News

Healthcare

AP News | Equities.com |

State and local officials nationwide are imposing new coronavirus restrictions and pleading with the public in an increasingly desperate attempt to stop the explosive spread of the disease as many Americans resist calls to limit gatherings and travel heading into the holidays.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak tightened restrictions on casinos, restaurants and private gatherings beginning Tuesday. In California, where most counties are under a curfew, Los Angeles County officials will prohibit in-person dining for at least three weeks, and a judge on Monday denied a request to temporarily restore indoor service at restaurants and gyms in San Diego County. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts warned that he could impose tighter social-distancing restrictions before Thanksgiving if hospitalizations continue to rise.


AP News | Equities.com |

More encouraging news on the development of coronavirus vaccines and treatments helped power stocks higher on Wall Street Monday, as the market clawed back most of its losses from last week.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.6%, led by banks, energy and industrial companies, sectors that have been beaten down during the pandemic. Health care and technology stocks, which traders have bid up sharply this year, closed lower. Treasury yields mostly rose, another sign of optimism among investors.


Reuters | Equities.com |

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has upgraded U.S. equities to “overweight”, turning bullish on quality large cap technology companies as well as small cap firms that tend to perform well during a cyclical upswing.

The asset manager said it prefers the United States as it “boasts” a higher share of “quality” companies with strong balance sheets and free cash flow generation in the high-flying tech and healthcare sectors.

The resurgence in virus cases in Europe and the United States could lead to further outperformance of large cap tech and healthcare companies, it added.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals.

The results are based on interim analysis of trials in the U.K. and Brazil of a vaccine developed by Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca. No hospitalizations or severe cases of COVID-19 were reported in those receiving the vaccine.


Reuters | Equities.com |

U.S. healthcare workers and others recommended for the nation’s first COVID-19 inoculations could start getting shots within a day or two of regulatory consent next month, a top official of the government’s vaccine development effort said on Sunday.

Some 70% of the U.S. population of 330 million would need to be inoculated to achieve “herd” immunity from the virus, a goal the country could achieve by May, according to Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser for “Operation Warp Speed.”


AP News | Equities.com |

The surging coronavirus is taking an increasingly dire toll across the U.S. just as a vaccine appears at hand, with the country now averaging over 1,300 COVID-19 deaths per day — the highest since the calamitous spring in and around New York City.

The overall death toll has reached about 253,000, by far the highest in the world. Total confirmed infections have eclipsed more than 11.7 million, after the biggest one-day gain on record Thursday — almost 188,000. And the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 hit another all-time high at more than 80,000.


AP News | Equities.com |

With the coronavirus surging out of control, the nation’s top public health agency pleaded with Americans on Thursday not to travel for Thanksgiving and not to spend the holiday with people from outside their household.

The Thanksgiving warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came as the White House coronavirus task force held a briefing for the first time in months and Vice President Mike Pence concluded it without responding to questions by reporters or urging Americans not to travel.

Other members of the task force — whose media briefings were a daily fixture during the early days of the outbreak — talked about the progress being made in the development of a vaccine.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc said on Thursday its customers can now pick up health and wellness products from its stores in about 30 minutes from placing an order online.

The drugstore chain said its new service, under its customer loyalty program that has more than 100 million members, will be in addition to at-home delivery and discounts on prescription drugs.

Earlier this week, Amazon.com Inc launched its online pharmacy for delivering prescription medication in the United States, intensifying competition for drug retailers such as Walgreens and CVS Health.


Reuters | Equities.com |

U.S. healthcare exchange traded funds (ETFs) have led inflows in November, bolstered by the progress in development of coronavirus vaccines.

Data from Morningstar showed U.S. healthcare ETFs have lured $1.7 billion in the first two weeks of this month after witnessing outflows in the past three months.

The news that Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE's experimental COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective based on initial trial results lifted healthcare stocks last week.

Increasing COVID-19 cases and proposals for new lockdowns in the United States, however, have tempered some market optimism and prompted investors to look for safer stocks.


AP News | Equities.com |

Overwhelmed hospitals are converting chapels, cafeterias, waiting rooms, hallways, even a parking garage into patient treatment areas. Staff members are desperately calling around to other medical centers in search of open beds. Fatigue and frustration are setting in among front-line workers.

Conditions inside the nation’s hospitals are deteriorating by the day as the coronavirus rages across the U.S. at an unrelenting pace ...