Daily Market Report | Nov. 09, 2020

US FINANCIAL MARKET

Dow Surges to Intraday Record on Vaccine Results, Biden Win – Wall Street Journal, 11/9/20

  • U.S. stocks jumped to fresh records Monday after progress on a Covid-19 vaccine and Democrat Joe Biden’s electoral victory sent indexes soaring and boosted companies in the hardest-hit sectors of the economy.
  • Markets rallied after a vaccine developed by Pfizer and partner BioNTech proved better than expected at protecting people from Covid-19 in a pivotal study, a milestone in the hunt for shots that can stop the global pandemic.
  • The positive, though incomplete, results bring the vaccine a big step closer to getting cleared for widespread use.
  • Pfizer said it is on track to ask health regulators for permission to sell the shot before the end of this month, if pending data indicate the vaccine is safe.
  • Following the vaccine announcement, the yield on the 10-year Treasury moved higher to 0.932%, from 0.821% Friday.
  • Shares in the hardest-hit sectors, including travel and leisure companies, rallied, with Carnival up 39% and American Airlines Group gaining more than 16%.
  • The new leg of the rally in stocks also reflects the reduced uncertainty surrounding the U.S. elections, combined with expectations that a Democrat-controlled White House and divided Congress could result in moderate policy measures on taxes and spending.

Coronavirus Live Updates: New U.S. Cases Near 106,000 – Wall Street Journal, 11/9/20

  • The U.S. reported nearly 106,000 new coronavirus cases, a decline after a string of record-setting days, while caseloads remained high in many states.
  • Minnesota reported more than 5,900 new cases, a single-day record. New cases in Illinois rose by more than 10,000, a day after the state reported a daily record of over 12,000 infections. Other states, including Indiana, Michigan and Ohio reported daily tallies near recent highs.
  • As of Sunday, 56,768 people were in hospitals due to Covid-19, the largest number since July 29, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
  • The U.S. recorded 457 fatalities for Sunday, after five consecutive days over 1,000. Sunday’s figure was higher than the 401 deaths reported a week earlier.
  • Italy, one of the worst-hit countries, reported more than 32,600 new cases on Sunday, down from nearly 40,000 the day before, although fewer tests were conducted. Similarly, the U.K. recorded over 20,500 new infections on Sunday, down from the day before.
  • Russia, though, reported another record high of nearly 21,800 new cases while 256 deaths there increased the country’s total to almost 30,800.

Pfizer’s Covid-19 Vaccine Proves 90% Effective in Latest Trials – Wall Street Journal, 11/9/20

  • A vaccine developed by Pfizer and partner BioNTech proved better than expected at protecting people from Covid-19 in a pivotal study, a milestone in the hunt for shots that can stop the global pandemic.
  • The vaccine proved to be more than 90% effective in the first 94 subjects who were infected by the new coronavirus and developed at least one symptom, the companies said Monday.
  • Pfizer said it is on track to ask health regulators for permission to sell the shot before the end of this month, if pending data indicate the vaccine is safe.
  • The timetable suggests the vaccine could go into distribution this month or next, though U.S. health regulators have indicated they will take some time to conduct their review.

McDonald’s Sales Largely Recover as Coronavirus Challenges Persist – Wall Street Journal, 11/9/20

  • McDonald’s said that even as its sales have largely recovered, it plans to continue adjusting restaurant operations with an emphasis on to-go orders as the coronavirus pandemic persists.
  • McDonald’s reported $5.4 billion in revenue for the quarter, in line with expectations from analysts polled by FactSet.
  • The company said Monday that global same-store sales fell 2.2% during its third quarter from a year earlier, a slightly better result than analysts had expected and a sizable improvement from a 23.9% drop in the second quarter.
  • McDonald’s reported a 4.6% year-over-year increase in same-store sales in the U.S. for its latest quarter.
  • The company said it had earnings per share of $2.35 on $1.8 billion in profit, up from $1.6 billion in the quarter a year earlier.
  • For its 2021 and 2022 fiscal years, McDonald’s said it expects sales growth in the mid-single digits, similar to 2019 levels.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Profit Rises, Boosted by Investment Returns – Wall Street Journal, 11/7/20

  • Berkshire Hathaway’s third-quarter profit rose as investments rallied, though a loss for the company’s insurance underwriting pinched its operating profit.
  • Operating earnings, which exclude some investment results, fell to $5.5 billion from $8.1 billion the year prior.
  • Berkshire reported third-quarter net earnings of $30.1 billion, or $18,994 per Class A share equivalent, up from $16.5 billion, or $10,119 per Class A share equivalent, in the year-earlier period.
  • Berkshire held $145.7 billion in cash at the end of the third quarter, down from about $146.6 billion in cash at the end of the second quarter.
  • The company, which for years shunned stock buybacks, bought back $9 billion in shares, bringing the total of stock buybacks to $16 billion for the year so far.

