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COVID-19

Reuters | Equities.com |

Antiviral remdesivir should not be used as a routine treatment for COVID-19 patients in critical care wards, the head of one of the world's top bodies representing intensive care doctors said, in a blow to the drug developed by U.S. firm Gilead.

Remdesivir, also known as Veklury, and steroid dexamethasone are the only drugs authorized to treat COVID-19 patients across the world. But the largest study on remdesivir’s efficacy, run by the World Health Organization (WHO), showed on Oct. 15 it had little or no impact, contradicting previous trials.


AP News | Equities.com |

Trump has publicly disengaged from the battle against the coronavirus at a moment when the disease is tearing across the United States at an alarming pace.

Trump, fresh off his reelection loss to President-elect Joe Biden, remains angry that an announcement about progress in developing a vaccine for the disease came after Election Day. And aides say the president has shown little interest in the growing crisis even as new confirmed cases are skyrocketing and hospital intensive care units in parts of the country are nearing capacity.


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Chicago’s mayor issued a month-long stay-at-home advisory on Thursday, and Detroit’s public schools called a halt to in-person instruction to curb the spread of the coronavirus as more than a dozen U.S. states reported a doubling of new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks.

The two Midwestern cities became the latest in a growing number of states and metropolitan areas - including New York, California and Iowa - moving this week to re-impose public health restrictions that had been eased in recent months.


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U.S. stocks pulled back on Thursday, amid increasing worries about worsening coronavirus counts across the country.

Markets around the world have taken a pause after galloping higher this month, at first on expectations that Washington will continue several pro-business policies following last week’s U.S. elections. More recently, encouraging early results for a potential COVID-19 vaccine have investors envisioning a global economy returning to normal.

The S&P 500 index lost 35.65 points, or 1%, to 3,537.01. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 317.46 points, or 1.1%, to 29,080.17 and the Nasdaq composite lost 76.84 points, or 0.7%, to 11,709.59.


Reuters | Equities.com |

A former Amazon.com Inc worker who protested conditions at his New York City fulfillment center sued the retailer on Thursday, accusing it of discrimination for firing him and for putting Black and Hispanic workers at heightened risk of contracting COVID-19.

In a proposed class action filed in Brooklyn federal court, Christian Smalls accused Amazon of failing to provide needed protective gear to its “predominantly minority” workforce, subjecting them to inferior working conditions than its mainly white managers.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines on Thursday cautioned that the recent surge in COVID-19 cases may have a negative impact on travel over the winter holidays, a period the sector had hoped would see improved bookings.

The United States on Wednesday reported new COVID-19 infections reached an all-time daily high for a second day in a row and the number of people hospitalized also surged to the highest ever during the pandemic.

“With the U.S. hitting a grim milestone of 10 million positive cases and outbreaks in Europe and other parts of the world, all signs point to a challenging winter ahead,” Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian said in a memo.


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U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in October, the lowest reading in five months, suggesting that a price spike over the summer is beginning to fade as coronavirus cases spread.

The flat reading for last month followed a gain of 0.2% in September. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, also showed no changed in October, another indication that inflation remains well-behaved, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Over the past 12 months, overall inflation is up a moderate 1.2% while core inflation is up 1.6%. Both readings are well below the Federal Reserve’s 2% target for annual price gains.


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The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week to 709,000, a still-high level but the lowest figure since March and a further sign that the job market might be slowly healing.

Yet the improvement will be put at risk by the sharp resurgence in confirmed viral infections to an all-time high well above 120,000 a day. Cases are rising in 49 states, and deaths are increasing in 39. The nation has now recorded 240,000 virus-related deaths and 10.3 million confirmed infections.


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Temperature and COVID-19 symptom checks like the ones used at schools and doctor’s offices have again proved inadequate for spotting coronavirus infections and preventing outbreaks.

A study of Marine recruits found that despite these measures and strict quarantines before they started training, the recruits spread the virus to others even though hardly any of them had symptoms. None of the infections were caught through symptom screening.

The study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, has implications for colleges, prisons, meatpacking plants and other places that rely on this sort of screening to detect infections and prevent outbreaks.


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Stocks closed mostly higher on Wednesday, helped by big technology stocks, but news of tighter restrictions in New York State helped dent an earlier rally.

The S&P 500 closed up 27.13 points, or 0.8%, to 3,572.66. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite, meanwhile, rose by 2%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 23.29 points, or 0.1%, to 29,397.63. The index was being dragged lower in part by American Express and Walt Disney, two stocks that shot up this week after news of a potentially successful vaccine sent travel, entertainment and tourism companies surging. The Dow declined shortly after news crossed that New York would put restrictions on bars, restaurants and gyms as COVID-19 infections rose in the state.