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COVID-19

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The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week for a second straight week to 778,000, evidence that the U.S. economy and job market remain under strain as coronavirus cases surge and colder weather heighten the risks.

The Labor Department’s report Wednesday said that jobless claims climbed from 748,000 the week before. Before the virus struck hard in mid-March, weekly claims typically amounted to only about 225,000. They shot up to 6.9 million during March before dropping, yet they remain historically high more than eight months later, with many businesses unable to fully reopen.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Using blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors to treat patients with severe pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus showed little benefit, according to data released on Tuesday from a clinical trial in Argentina.

The therapy know as convalescent plasma, which delivers antibodies from COVID-19 survivors to infected people, did not significantly improve patients’ health status or reduce their risk of dying from the disease any better than a placebo, the study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found.


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Waiters and bartenders are being thrown out of work — again — as governors and local officials shut down indoor dining and drinking establishments to combat the nationwide surge in coronavirus infections that is overwhelming hospitals and dashing hopes for a quick economic recovery.

And the timing, just before the holidays, couldn’t be worse.

Restaurant owner Greg Morena in Los Angeles County was trying to figure out his next step after officials in the nation’s largest county banned in-person dining for at least three weeks, beginning Wednesday. But he was mainly dreading having to notify his employees.


Reuters | Equities.com |

U.S. officials said on Tuesday they plan to release 6.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses nationwide in an initial distribution after the first one is cleared by regulators for emergency use.

Officials from the government’s Operation Warp Speed program told reporters that states and other jurisdictions had been informed on Friday of their estimated vaccine allocations in the first shipments so they can begin pl...


Reuters | Equities.com |

Dr. Drew Miller knew his patient had to be moved.

The vital signs of the 30-year-old COVID-19 victim were crashing, and Kearny County Hospital in rural Lakin, Kansas, just wasn’t equipped to handle the case. Miller, Kearny’s chief medical officer - who doubles as the county health officer - called around to larger hospitals in search of an ICU bed. With coronavirus cases soaring throughout Kansas, he said, he couldn’t find a single one.

By the time a bed opened elsewhere the following day, the young man was near death. For a full 45 minutes, Miller and his staff performed chest compressions in a desperate attempt to save him.


Reuters | Equities.com |

American Eagle Outfitters Inc reported an about 3% fall in third-quarter revenue on Tuesday, as store traffic slumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The teen apparel retailer has been struggling with weak demand for its denim apparel from customers staying at home due to the health crisis and a back-to-school season hampered by students turning to online classes.

Revenue at the American Eagle label fell 11% during the quarter ended Oct. 31, while the Ae...


Reuters | Equities.com |

Gap Inc reported a 32% slump in quarterly profit on Tuesday, hurt by higher marketing expenses, sending the apparel retailer’s shares down about 7% in extended trading.

The retailer reported a surprise rise in third-quarter quarter comparable sales, powered by online demand for its Athleta athleisure wear and Old Navy apparel from stuck-at-home customers.


AP News | Equities.com |

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 30,000 points for the first time Tuesday as progress in the development of coronavirus vaccines and news that the transition of power in the U.S. to President-elect Joe Biden will finally begin kept investors in a buying mood.

Traders were also encouraged to see that Biden had selected Janet Yellen, a widely respected former Federal Reserve chair, as treasury secretary. The Dow rose more than 450 points, or 1.5%, to cross the milestone. The S&P 500 index, which has a far greater impact on 401(k) accounts than the Dow, rose 1.6%, climbing to its own all-time high.


Reuters | Equities.com |

U.S. consumer confidence fell more than expected in November amid a widespread resurgence in new COVID-19 infections and business restrictions, reinforcing expectations for a sharp slowdown in economic growth in the fourth quarter.

The survey from the Conference Board on Tuesday followed on the heels of reports this month showing a moderation in job growth and retail sales in October. The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased in mid-November.

The economy is losing speed as more than $3 trillion in government coronavirus relief has lapsed. The fiscal stimulus helped millions of unemployed Americans cover daily expenses and small-to-medium sized companies keep workers on payrolls, leading to record economic growth in the third quarter.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Airlines are on course to lose a total $157 billion this year and next, their main global body warned on Tuesday, further downgrading its industry outlook in response to a second wave of coronavirus infections and shutdowns afflicting major markets.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which in June had forecast $100 billion in losses for the two-year period, said it now projects a $118.5 billion deficit this year alone, and a further $38.7 billion for 2021.