Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020

Christmas Season Planning Underway At White House

Russia PM visits Belarus as Lukashenko faces 4th week of protests

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has visited Minsk in an apparent show of support.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has reshuffled his top security posts in what is widely being seen as a move to consolidate power.

It coincides with a visit from Russia’s prime minister.

Moscow says it is ready to send police to Belarus to help deal with the continuing protests.

Al Jazeera’s Priyanka Gupta reports.

U.S. blacklists four individuals for Venezuela election interference

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Friday blacklisted four individuals for what it said was their help for the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to prevent free and fair parliamentary elections in Venezuela in December, the Treasury said.

“The corrupt Maduro regime is attempting to seize control of the National Assembly of Venezuela through a fraudulent election,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

Fed’s Main Street Lending Program Open for Nonprofit Borrowers

The Federal Reserve’s emergency lending program for small- and mid-sized companies is ready to approve loans to nonprofit institutions.

Lenders were encouraged to submit new loans for nonprofits to the Main Street Lending Program, the Boston Fed said in a statement Friday. The program has been purchasing 95% of qualified loans extended to for-profit businesses since July 6. As of Sept. 2, the program held $1.17 billion in loan assets.

The loan volume for the program, which has the capacity to lend $600 billion, has so far disappointed. Fed officials say it remains an important backstop available to companies and nonprofits should the corornavirus pandemic and the economy worsen.

Stock Alert: PayPal Holdings Falls 6%

Shares of PayPal Holdings Inc. (PYPL) are losing more than 6 percent or $12.37 in Friday’s morning trade at $192.62.

San Jose, California-based PayPal operates as a technology platform and digital payments company. PayPal has benefited in recent months as consumers increasingly shifted to online payments and e-commerce during the coronavirus-induced lockdowns.

U.S. stocks are mixed on Friday despite the release of better than expected monthly jobs data, as tech stocks extended losses from the previous session.

PayPal has traded in a range of $82.07 to $212.45 in the past 52 weeks.

Stock Alert: LMP Automotive Soars 15%

Shares of automotive e-commerce platform LMP Automotive Holdings, Inc. (LMPX) are rising more than 15% Friday morning on the news of its acquisition of two new dealerships including two new vehicle franchises in the Southeast.

According to LMP Automotive, the acquisition is expected to add about $210 million in annual revenue, $7.1 million in income, and $0.64 per share in 2021.

With this new acquisition, the total contracted dealership count in this quarter becomes 12, that are expected to add a combined $645.0 million revenues and $16.4 million in net income or $1.49 in earning per share in 2021, the company said.

On September 1, the company had announced the acquisition of 9 Southeast Dealerships Including 10 New Vehicle Franchises.

LMPX is currently trading at $15.44. It has traded in the range of $3.28- $49.30 in the last one year.

Intercontinental Exchange Completes Acquisition Of Ellie Mae – Quick Facts

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has received regulatory approval and fully completed its $11 billion acquisition of Ellie Mae from private equity firm Thoma Bravo. ICE currently expects the Ellie Mae acquisition to contribute revenue of $67 million to $72 million for third quarter 2020 results.

Jeffrey Sprecher, CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, said: “Ellie Mae’s industry leadership and best-of-breed technology will better enable us to further accelerate the automation of the mortgage origination workflow, which will benefit stakeholders across the production chain, including consumers.”

Stock Alert: Bloomin’ Brands Rises 6%

Shares of Bloomin’ Brands Inc. (BLMN) are gaining more than 6 percent or $17.36 in Friday’s morning trade at $17.36 despite the absence of any specific news that could influence the stock.

Tampa, Florida-based Bloomin’ Brands is an operator of casual, upscale casual, and fine dining restaurants. The company is the owner of the Outback Steakhouse.

U.S. stocks are mixed on Friday despite the release of better than expected monthly jobs data, as tech stocks fell once again.

Bloomin’ Brands has traded in a range of $4.54 to $24.29 in the past 52 weeks.

Spain’s New Coronavirus Cases Rise to Highest in Four Months

Spain’s daily coronavirus infections rose to the highest in about four months, as the country struggles to control new outbreaks.

There were 4,503 new cases in the past 24 hours compared with 3,607 on Thursday, the Health Ministry said Friday. That was the highest since April 23, when 4,635 infections were recorded.

Spain has more cases per capita than any other European country. Infections have climbed since mid-July, as restrictions loosened and people grow weary of social distancing and hygiene guidelines. With schools preparing to open across the nation in coming weeks, concerns are mounting that events could spiral out of control.

Still, the situation isn’t comparable with March and April, when the nation was among the hardest hit in the world.

Christmas Season Planning Underway At White House

First Lady Melania Trump has begun planning for the 2020 Christmas season at the White House.

The First Lady and President Donald Trump are seeking volunteers as they open the White House up to the public for the traditional Christmas decorations.

Also, the White House is inviting musicians including bands, choirs, and Christmas-themed entertainers to apply for the opportunity to perform during the Holiday Open Houses in December.

Throughout the month of December, the White House will be welcoming guests to enjoy the decorations by hosting open houses, receptions, and tours.

For the first time, due to coronavirus concerns, the White House is cutting the list of volunteers.

Under new policies issued by the White House in the context of the pandemic, only a smaller number of volunteers will be selected to allow for social distancing during the decorating process.

Individuals interested in decorating the White House or serving as a greeter at the Holiday Open Houses have been advised to apply before October 1.

Musicians can apply through October 8.

The First Family will be celebrating their fourth Christmas in the White House.

Even if Trump loses the November election, he can occupy the White House until January 20, when the President’s term ends.

Last year’s theme was “The Spirit of America,” and the White House decoration was designed by Melania.

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