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Stock markets fall, oil prices plummet as COVID-19 fears rise again – CBC.ca

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The Toronto Stock Exchange had its worst day in months on Monday as rising COVID-19 infections around the world gave investors a sobering reminder that the pandemic is still far from over.

The S&P/TSX composite index lost more than 350 points, or almost two per cent, to 19,655 nearing the end of the trading day.

Less than a month ago, Canada’s benchmark stock index was hitting all-time highs as optimism over the looming end of COVID-19 had investors pouring money into stocks poised to benefit from the reopening of the global economy. Even as recently as last week, the TSX was nearly 1,000 points higher than it is right now.

But the pandemic numbers have become a lot gloomier since then, as the delta variant has caused cases to rise again in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.

“Risk aversion is firmly in place as the delta variant spread is triggering a flight to safety as global economic concerns intensify,” said Edward Moya, a strategist with the investment firm Oanda.

The price of oil cratered to $66 a barrel, losing almost eight per cent, after the oil cartel known as OPEC announced over the weekend it would soon pump two million more barrels of oil every day. Oil companies make up a big chunk of the TSX, so the sell-off in those shares made a bad day even worse for the index.

“There was a general market sell-off related to renewed worries about COVID and delta,” said Rory Johnston, managing director with the investment firm Price Street.

“Oil is a very classic risk asset, so it’s going to ease off a bit,” he said in an interview.

The sell-off was even more pronounced in the U.S., where the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at one point down by almost 1,000 points, or just shy of three per cent.

Randy Ollenberger, an analyst with Bank of Montreal, said the sell-off makes sense. 

“There’s a lot of nervousness with what’s going on with the variants,” he said in an interview. “We are not completely out of the woods yet, so we are going to have these days.”

Sectors that stood to gain the most from getting back to normal — like travel, tourism, energy and commodities — were hit hardest.

“Travel and hotel stocks are getting crushed today as concerns grow that crude demand outlook might have overly priced in a normal summer abroad,” Moya said. “Jet fuel demand will struggle as international travel is not happening anytime soon.”

Others weren’t so gloomy.

Barry Schwartz, chief investment officer with the Toronto-based Baskin Financial, said in an interview that Monday’s sell-off is likely a temporary blip on the broader path toward economic recovery. He notes that prior to Monday’s sell-off, the TSX was up by almost 20 per cent this year. 

“Things got ahead of themselves,” he said. “The economy is rebounding, [but] it’s not going to be in a straight line.”

He blamed most of the sell-off on automated trading algorithms programmed to follow momentum — and end up feeding on themselves.

“Even with delta, you have to be much more positive on the world than where we were a year ago.”

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Voluntary recall issued for Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Ranch Seasoning – Global News

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A voluntary recall has been issued for Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Ranch Seasoning over a possible Salmonella contamination.

McCormick & Company, Inc. says the recall covers 153g bottles with a best before date of September 6, 2022.

Read more:
18 more hand sanitizers added to Health Canada’s growing recall list

The bottles were shipped to British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

No illnesses have been reported, and McCormick says the potential risk was brought to their attention by the FDA during routine testing.

Read more:
Health Canada recalls children’s jewellery over lead, cadmium levels

Salmonella poisoning can result in a wide range of symptoms, from short-term fever, headache and nausea to more serious issues including severe arthritis and, in rare cases, even death.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Pfizer sells $7.8 billion in Covid shots in the second quarter, raises 2021 guidance on vaccine sales – CNBC

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In this article

A person walks past the Pfizer building in New York City, March 2, 2021.
Carlo Allegri | Reuters

Pfizer said Wednesday it sold $7.8 billion in Covid-19 shots in the second quarter and raised its 2021 sales forecast for the vaccine to $33.5 billion from $26 billion, as the delta variant spreads and scientists debate whether people will need booster shots.

The company’s second-quarter financial results also beat Wall Street expectations on earnings and revenue. Here’s how Pfizer did compared with what Wall Street expected, according to average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted earnings per share: $1.07 per share vs. 97 cents per share expected
  • Revenue: $18.98 billion vs. $18.74 billion forecast

Pfizer expects an adjusted pretax profit in the high 20% range of revenue for the vaccine.

The company now expects full-year earnings in the range of $3.95 to $4.05 per share. That’s up from its prior range of $3.55 to $3.65 per share. It expects revenue in the range of $78 billion to $80 billion, up from its previous estimate of $70.5 billion to $72.5 billion.

Shares of Pfizer dipped 0.4% in premarket trading.

“The second quarter was remarkable in a number of ways,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement. “Most visibly, the speed and efficiency of our efforts with BioNTech to help vaccinate the world against COVID-19 have been unprecedented, with now more than a billion doses of BNT162b2 having been delivered globally.”

Pfizer’s other business units also saw strong sales growth. Revenue from its oncology unit rose by 19% year over year to $3.1 billion. The company’s hospital unit generated $2.2 billion in revenue, up 21% from the prior year. Its internal medicine unit grew by 5% from a year ago to $2.4 billion.

Pfizer said earlier this month it was seeing signs of waning immunity induced by its Covid vaccine with German drugmaker BioNTech, and planned to ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize a booster dose. It also said it is developing a booster shot to target the delta variant.

In slides posted Wednesday alongside its earnings report, Pfizer said it could potentially file for an emergency use authorization for a booster dose with the FDA as early as August. It expects to begin clinical studies testing its delta variant vaccine in the same month.

It expects full approval for its two-dose vaccine by January 2022.

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Pearson airport won’t sort arriving passengers based on COVID-19 vaccination status – CityNews Toronto

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Canada’s largest airport is no longer splitting arriving international passengers into different customs lines based on their vaccination status.

Toronto’s Pearson International Airport announced last week it may be sorting travellers arriving from the U.S. or other international locations into vaccinated and partially or non-vaccinated queues.

But a spokesperson for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority says the practice has been discontinued as of Monday.

Beverly MacDonald says in a statement that the airport has determined separating vaccinated and partially or non-vaccinated travellers into different customs lines “results in minimal operational efficiencies.”

She says entry requirements related to vaccination status will now be enforced once a passenger reaches a customs officer.

Fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents are now able to forgo a 14-day quarantine when arriving in Canada from abroad.

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