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North American Morning Briefing: Stock Futures -2-

The Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index plunged more than 6.0% on Monday morning, taking year-to-date losses to 33%. Evergrande fell 17% to HK$2.11, while Sunac China Holdings Ltd. slid 10% and Guangzhou R&F Properties Co. fell 7.3%. Property-management companies also tracked lower, with Country Garden Services Holdings Co. retreating 12%.

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Economy Week Ahead: Central Banks, Home Sales, Purchasing Managers

The Federal Reserve's policy statement and Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference on Wednesday highlight this week's slate of economic news.

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Democrats Press Ahead With Debt-Limit Vote Amid Standoff With GOP

WASHINGTON-A partisan fight over raising the government's borrowing limit is expected to ratchet up this week, with Democrats moving ahead with a vote in the face of strident GOP opposition, raising doubts about whether Congress will take action before the federal government runs out of cash.

The standoff has alarmed Wall Street analysts and business leaders, who in recent weeks have issued warnings about a rising risk of a technical default, in which the government might be unable to make all of its regular payments in full and on time. The threat of such a default could derail markets and hit U.S. economic growth.

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Junk-Debt Sales Soar Toward Record Year

The $3 trillion market for low-rated companies' debt is having its best year ever, powered by a rebounding economy and investors' demand for any extra yield.

U.S. companies including Crocs Inc. and SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. have sold more than $786 billion of junk-rated bonds and loans so far in 2021, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence's S&P. That tops the previous high for a full year in data going back to 2008.

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Covid-19 Vaccinations Boost the Global Economy, but May Not Cure It Alone

The global recovery is slowing as Covid-19 resurges, spurring governments to try to raise vaccination rates in hopes of fueling stronger economic growth.

The thinking is, first, that vaccinations will ease consumers' worries about infection, prompting them to spend more on travel, dining out, going to concerts and other activities that involve proximity to other people. Second, reduced Covid-19 case counts would mean fewer government shutdowns of ports, factories and other operations critical to global supply chains.

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Natural-Gas Prices Surge, and Winter Is Still Months Away

Natural-gas prices have surged, prompting worries about winter shortages and forecasts for the most expensive fuel since frackers flooded the market more than a decade ago.

U.S. natural-gas futures ended Friday at $5.105 per million British thermal units. They were about half that six months ago and have leapt 17% this month.

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FDA Advisory Panel Votes Against Endorsing Covid-19 Booster Shots Widely

An advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration offered a limited endorsement of booster shots of the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, recommending injections for people 65 and older or at high risk of severe disease but stopping short of justifying them for the broader population.

The outside panel's action comes as the dangerous Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread in the U.S. and federal health officials hope that additional doses of approved vaccines will sustain protection in people who have been previously vaccinated.

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As Congress Debates Trillions in Spending, Voters' Minds Are Elsewhere

FORT WAYNE, Ind.-Sen. Todd Young warned the few dozen conservatives gathered this month in the basement of a sushi restaurant that their activism could be the only thing to stop Congress from spending trillions of dollars of tax money.

"You flooding the zone with your concerns will amplify for members just how serious they are," the Indiana Republican said.

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Afghan Valley Legendary for Resisting Soviets, Taliban Empties Out

BAZARAK, Afghanistan-What's missing these days in the capital of Panjshir, the only Afghan province that resisted the Taliban after last month's fall of Kabul, are the Panjshiris.

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Russia's Ruling Party Leading in Elections as Putin Looks to Tighten Grip

MOSCOW-Russia's ruling party appeared on course to maintain its majority in parliament, preliminary results showed, in an outcome that would cement President Vladimir Putin's control over his country's main levers of power.

The initial tally showed pro-Kremlin United Russia won 50% of votes cast, followed by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation with 20% and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia with around 8%, according to early results from Russia's electoral commission based on 85% of the ballots counted.

