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Investors dumped tech stocks today — and everybody felt the pain – Financial Post



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She added: “Looking at the data today, the market has had the ability to power higher and hasn’t paid any attention to a macro environment which, yes, is improving which is encouraging, but the economy remains fragile here.”

Earlier in the day, data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, but remained extraordinarily high. The closely watched monthly payrolls report is set for Friday.

Separately, a survey showed U.S. services industry growth slowed in August, likely as the boost from the reopening of businesses and fiscal stimulus faded.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 811.33 points, or 2.79 per cent, to 28,289.17, the S&P 500 lost 125.96 points, or 3.52 per cent, to 3,454.88 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 598.34 points, or 4.96 per cent, to 11,458.10.

Wall Street’s fear gauge crossed its 200-day moving average to hit its highest level in weeks.

Still, some investors seemed unconcerned in the face of the sell-off.

“(Investors) are in love with tech stocks and it’s going to take more than this for them to fall out of love with them,” said Mike Zigmont, head of trading and research at Harvest Volatility Management in New York.

Sebastian Leburn, senior portfolio manager at Boston Private in Florida, said the decline was “just a rotation” out of technology stocks: “I don’t think it’s anything ominous.”

Another Nasdaq heavyweight, Tesla Inc, tumbled again on Thursday after already falling sharply for two straight sessions.

PVH Corp rose after the Calvin Klein owner posted a surprise quarterly profit, boosted by strong online demand for comfortable and casual clothing during the coronavirus-led shift to work from home.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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Canada nails down 5th deal for potential COVID-19 vaccine –



Canada has now committed more than $1 billion to buy doses of COVID-19 vaccines after securing a fifth deal with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline Tuesday.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Tuesday that Canada has a deal in place to buy up to 72 million doses of their experimental vaccine candidate, which is just starting the second of three trial phases this month.

In all, Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies, and most of that money will not be refunded even if the vaccines never get approved.

“We need to make a substantial investment in order to ensure that Canada is well positioned to secure access to the successful vaccine or vaccines,” Anand said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

‘Bet on multiple horses at the same time’

“The way in which we are doing that is to bet on multiple horses at the same time in order to ensure that as one or more of those horses crosses the finish line we have access to those vaccines,” she said. 

Canada has signed deals with Moderna, Pfizer, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson and now Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, all of which are among some of the most promising vaccines, but none of which have completed all the required clinical trials, or been approved for use in Canada.

On Sept. 3, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline said their vaccine candidate was going to begin Phase 1/2 trials, which will test it on 440 individuals. The hope is the vaccine will be ready for the third and final phase of trials by the end of the year, and approved for use in the first half of 2021.

Moderna has a vaccine in Phase 3 trials, and Pfizer’s is in a combined Phase 2 and 3 trial. Novavax is in a Phase 2 trial, while Johnson & Johnson is in a Phase 1/2 trial.

Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand listens to a question during a news conference in Ottawa on April 16. Anand announced a new deal with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline Tuesday. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Most clinical trials have three phases to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine or drug being developed.

Each phase of a trial adds more volunteers on whom the drug is tested, looking for adverse health effects and whether the vaccine does cause a person to develop antibodies that can protect against COVID-19.

More anti-viral drug also secured

Anand said Canada has also signed an agreement with Gilead Sciences and McKesson Canada to get 150,000 vials of remdesivir, the only antiviral drug that has proven effective at treating patients with COVID-19. Health Canada approved the drug for use on COVID-19 patients at the end of July.

The doses will begin arriving at Canadian hospitals this month.

Canada has also joined the international vaccine co-operative known as the COVAX Facility, which is bringing together wealthy countries with low and middle-income countries to collectively invest in doses of vaccines.

It has not yet announced how much money it will contribute, a figure that was to have come last week but has been delayed. Now Anand says that Canada remains committed to COVAX and more details will be coming soon.

Canada has chosen to participate in both parts of the COVAX program. The first is for any country to join to get access to vaccines, and the second is a fund for wealthy countries to help low-income countries participate.

The Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research and the Canadian Society for International Health have both criticized Canada for acting to buy doses of vaccine for itself, hindering efforts to ensure vaccines that are successful are distributed fairly around the world.

GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, said Monday that 64 wealthy countries had joined the COVAX Facility, including Canada. The United States has not joined.

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Stocks rise as technology rally tempers virus woes – BNN



Stocks rose as dip buyers emerged after the market selloff, tempering concern over remarks from Federal Reserve officials that pointed to a slow economic recovery. The dollar climbed.

Most groups in the S&P 500 advanced, with retailers and real-estate companies leading gains. Tech giants drove the Nasdaq 100 to a back-to-back rally, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average underperformed. The benchmark gauge dropped earlier Tuesday as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the economy has a long way to go before fully recovering and will need further support. Meanwhile, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans noted that rates could rise before the inflation target is reached.

Equities are still heading toward their first monthly slide since March on concern Congress hasn’t agreed on another fiscal stimulus package, while an increase in global virus cases has raised the specter of more lockdowns. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions that are likely to last six months and told people to work from home if possible, saying the country is at a “perilous turning point” for the virus.

Congressional Democrats and Republicans and the White House have opened negotiations to resolve a dispute over farm aid that had raised the risk of a U.S. government shutdown on Oct. 1. To facilitate the talks, the House may scrap plans to vote later Tuesday on a stopgap spending bill that lacked Republican and White House support.

