With COVID-19 cases on the rise and the extra $600/wk in unemployment assistance set to expire next week, Congress is facing mounting pressure to pass another aid package.

Optimism about a potential vaccine, fiscal stimulus, and economic improvement has helped the benchmark S&P 500 rise 1.4% this year, recouping most of its virus-induced losses.

Jobless claims rose last week for the first time since March, signaling a labor market stall. The increase is likely due to states' reversing course on re-opening businesses.



Existing home sales surged nearly 21% in June, the highest monthly gain on record. The increase follows 3 months of sharp declines due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Home prices continued to rise through the pandemic, according to the FHFA index. Prices increased 5.5% year-over-year in April and were up 0.2% from March.

Weekly mortgage demand from homebuyers jumped even higher, up 19% annually. Refinance applications increased 5% for the week and 122% over last year.