News

COVID-19

Kimberly Redmond | Equities.com |

Newly-released data from an ongoing study of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) shows the two-dose shot offered high levels of protection for at least six months after administration.

On Thursday, the companies released updated topline results from their Phase 3 trial, which found the vaccine had 91.3% efficacy against the virus, and said they plan to apply for full approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. Currently, all of the vaccines in use in the US have only Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Cinema operator AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc is seeking shareholder approval to sell 500 million shares to the public, its top boss Adam Aron said in a CNBC interview on Thursday.

The approval would give the board the flexibility to authorize future issuances for a variety of purposes, the company said.


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Virginia has passed a law making it easier for some healthcare workers who become ill with COVID-19 to collect medical expenses or lost wages.

But there’s a catch: the law excludes healthcare workers who are offered a vaccine at work and refuse it.


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The head of the World Trade Organization called Thursday for expanded capability in developing countries to manufacture vaccines, saying the gaping imbalance in access to coronavirus vaccines that mostly favors rich, developed countries was unacceptable.

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said she supports the creation of a framework that would give developing countries “some automaticity and access to manufacture vaccines with technology transf...


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The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose by 61,000 last week to 719,000, signaling that many employers are still cutting jobs even as more businesses reopen, vaccines are increasingly administered and federal aid spreads through the economy.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of claims increased from 658,000 the week before. Though the pace of applications has dropped sharply since early this year, they remain high by historical standards: Before the pandemic flattened the economy a year ago, jobless claims typically ran below 220,000 a week.


Kimberly Redmond | Equities.com |

The United Kingdom’s economy ended 2020 stronger than previously thought but still suffered one of its biggest declines in output in more than three centuries, according to newly-revised official data.

In updated figures released Wednesday, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that the British economy contracted by 19.5% during the second quarter, the first full quarter of mandated COVID-19 lockdowns, worse than the 19% initial estimate.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Countries in the Americas could see a worse surge in coronavirus cases than the previous surge last year, with Brazil, Uruguay and Cuba already suffering more, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday.

Director Carissa Etienne said the end of the Southern Hemisphere summer, following holidays where people grouped together and spread cases, had prompted spikes. She urged citizens to stay at home and governments to think hard before lowering movement restrictions.


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Joe Biden will convene his first Cabinet meeting on Thursday, a presidential rite of passage that will be used to promote his new infrastructure plan. The gathering will look very different from those held by his predecessor.

To begin with, the full Cabinet won’t meet in the room that bears its name, instead assembling in the more spacious East Room to allow for social distancing. All attendees, including the president, will wear masks. Also, the afternoon meeting probably will not include the over-the-top tributes to the chief executive that came to define Cabinet meetings held by President Donald Trump.


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Pfizer announced Wednesday that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and strongly protective in kids as young as 12, a step toward possibly beginning shots in this age group before they head back to school in the fall.

Most COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out worldwide are for adults, who are at higher risk from the coronavirus. Pfizer’s vaccine is authorized for ages 16 and older. But vaccinating children of all ages will be critical to stopping the pandemic — and helping schools, at least the upper grades, start to look a little more normal after months of disruption.


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The head of the 190-nation International Monetary Fund says prospects for global growth have brightened since January, helped by a $1.9 trillion U.S. rescue package. But she warns that uneven progress in fighting the pandemic could jeopardize the economic gains.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Tuesday that when the IMF releases its updated economic forecast next week, it will show the global economy growing at a faster pace than the 5.5% gain it projected at the start of the year.