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3 things to watch in D.C. this week

·Contributor
·3 min read

From geopolitical uncertainty to the approaching midterm elections, investors are bracing against a highly volatile backdrop.

“There’s a lot of cross-currents right now,” Marci McGregor, senior investment strategist at Bank of America, told Yahoo Finance Live on Monday, zeroing in on the Fed and growth in Europe and China. “So these big macro clouds are weighing on sentiment. In the near term, sentiment is quite bearish.”

With politics adding to the list of concerns on investors' minds, here are three things to watch this week on the political front:

Pennsylvania Senate primary

All eyes will be on Pennsylvania this week as voters cast their ballots in the state's primary elections for U.S. Senate.

Hyper-partisanship has upended centrist politics in a state that has traditionally chosen more middle-of-the-road Senators. The election could prove to be a bellwether for both parties.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, U.S. Democratic Senate candidate for Pennsylvania, looks on as he speaks at a meet-and-greet at the Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton, Pennsylvania, U.S., May 1, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah Beier
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, U.S. Democratic Senate candidate for Pennsylvania, looks on as he speaks at a meet-and-greet at the Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton, Pennsylvania, U.S., May 1, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah Beier

On the left, John Fetterman said in a statement on Sunday that he suffered from a stroke but is on his way to making a “full recovery.” Fetterman, who currently serves as Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor, continues to lead against his Democratic opponents, including Rep. Connor Lamb (D-PA).

For Republicans, Kathy Barnette, an ultra-MAGA candidate, has surged to the top of the state's GOP primary polls. That could pose a significant risk for Trump-endorsed candidate Mehmet “Dr.” Oz, a television personality who is also running as a MAGA candidate.

Meanwhile, David McCormick — the former U.S. Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs — is hoping that the divide among the MAGA crowd will help him win the nomination.

Ukraine aid

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) visited Ukraine with a U.S. Congressional delegation over the weekend to meet with Ukraine President Zelensky.

In this handout photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pose for a photo in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
In this handout photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pose for a photo in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

McConnell told reporters that "support for Ukraine and this war against the Russians is bipartisan" and to expect a $40 billion Ukraine aid package to move through Congress as soon as Wednesday.

President Biden has also called for additional funds. However, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has stalled the process by pushing to add an inspector general to oversee the funding allocation.

China watch

China has continued to purchase Russian oil, drawing speculation from the United States and its allies over where President Xi Jinping stands on the war in Ukraine.

The South China Morning Post reported Sunday that Beijing analysts anticipate that energy cooperation between Russia and China will increase. This comes as China is experiencing a slowdown in economic activity, stemming from COVID-19 lockdowns of major cities like Shanghai.

TOPSHOT - Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photograph during their meeting in Beijing, on February 4, 2022. (Photo by Alexei Druzhinin / Sputnik / AFP) (Photo by ALEXEI DRUZHININ/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photograph during their meeting in Beijing, on February 4, 2022. (Photo by ALEXEI DRUZHININ/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.S. is keeping a “careful eye” on China’s level of support for Russia, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said last month at a press briefing.

“If [China] were to provide weapons, supplies — were to seek to help Russia evade sanctions — there would be strong consequences for that, not only on our part but also on the part of our allies and partners,” Price added.

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