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Health Experts Urge Patience on Wider Use of Covid-19 Booster Shots

WASHINGTON-Top U.S. health officials urged patience on broader approval for booster shots for the coronavirus vaccine, two days after a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended that a booster from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE should be limited to the elderly and other groups at higher risk.

"Ultimately, the real, proper regimen will turn out to be the original two shots plus a boost," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday. He said officials' highest priority is to vaccinate unvaccinated Americans.

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U.S. Spat With France Shows Challenge of Keeping Allies Unified

France stepped up its opposition to a security agreement the U.S. crafted with Australia and the U.K., criticizing the Biden administration's failure to keep its allies apprised of sweeping foreign policy initiatives after the pact led to the loss of a lucrative French submarine deal.

On Sunday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian discussed "the strategic consequences of the current crisis" with its ambassadors from the U.S. and Australia who were recalled for consultations. French President Emmanuel Macron is also expected to speak in the coming days with President Biden, officials from both countries say, in a sign of the depth of France's frustration over the security pact. Mr. Le Drian likened French anger over the security pact to the blowback from American allies over the Biden administration's abrupt and messy withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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U.N. General Assembly Faces Climate Change, Covid-19 and New Tensions

WASHINGTON-World leaders gathering this week for an annual United Nations meeting will confront persisting global problems such as Covid-19 and climate change, while grappling with new tensions and conflicts dividing U.N. members.

Diplomats and leaders attending the U.N. General Assembly in New York will also contend with the return to power of the Taliban and the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, as well as the challenge posed by Iran under a new, hard-line president, Ebrahim Raisi.

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Immigration Measure Can't Be Included in $3.5 Trillion Package, Senate Parliamentarian Says

WASHINGTON-The arbiter of Senate procedural rules said Sunday that Democrats' plan to provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants living in the country illegally couldn't be included in a wide-ranging $3.5 trillion proposal expanding the safety net and responding to climate change.

The decision from the office of Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough said that the plan to legalize a group including young immigrants, farmworkers, essential workers and those living in the U.S. on humanitarian grounds didn't comply with the chamber's rules.

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Write to sarka.halas@wsj.com

TODAY IN CANADA

Earnings:

Nothing major scheduled

Economic Indicators (ET):

N/A Canada parliamentary elections

Stocks to Watch:

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Other News:

U.S.-Canada Border Rules Leave Travelers Confused, Discouraged

William Thompson was hoping to be in the French-speaking province of Quebec in October, soaking up the autumn colors in communities made famous by one of his favorite authors, Canadian murder-mystery writer Louise Penny.

Since Aug. 9, fully vaccinated Americans like Mr. Thompson have been allowed to enter the country for leisure and tourism if they comply with a series of additional requirements. But before his trip he became so flummoxed by those rules that he gave up, becoming one of the many would-be travelers across the world's longest shared land border who say they are canceling or postponing their plans.

"I felt defeated," he said.

While traffic into Canada picked up in the weeks after officials reopened the border to fully vaccinated Americans, it remains much lower than it was before the pandemic. During the week that ended Sept. 5, the total number of people entering Canada on flights and in noncommercial vehicles was about one-fifth of its pre-pandemic level.

There are hurdles for travelers in both directions: Canada's requirements that all visitors obtain a molecular Covid-19 test and provide information about their backup quarantine plans have deterred some prospective visitors. At the same time, many Canadians said they are baffled by U.S. rules that allow them to fly into the country with a negative Covid-19 test but prevent them from driving across the land border unless they are traveling for an essential reason.

Business groups have called for the U.S. to open its land border for nonessential Canadian travelers who are fully vaccinated, and they would like both countries to eventually ease pretravel testing rules for vaccinated people, saying the current requirements are hurting businesses and communities on both sides of the border.

Market Talk:

No items published

   
 
 

Expected Major Events for Monday

06:00/GER: Aug PPI

10:00/UK: Aug Aluminium Production report

14:00/US: Sep NAHB Housing Market Index

All times in GMT. Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.

   
 
 

Expected Earnings for Monday

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

September 20, 2021 06:10 ET (10:10 GMT)

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