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Dow up more than 640 points on hopes for clear US election winner – Al Jazeera English

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The major United States stock indexes all rallied on hopes that a contested US presidential election will be avoided and a clear winner will be decided.

Wall Street’s main stock indexes rallied on Tuesday as investors clung to optimism that a clear winner will emerge from an exceptionally divisive United States presidential election.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session up more than 554 points or just over 2 percent at 27,480.03. It had been up more than 700 points earlier in the session.

The S&P 500 – a gauge for the health of US retirement and college savings accounts – closed up 1.78 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index finished the session up 1.85 percent.

Tuesday’s strong finishes extended Monday’s gains.

Though storefronts from New York to Los Angeles have been boarded up in case violence erupts once the polls are closed, Wall Street is looking at a glass-half-full election outcome scenario in which a clear winner is determined and a contested result is avoided.

Economists at Goldman Sachs led by Jan Hatzius wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday that “there is a good chance the presidential election outcome will be clear on election night” because Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads polls narrowly in Arizona, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina – all of which are likely to report results quickly.

“Winning any of these would make it difficult for President [Donald] Trump to reach 270 electoral votes,” said Goldman.

Still, there may not be a conclusive winner on Tuesday night or even Wednesday morning if there is a protracted ballot count or the results are challenged.

Biden is ahead in national opinion polls, but the race in key battleground states is still tight enough for Trump – who is relying on a big turnout from his supporters on Tuesday – to ride to victory.

Almost 100 million Americans cast their ballots early.

“I think we will have victory,” Trump told Fox News on Tuesday. “I look at it as being a very solid chance at winning here.”

A person walks past the boarded-up Saks Fifth Ave store in anticipation of tomorrow’s elections in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, the United States [File: Carlo Allegri]

In what is sure to be a big week for Wall Street, all eyes will be on the election results before attention turns to the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting on Wednesday and Thursday, and the monthly jobs report due on Friday.

Among stocks making headlines on Tuesday:

Shares of Alibaba Group Holding, which owns about a third of Ant Group, ended the session down 8.1 percent after China shocked markets by suspending the fintech giant’s blockbuster listing on the Shanghai stock exchange.

Shares of PayPal Holdings also lost 4.23 percent after the company lowered its forecast for fourth-quarter profits.

And shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd gained 0.85 percent after the company said it is suspending cruises through the end of the year.

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Health Canada approves AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine – 680 News

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Health Canada has approved AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The shot is the third to be given the green light for use in the country, following vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

The country has pre-ordered 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was co-developed by researchers at the University of Oxford.

After completing their rigorous and independent review process, Health Canada has approved AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine – and we’ve already secured millions of doses for people across the country,” said Trudeau on Friday.

“Canada now has 3 vaccines approved for use in our fight against COVID-19.”

It will also receive up to 1.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the global vaccine-sharing initiative known as COVAX by the end of June.

“It means more people vaccinated and sooner,” Trudeau said. “Because for AstraZeneca, like we were for Pfizer and Moderna, we’re ready to get doses rolling.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the approval is great news for the province.

“I think it’s the best news we’ve heard in a long time,” said Ford. “The two questions we need answered is when we are getting it and how much we are getting.”

The AstraZeneca shot is a two-dose vaccine that can be refrigerated which makes it easier to handle than the shots from Pfizer and Moderna, which must be kept frozen.

In Canada, federal health officials provided an updated vaccine forecast last week, estimating that by the time summer arrives the country could see over half of its residents inoculated.

“Here is the bottom line. With Pfizer, Moderna, and now AstraZeneca, Canada will get to more than six-and-a-half million doses by the end of March,” Trudeau said.

“There will be tens of millions more doses to come between April and June.”


RELATED: Pfizer, Moderna executives expect vaccine shipments to triple in weeks ahead


Best-case forecasts considered vaccine deliveries from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax, in addition to the already approved Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots.

Health Canada continues to review the two other vaccines and the approval of the Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine will likely not come until late February or early March and Novavax are not expected until April.

Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine successfully protects against COVID-19 and is effective in reducing the spread.

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine can be refrigerated but only requires a single-dose.

This week Canada received its biggest combined shipment yet of vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna.

Canada’s deputy chief public health officer said recently that health officials were looking into evidence that a single dose of the Pfizer shot could be as effective as a double dose.

Original data suggested one dose gave around 50 percent more protection against the virus while two doses gave about 95 percent protection.

Health Canada senior medical advisor Doctor Supriya Sharma says while the AstraZeneca vaccine is considered less effective overall than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the real measure is how well it prevents serious illness and death.

“I think the key numbers that are important is that if you look across all the clinical trials at the tens of thousands of people that were involved, the number of cases of people that died from COVID-19, that got vaccines, was zero,” Sharma said.

