Afternoon Coffee: Trump COVID-19 diagnosis jolts markets; Judge blocks visa ban affecting tech workers; Unemployment rate falls to 7.9%; Spend Matters PRO Recap: Agiloft, TransferMate, Economic recovery; SolutionMap Fall 2020 launches

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A wave of risk aversion led to U.S. stocks falling on Friday after news broke of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump testing positive for COVID-19, according to Reuters.

The president’s diagnosis adds more uncertainty to election season, which already weighed on the market and kept traders on edge, according to CNBC. Shares for cruise lines and airlines lost the biggest on Friday, according to the article. Technology shares for Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook all lost around 2%.

Stocks traded off their opening lows with some optimism that Congress would come together on a coronavirus stimulus bill. The House passed a $2.2 trillion Democratic stimulus bill Thursday night, the article reported.

“It really brings into stark reality that we are potentially going into … a second wave,” said Jeff Henriksen, co-founder and CEO of Thorpe Abbotts Capital, to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe.” “President Trump getting this really highlights that in a way that I think it will focus attention back on the virus and the effects it will have.”

Federal judge blocks Trump administration from banning employment visas in tech, manufacturing

A federal judge blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a ban against U.S. companies bringing in foreign workers under the H-1B and other employment visas, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The ruling applies to workers for companies represented by plaintiffs in the lawsuit — the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation and TechNet. The four organizations represent hundreds of thousands of companies, including some major Silicon Valley technology employers, the article said.

“We are competing with the rest of the world to find and develop top talent to support innovation in our industry,” Linda Kelly, Senior Vice President and general counsel at the National Association of Manufacturers, told the WSJ. “Today’s decision is a temporary win.”

Unemployment rate falls to 7.9%, signifying slow economic growth

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the unemployment rate fell to 7.9% from 8.4% last month while adding a worse-than-expected 661,000 nonfarm payroll jobs, according to ABC News.

The data shows a disproportionate impact of unemployment on people of color. The unemployment rate for white workers was 7%, compared to 12.1% for Black workers, 10.3% for Hispanic workers and 8.9% for Asian workers, according to the article. Some job gains were seen in the leisure and hospitality, retail trade, and healthcare and social assistance industries.

The data indicates the labor market is still trying to dig itself out of the hole caused by the COVID-19 disruption and subsequent economic devastation. "The big issue that we're facing now is the recession itself is probably beginning to take hold," Erica Groshen, a senior economics adviser at Cornell University, told ABC News.

Spend Matters’ analysts look at Agiloft, TransferMate, workforce in economic recovery; SolutionMap Fall 2020 launches this week

This week, Spend Matters analysts assessed solutions from Agiloft, a contract lifecycle management solution, and TransferMate, a cross-border payments solution. Analysts also covered the contingent workforce market within an uncertain economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. Our PRO subscribers can read the full articles, but all readers get a lengthy intro that frames the issues being discussed. (Subscribe to PRO content here.) This week:

Also, Spend Matters launched its SolutionMap Fall 2020 update Thursday. The database ranks 77 procurement technology vendors while providing in-depth analysis and comparisons of solutions. SolutionMap is free to use, but professionals can gain further insights with a SolutionMap Insider membership.

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