Boeing Jets, Other U.S. Goods Worth $4 Billion Face EU Tariffs – Wall Street Journal, 11/9/20

  • The European Union will impose tariffs on $3.99 billion of Boeing jets and other U.S. goods annually as part of a long-running trade dispute, the bloc’s trade chief said Monday.
  • The tariffs will come into effect on Tuesday, EU officials said.
  • Details of which goods will be hit will come later Monday.
  • The EU action comes after the U.S. imposed tariffs following a WTO decision in October 2019 authorizing tariffs on $7.5 billion in Airbus SE jets and other imported European products, the largest arbitration award in WTO history.

Biogen plunges 30% after FDA panel votes against Alzheimer’s drug – Reuters, 11/9/20

  • Biogen’s shares slumped about 30% on Monday as the drugmaker’s chances of getting a regulatory approval for its experiment Alzheimer’s treatment suffered a blow after a panel of experts to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted against the medicine.
  • Wall Street analysts largely believe the panel’s near-unanimous votes against the drug, aducanumab, make it difficult for the FDA to go against the panel.
  • The panel on Friday voted “no” to three questions related to whether a single successful large trial of the drug was enough evidence of its effectiveness, given the failure of a second large study.

US ECONOMY & POLITICS

Biden Charts Course for New Administration – Wall Street Journal, 11/8/20

  • President-elect Joe Biden forged ahead with his transition to the White House, charting a course for significant policy changes even as President Trump declined to concede the race.
  • A day after the Associated Press declared the 77-year-old Democratic former vice president had garnered enough electoral college votes to win the presidency, Mr. Biden’s transition team was weighing who would fill senior roles in the White House and across the government, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • It also was discussing executive orders that would reverse some of the Republican incumbent’s signature policy initiatives, including his decision to pull out of the Paris climate-change agreement, the people said.
  • As of Sunday afternoon, Mr. Biden had so far received 75.2 million votes, the most cast for any presidential candidate in history, and Mr. Trump has received 70.8 million votes, the second most ever, according to the AP.
  • The AP’s tally of votes remains preliminary until certified by individual states, and several states have yet to be called. The Electoral College votes in December, and the final results are announced in Congress in January.

Biden Is Expected to Review Trump’s Trade Tariffs – Wall Street Journal, 11/9/20

  • President-elect Joe Biden will inherit a U.S. trade policy characterized by tariffs on global imports—on steel and aluminum from most of the world, on wine and cheese from Europe, and on nearly three-quarters of everything the U.S. buys from China.
  • Some of Mr. Biden’s campaign proposals are likely non-starters if Republicans maintain control of the Senate—but not trade policy, where the president has broad authority to conduct negotiations and peel off or apply new tariffs as he sees fit.
  • While Mr. Biden hasn’t detailed his specific plans, aides and advisers say he is expected to review those levies.
  • And like President Trump, he will largely be able to act without the need for Congressional support.
  • Other trade steps a Biden administration could pursue would include resolving a long-running dispute with the European Union over subsidies of the aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus that has led to tariffs imposed or announced by both sides.

Vote Counting Goes On in Many States, With Some Too Close to Call – Wall Street Journal, 11/8/20

  • Vote counting goes on in many states, with some too close to declare a winner, even though Democrat Joe Biden clinched enough states to become president-elect, according to the Associated Press tally.
  • Three states have no declared winner: Georgia, where Mr. Biden leads by around 10,000 votes; North Carolina, where President Trump leads by around 75,000 and which will announce results later this week; and Alaska, where Mr. Trump has a commanding lead but a large percentage of mail-in ballots have yet to be counted.
  • Pivotal states such as Arizona, which Mr. Biden won and was once reliably Republican, and Pennsylvania, which proved the tipping point for Mr. Biden, also continue to count ballots.
  • The Trump campaign and Republican groups have filed lawsuits in several states, including Pennsylvania.
  • Recounts are likely in at least two states: Wisconsin, where the Trump campaign has said it would request one, and Georgia, where the state’s top election official said he would conduct one, likely following the request of the Trump campaign.