“We think equities will move higher over the medium term, thanks to the likely development of a successful vaccine, an end to election uncertainty, the passage of new U.S. fiscal stimulus, and continued extraordinary global monetary support,” wrote Mark Haefele, chief investment officer of global wealth management at UBS Group AG. “However, the path to ‘more normal’ is likely to be bumpy,” he said, adding that “we therefore expect volatility to persist over the balance of the year.”

Financial and energy stocks, once dominant within the S&P 500, are taking even more of a back seat to technology shares than they did as a bull market ended 20 years ago.

The two industry groups together have trailed the weight of the S&P 500 Technology Index by as much as 17 percentage points this month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s less than a point away from a low in March 2000 — a figure that isn’t adjusted for a September 2018 index shift, which lifted the ratio by 5.1 points in just one day. Bespoke Investment Group LLC highlighted the comparison in a blog post Monday.

These are some of the main moves in markets:


The S&P 500 climbed 0.7 per cent as of 2:55 p.m. New York time.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.2 per cent.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dipped 0.9 per cent.


The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 0.5 per cent.
The euro dipped 0.5 per cent to US$1.1716.
The Japanese yen weakened 0.3 per cent to 104.93 per dollar.


The yield on 10-year Treasuries decreased less than one basis point to 0.66 per cent.
Germany’s 10-year yield advanced three basis points to -0.51 per cent.
Britain’s 10-year yield gained five basis points to 0.203 per cent.


West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 0.1 per cent to US$39.33 a barrel.
Gold depreciated 0.4 per cent to US$1,904.41 an ounce.
Silver depreciated 1.1 per cent to US$24.45 per ounce.

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Canada 'at a crossroads': COVID-19 will keep spreading if behaviours don't change, Tam says – CTV News



The latest federal modelling on the COVID-19 pandemic shows that in the short-term, Canada’s epidemic is set to keep growing, predicting up to 155,795 total cases and 9,300 deaths by Oct. 2, unless Canadians re-adopt the same degree of health precautions they took in the early months of the pandemic.

Federal health officials released updated national COVID-19 modelling on Tuesday, as there continues to be a surge in new cases of the virus across several provinces, prompting renewed anxieties about Canada’s ability to stave off a full blown second wave.

There are currently nearly 11,000 active COVID-19 cases in Canada, while another 126,230 patients have recovered. To date, more than 9,200 Canadians have died from the novel coronavirus.

“Canada is at a crossroads and individual action to reduce contact rates will decide our path,” said the federal presentation document provided to reporters.

The new modelling shows how the course of the pandemic Canada charts in the weeks ahead will vary greatly depending on the precautions in place, projecting big spikes this fall if Canadians don’t redouble efforts to limit the number of close contacts they have, maintain physical distance from people not in their immediate social bubbles, wear masks when distancing can’t be maintained, and stay home if experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

“All of us have the future in our hands in terms of the decisions we’re making today,” said Health Minister Patty Hajdu at Tuesday’s briefing. “Those decisions that we make today, to say ‘no’, to connect in different ways, to keep our gathering sizes small, to ensure that we’re not socializing more than absolutely necessary, are going to actually help drive the cases down. It’s a sacrifice that we all have to make.”

Cases reported now reflect increasing transmission one to two weeks ago, and the projections indicate that if Canada maintains its current rate of contacts, the epidemic will come back “faster and stronger,” warned Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer.

It’s time to re-adopt the personal protection and separation measures that were taken in March and April to have a change at reversing the epidemic growth, she said.

Tam said that with minimal controls—which is not Canada’s current reality— the epidemic in Canada is capable of surging into a “very sharp and intense peak” because most Canadians don’t have immunity to the virus.

“This surge could overwhelm our health system capacity and significantly impact social and economic systems as well,” she said.

As of the latest round of pandemic projections released last month, Canada’s top public health officials said they are were preparing for a fall peak of COVID-19 cases, and that there would likely be localized outbreaks until at least January 2022.

Tuesday’s data shows that the spread of the virus is accelerating nationally, but unevenly across Canada, with the Atlantic bubble not seeing the same surge in cases as other provinces are.

Hospitalizations lag behind increases in reported cases but show early signs of increase, while COVID-19-related deaths remain low. The latest data also show that there are outbreaks now being reported in a greater number of settings, including as a result of private gatherings, as well as in long-term care homes and schools.

The August modelling showed the rate of infections has hit young adults between the ages of 20 and 39 the hardest since June. This continues to be the case, as shown in Tuesday’s figures, prompting a specific plea from Canada’s top public health officer to young people to act responsibly.

Tam said then that her team was preparing for a scenario “several times worse” than the first wave, but was confident that Canada is more prepared than in March to handle another surge.

It was during April’s briefing on modeling that showed that Canadians had initially flattened the curve in many regions of Canada, which set off a cascade of easing of measures in many parts of the country that allowed for many businesses and workplaces to reopen and for social gathering sizes to increase.

Now, some regions are pulling back on what’s allowed and increasing their alert levels, in an effort to slow the spread, a move Tam said is necessary.

She stopped short of classifying the current uptick in cases as a second wave, saying that Canada is “riding this pandemic” like ski mogul hills, and it’s too early to say whether the rates of cases being reported now are the start of a huge increase or just one bump along the road.

Though, the new figures indicate that as has been the experience in other countries, a second COVID-19 resurgence can exceed the initial wave.

“The challenge we face now is to stay the course, no matter how weary we may feel. We have done this before, we know what works, and we know we can work together to get this done,” Tam said.

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