Take Five: Deal or no deal

FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in front of a Brexit logo in this illustration picture, March 30, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Britain and the European Union are said to be on the verge of clinching a post-Brexit trade deal that would regulate their relationship after the transition period ends on Jan. 1, 2021 — six weeks away.

Diplomats say three sticking points remain and EU leaders are stressing the need to prepare for a no-deal. Brexit deadlines have come and gone several times in the past, but negotiators are making a final push and the consensus is London and Brussels will come to some sort of agreement – possibly a bare-bones deal with details to be decided down the line.

Recent gains in sterling GBP=D3 and UK stocks .FTMC imply assets are pumped up by hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine and a Brexit deal. They could be in for a rocky ride.

In a typical year, U.S. shoppers would be gearing up for “Black Friday,” the kick-off event for the holiday season. But this is 2020. Surging coronavirus cases make the familiar scenes of consumers crowding into stores to snap up bargains unlikely.

Oxford Economics expects holiday sales to rise only 0.6% from a year ago due to a confluence of COVID-19, suffering incomes and a weak job market. Macy’s expects a tough time with a possible 20% sales decline over the fall.

Retailers aren’t all gloomy: Walmart forecasts a promising holiday season. Upcoming earnings from Nordstrom, Gap and Dollar Tree will offer more pointers.

The Solactive-ProShares Bricks and Mortar Retail Store index .SOEMTYTR slightly outperformed the S&P500 this year, but that pales against a 70% jump at Amazon, the winner of the stay-at-home economy. -Walmart forecasts promising holiday season as online sales soar-Does vaccine promise put U.S. consumers in a shopping mood? Retailers may have clues.

More Stories