U.S. stock futures were steady Monday morning, with the S&P 500 less than 1% away from its record close of 3,386.15 on Feb. 19. The index traded above that level on Wednesday and Thursday, but failed to close at a record.
The S&P 500 has yet to exceed its all-time intraday high of 3,393.52, which was also reached on Feb. 19 before the market tanked to its coronavirus low of 2,191.86 on March 23. Despite Friday's slightly lower close, the S&P 500 gained over 0.6% for the week and stands nearly 54% above its March 23 low heading into Monday's trading day.
Retail earnings hit the market this week, with Home Depot, Walmart and Kohl's kicking things off Tuesday. Lowe's and Target report quarter results Wednesday.
2. Pelosi calls House back over Postal Service concerns
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling the House back into session, cutting lawmakers' summer recess short as concerns grow among Democrats over whether the Trump White House is trying to undermine the U.S. Postal Service ahead of the election. Many Americans are expected to vote by mail to avoid going to polling places during the coronavirus outbreak. The House Oversight Committee plans to hold a hearing next Monday, calling on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Postal Service board of governors Chairman Robert Duncan to testify. NBC News reported Friday that DeJoy wrote in an internal memo that his sweeping operational changes have brought "unintended consequences."
3. New coronavirus cases drop as CDC clarifies guidance
Daily new coronavirus cases in the U.S. fell to about 42,000 on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That's down 45% from the peak at over 77,000 on July 16 and the lowest total since June 29.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is clarifying that its updated quarantine guidance does not imply people who are infected with Covid-19 are immune to reinfection for three months.
A survey run by CNBC in partnership with global data and survey firm Dynata suggests that almost 40% of people in the U.S. had to wait more than three days for their Covid test results — too late to be clinically meaningful.
4. Biden leads Trump heading into this week's Democratic convention
Joe Biden takes a 9-point lead over President Donald Trump into this week's Democratic convention, according to the latest national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. The former vice president holds double-digit advantages over Trump on the coronavirus, immigration, health care, race relations and uniting the country.
On the convention program, ex-rival for the Democratic presidential nomination Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks Monday night. Biden running mate Sen. Kamala Harris and former President Barack Obama close out Wednesday night. The convention wraps up Thursday night, with Biden officially accepting the Democratic presidential nomination.
The Republican National Convention runs next week, with the GOP set to nominate Trump for reelection.
5. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway adds stake in a gold miner
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway in the second quarter added a stake worth about $562 million in miner Barrick Gold, which saw its shares pop 7% in Monday's premarket, a gain that would add to Barrick's already 45%year-to-date increase.
According to its quarterly 13-F filing, Berkshire cut stakes in major banks, including Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, and completely exited its investment in Goldman Sachs.
Financials are the second worst performing S&P 500 sector, down more than 18% in 2020.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all the developments on Wall Street in real-time with CNBC's live markets blog. Get the latest on the pandemic with our coronavirus blog.
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