Friday, October 22, 2021

Dow Notches First Record Close Since Aug. 16. The Dow Jones Industrial Average registered its first record closing high in more than two months. The Dow closed up 74 points, or 0.2%, to reach 35,677, while the S&P 500 index closed down five points, or 0.1%, on Friday at around 4545. The Nasdaq Composite index ended the day down 126 points, or 0.8%, at 15,090. For the week, the Dow added 382 points, or 1%, while the S&P gained 74 points, or 2%. The Nasdaq closed the week up 193 points, or 1%.

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Pfizer and BioNTech Covid Vaccine Is Nearly 91% Effective in Children

Pfizer and BioNTech‘s Covid-19 vaccine was 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19 in children five to 11 years old, according to new data released by the companies on Friday.
The companies submitted results of a Phase 3 clinical trial to federal health regulators ahead of a Food and Drug Administration committee hearing that will debate whether to recommend the vaccine for younger children.
Pfizer and BioNTech submitted their request for emergency-use authorization of a smaller dose of their two-shot Covid-19 vaccine for children in early October. The FDA is expected to post its own assessment of Pfizer and BioNTech’s data before the Oct. 26 meeting.

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Biden Says He Doesn’t Have Enough Votes to Hike Corporate Taxes

Corporate tax hikes might now be off the table as a way of funding the Democrats’ multitrillion-dollar social spending bill, President Joe Biden said.
At a CNN town hall, Biden conceded he didn’t have all the Democratic votes needed to increase the corporate tax rate to 28%, up from 21% currently.

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WeWork Goes Public, Defying Great Odds

WeWork made its public market debut on Thursday. Its stock now trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “WE.” 

WeWork went public by completing a merger with the special purpose acquisition company BowX Acquisition, a transaction first announced in March. Its market debut comes two years after the disastrous September 2019 collapse of a planned IPO.

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Pfizer Covid-19 Booster Found to Restore Efficacy Back to Near 96%

A booster dose of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine was found to restore the vaccine’s efficacy rate to 95.6%, the companies said this week.
The announcement comes one month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the protection against hospitalization afforded by Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine waned significantly four months after full inoculation to 77% from 91%.

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Google Charges Higher Fees for Ads, Attorneys General Lawsuit Says

On Friday, an antitrust investigation begun in 2019 by a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from almost every state into Google’s advertising practices spilled into public view after a federal judge allowed much of the suit to be unsealed.
The unredacted lawsuit says that Google takes a percentage of each advertising transaction on its marketplace that is typically two to four times as large as those charged by rival digital ad exchanges. It alleges that Google uses strategies that intentionally reduce options for publishers and advertisers and favors the company’s own ad-buying tools, helping it win more than 80% of auctions on its exchange.

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Mix-and-Match Booster Rollout Is Set to Start. Nearly 100 Million People Could Be Eligible.

A broader Covid-19 booster vaccine campaign is now set to start rolling out after the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, backed a series of recommendations voted on by the CDC’s vaccine-advisory committee this week.
The recommendations match an authorization issued by the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday following a series of meetings last week by the FDA’s own vaccine-advisory committee. They could make up to 99 million people eligible for a booster, according to CDC estimates.

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Existing-Home Sales Soared. But First-Time Home Buyers Are Getting Priced Out

Existing-home sales in September rose 7% to their highest level since the beginning of this year despite still-high home prices. But first-time buyers aren’t the ones fueling the surge.
Existing-home sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.29 million, up from 5.88 million in August and exceeding estimates of 6.11 million, according to data released this week by the National Association of Realtors.

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Holiday Online Retail Sales Projected to Rise 10% in 2021

Online U.S. holiday retail shopping will grow 10% in 2021 to $207 billion after soaring 33% a year ago during the worst of the pandemic, a new study predicts.
Published this week by Adobe, the study is based on a combination of more than 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites that run the company’s e-commerce software, and a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers.

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Facebook’s Possible Name Change Has Everyone Talking. History Says It’s Tricky.

Facebook may be embarking on a name change, but history suggests that is far from straightforward.
Facebook may change its name, according to a report citing one anonymous source. The speculation has set tongues wagging over what the new company name might be. The rebrand is reportedly linked to the company’s efforts to build its “metaverse”—a platform allowing people to game, work, and socialize in a virtual environment—with the purpose of showing Facebook is more than just a social-media company.

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Amazon Workers on Staten Island Are Latest to Push for Unionization

About 2,000 workers at Amazon’s facilities in Staten Island, N.Y., have signed a call for unionization, requesting federal labor officials to authorize a union vote.
“The goal and purpose of the Amazon Labor Union is to change the relationship between the company and its workers so we can negotiate a better, safer, and more equitable workplace,” the ALU said on its website.

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