to raise the debt ceiling.
Some members of the caucus, particularly leaders in the Senate, have continued to call on President Biden to use the Fourteenth Amendment to override Republicans. As talks between Congressional Republicans and the White House continue, we will bring you the latest.