“The number of people that were hospitalized because their COVID-19 disease was so severe was zero.

Experts are now saying that was measured from the moment the vaccine was given instead of waiting two weeks to let the immune system gear up.


With files from the Canadian Press

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CPP Investments CEO Mark Machin resigns after travelling to UAE for COVID-19 vaccine – CTV News

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TORONTO —
The chief executive of the fund that manages Canada Pension Plan investments has resigned after it was revealed that he decided to travel to the United Arab Emirates, where he arranged to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

CPP Investments said Friday that Mark Machin tendered his resignation after discussions with the board Thursday night.

The resignation comes after Machin on Thursday evening sent a memo to staff, in which he said he received a COVID-19 vaccination while on a “very personal” trip to Dubai.

Machin said in the email viewed by The Canadian Press that he remains in Dubai with his partner “for many reasons, some of which are deeply personal.”

“This was a very personal trip and was undertaken after careful consideration and consultation,” the memo reads.

The federal government is actively discouraging Canadians from travelling abroad and recently implemented stricter quarantine measures for those returning home.

Machin told staff he followed all travel protocols related to his role as head of the pension fund while on the trip.

“This trip was intended to be very private and I am disappointed it has become the focus of public attention and expected criticism,” he wrote.

Several politicians and health-care officials have become high profile flashpoints in recent months for leaving the country despite public health advice to the contrary.

Among them, the former CEO of the London Health Sciences Centre is now embroiled in litigation after his travel to the U.S. prompted the hospital to terminate his contract.

Rod Phillips, Ontario’s former finance minister, resigned from his post in late December after taking a personal trip to St. Barts.

A spokeswoman for Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said that while CPPIB is an independent organization, the revelation is “very troubling.”

“The federal government has been clear with Canadians that now is not the time to travel abroad,” Katherine Cuplinskas said in an emailed statement.

“We were not made aware of this travel and further questions should be directed to the CPPIB on this matter.”

CPP Investments said Friday it has no comment beyond the statement announcing Machin’s departure.

The fund’s board has appointed John Graham as its new CEO. Graham was its global head of credit investments.

CPP Investments, which had $475.7 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, invests money on behalf of retired and active employees covered by the Canada Pension Plan.

Machin joined CPP Investments in 2012 and was appointed president and chief executive in June 2016. Before joining the pension fund manager, he spent 20 years at investment bank Goldman Sachs.

“The board wishes to thank Mr. Machin for his global perspective, leadership and commitment to excellence and we offer him our sincere best wishes for the future.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2021

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CPP Investments CEO Mark Machin resigns after travelling to UAE for COVID-19 vaccine – CTV News

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The chief executive of the fund that manages Canada Pension Plan investments has resigned after it was revealed that he decided to travel to the United Arab Emirates, where he arranged to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

CPP Investments said Friday that Mark Machin tendered his resignation after discussions with the board Thursday night.

The resignation comes after Machin on Thursday evening sent a memo to staff, in which he said he received a COVID-19 vaccination while on a “very personal” trip to Dubai.

Machin said in the email viewed by The Canadian Press that he remains in Dubai with his partner “for many reasons, some of which are deeply personal.”

“This was a very personal trip and was undertaken after careful consideration and consultation,” the memo reads.

The federal government is actively discouraging Canadians from travelling abroad and recently implemented stricter quarantine measures for those returning home.

Machin told staff he followed all travel protocols related to his role as head of the pension fund while on the trip.

“This trip was intended to be very private and I am disappointed it has become the focus of public attention and expected criticism,” he wrote.

Several politicians and health-care officials have become high profile flashpoints in recent months for leaving the country despite public health advice to the contrary.

Among them, the former CEO of the London Health Sciences Centre is now embroiled in litigation after his travel to the U.S. prompted the hospital to terminate his contract.

Rod Phillips, Ontario’s former finance minister, resigned from his post in late December after taking a personal trip to St. Barts.

A spokeswoman for Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said that while CPPIB is an independent organization, the revelation is “very troubling.”

“The federal government has been clear with Canadians that now is not the time to travel abroad,” Katherine Cuplinskas said in an emailed statement.

“We were not made aware of this travel and further questions should be directed to the CPPIB on this matter.”

CPP Investments said Friday it has no comment beyond the statement announcing Machin’s departure.

The fund’s board has appointed John Graham as its new CEO. Graham was its global head of credit investments.

CPP Investments, which had $475.7 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, invests money on behalf of retired and active employees covered by the Canada Pension Plan.

Machin joined CPP Investments in 2012 and was appointed president and chief executive in June 2016. Before joining the pension fund manager, he spent 20 years at investment bank Goldman Sachs.

“The board wishes to thank Mr. Machin for his global perspective, leadership and commitment to excellence and we offer him our sincere best wishes for the future.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2021

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