Here’s the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
1. Dow set to drop despite U.K. approval of Covid-19 vaccine
Wednesday’s monthly ADP report on private sector jobs showed that a fewer-than-expected 307,000 new positions were added at U.S. companies last month. The ADP data comes ahead of the government’s weekly jobless claims report Thursday and its monthly employment report for November on Friday.
Shares of Dow-stock Salesforce dropped more than 5% in premarket trading after the business software giant Tuesday evening agreed to buy workplace communications company Slack for over $27 billion. The talks that led to the deal had been the subject of speculation for about a week. By acquiring Slack, a business chat service with over 130,000 paid customers, Salesforce is bolstering its portfolio of enterprise applications and filling out its broader software suite as it seeks new areas of growth.
2. Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be rolled out in U.K. next week
A syringe is seen by the logo of Pfizer’s headquarter in Manhattan, New York City, United States on November 19, 2020.
Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, under emergency use approval, will be rolled out in the U.K. next week, with elderly people in care homes and medical workers first in line. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in late November that it scheduled a meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on Dec. 10 to discuss the Pfizer-BioNTech request for emergency use authorization of their vaccine in America; so a decision could be announced soon after. The FDA will also be considering a vaccine from Moderna. Time is of the essence when it comes to rolling out inoculations because new Covid-19 cases are spiking in the U.S. and in Europe.
3. CDC panel votes on vaccine prioritization as agency prepares new quarantine rules
A general view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Edward R. Roybal campus in Atlanta, Georgia on April 23, 2020.
Tami Chappell | AFP | Getty Images
A panel of medical experts that advises the CDC, which met Tuesday to prioritize Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S., voted 13-1 to give health-care workers and long-term care facility residents the first shots once cleared for public use in the U.S. The decision came as states prepared to distribute a vaccine or vaccines in as little as two weeks.
According to a senior Trump administration official, new CDC guidelines, set to be released as soon as Tuesday evening, will allow people who have come in contact to someone infected with coronavirus to resume normal activity after 10 days, or 7 days if they receive a negative test result. That’s down from the 14-day period recommended since the onset of the pandemic.
4. Roche antibody blood test gets FDA emergency clearance
A photo showing the logo of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche in Basel.
SEBASTIEN BOZON | AFP | Getty Images
Roche received emergency use authorization from the U.S. FDA for a new blood test that measures coronavirus antibodies. Similar clearance in Europe was granted in mid-September. The Swiss diagnostics and pharmaceutical giant appeared to be positioning its test as a way to gauge individuals’ antibody response to coronavirus vaccines. “Antibody tests like these will play a critical role in measuring a person’s vaccine-induced immune response,” Roche Diagnostics’ Thomas Schinecker said in a press release.
5. Barr says DOJ found no evidence of voter fraud
U.S. Attorney General William Barr meets with members of the St. Louis Police Department, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., October 15, 2020.
Jeff Roberson | Reuters
The U.S. Department of Justice has not found evidence of large-scale ballot fraud that would reverse President-elect Joe Biden‘s projected win over President Donald Trump in the election, Attorney General William Barr said in an interview with The Associated Press. The comments from Barr, who heads the DOJ in the Trump administration, undercuts claims by the president, his lawyers and many of his political allies that he was the victim of massive voting fraud that swindled the Republican incumbent out of a win over the Democratic challenger. “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told the AP on Tuesday.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.