Georgia’s Two Runoff Races Become Focus for Senate Control – Wall Street Journal, 11/8/20

  • While the nation is focused on the outcome of the presidential election, political insiders and activists are turning their attention to Georgia where a set of runoff races likely will determine control of the U.S. Senate and whether President-elect Joe Biden will have a Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress when he begins his administration.
  • The partisan breakdown in the Senate is currently a tie, with 48 Republicans and 48 Democrats.
  • Four seats are still outstanding: In addition to the Georgia runoffs, Republicans are leading and expected to win in Alaska and North Carolina, but those races haven’t been called yet by the Associated Press because votes are still being counted.
  • If Republicans hold their seats in Alaska and North Carolina, Democrats would need to win both of the Georgia runoff races on Jan. 5 to control 50 seats in the chamber.

Affordable Care Act Faces Latest Test in Supreme Court – Wall Street Journal, 11/8/20

  • A week after President Trump’s electoral defeat, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on one of the principal goals of his 2016 campaign—eliminating the Affordable Care Act—in the midst of an intensifying pandemic.
  • In Tuesday’s case, a Texas-led group of Republican-leaning states, backed by the Trump administration, contend that change made the entire health-care law unconstitutional.
  • If a majority of justices agree, the result could be loss of health-care coverage for at least 20 million Americans.

Evidence of PPP Fraud Mounts, Officials Say – Wall Street Journal, 11/8/20

  • The federal government is swamped with reports of potential fraud in the Paycheck Protection Program, according to government officials and public data, casting a shadow on one of Washington’s signature responses to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Small Business Administration’s inspector general, an arm of the agency that administers the PPP, said last month there were “strong indicators of widespread potential abuse and fraud in the PPP.”
  • The watchdog counted tens of thousands of companies that received PPP loans for which they appear to have been ineligible, such as corporations created after the pandemic began, businesses that exceeded workforce size limits (generally 500 employees or fewer) or those listed in a federal “Do Not Pay” database because they already owe money to taxpayers.
  • Tens of thousands of organizations also appear to have received more money than they should have based on their headcounts and compensation rates, it said.
  • Several hundred PPP-related investigations have been opened, involving nearly 500 suspects and hundreds of millions of dollars of loans, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

EUROPE & WORLD

China Exports Roar Ahead; Trade Surplus With U.S., World Widens – Wall Street Journal, 11/7/20

  • China’s trade surplus with the U.S. and the rest of the world widened in October as the global recovery buoyed demand for made-in-China goods, helping export growth beat market expectations for a seventh straight month.
  • China’s exports rose 11.4% from a year earlier in October—higher than the previous month’s 9.9% increase and topping economists’ projections for a 9.0% gain—according to data released Saturday by China’s General Administration of Customs.
  • China’s imports, meantime, rose by a more modest 4.7% in October from a year earlier, down from September’s 13.2% increase and lower than the 8.3% increase expected by surveyed economists.
  • Taken together, the trade data meant China’s trade surplus ballooned to $58.4 billion in October, from $37 billion the previous month, according to official data.
  • China’s exports to the U.S., its third-largest trading partner, rose 22.5% year-over-year in dollar terms in October, while shipments to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union, China’s No. 1 and No. 2 trading partners, rose 7% and fell 7% respectively from a year earlier.

Johnson says EU trade deal is ‘there to be done’ – Reuters, 11/8/20

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday a trade deal with the European Union was “there to be done”, suggesting his view that the agreement’s broad outline was already “pretty clear” was shared in Brussels.
  • After months of talks on a deal to protect trade between the two neighbors from possible quotas and tariffs, the two sides have yet to close significant differences on at least two main sticking points.
  • Any deal should be agreed by mid-November to allow for ratification, with some businesses hoping that the time pressure and a COVID-19 crisis spiraling across much of Europe can focus minds to avoid disruption at the end of the year.

EU wants new start in trade policy with the U.S.: Altmaier – Reuters, 11/9/20

  • The European Union and its member states want to reset trade relations with the next U.S. administration following Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the election in the United States, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Monday.
  • “We will try to get a new start in trade policy between the United States and all member states,” Altmaier said following a virtual meeting of trade ministers from EU member states.

Factmonster – TODAY in HISTORY

  • Jack the Ripper killed his last victim, Mary Jane Kelly. (1888)
  • Nazis burned and looted temples and Jewish-owned stores and houses in Germany and Austria in what became known as Kristallnacht (Crystal Night—referring to broken glass on streets). (1938)
  • Former French president Charles De Gaulle died at age 79. (1970)
  • Borders between East and West Germany were opened and the Berlin Wall began to be dismantled the next day. (1989)

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