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Retail is booming; Mnuchin and Pelosi are finding common ground on stimulus: How the headlines could affect your money

Steven Mnuchin and Nancy Pelosi agree on Covid testing and vaccination as part of the stimulus.

Peathegee | Getty Images

Markets react to stimulus uncertainty; retail sales are robust; and Mnuchin and Pelosi find common ground. Here's how the headlines could affect your money. 

Markets dipped again

For a third straight session, markets fell Thursday, following uncertainty about a new stimulus package. Facebook and most of the other FAANG stocks suffered losses, though these were somewhat offset by gains in the banking and energy sectors.

It's common for some sectors to fare better than others on a given day, which is why it's important to have a diversified portfolio

Retail sales are hopping

Retail sales last month jumped 1.9%, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Friday, significantly higher than what economists had been expecting. Clothing and accessories purchases, which rose by 11%, led the way. 

Increased consumer retail spending adds to the GDP. Economists consider it a sign of economic recovery, since it suggests that consumers have more disposable income than before and/or that they are less fearful about their financial futures. 

The market was up slightly Friday morning on the news.

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Mnuchin and Pelosi finding common ground

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are finding more common ground in ongoing coronavirus stimulus talks. Pelosi had identified Covid testing as a point of disagreement. But Mnuchin told Squawk Box Thursday, "We'll fundamentally agree with [Democrats'] testing language subject to some minor issues. This issue is being overblown." 

That means enhanced unemployment benefits and $1,200 individual stimulus checks might be a reality in the next couple of months.

Words you've heard: FAANG

FAANG is an acronym for tech titans Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. The term, coined in 2013 by CNBC anchor and former hedge fund manager Jim Cramer, was originally FANG: Facebook, Amazon.com, Netflix, and Google parent company Alphabet. Apple was added later. If you have money in mutual funds, there is a very good chance you already have some FAANG holdings.

Although the daily news can have an impact on your wallet, remember to take a long-term outlook when it comes to decisions on spending, saving, and investing.

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