News Updates: U.S Stock Futures Rise Ahead of Big Earnings Week
Here’s what you need to know to navigate the markets today.
• U.S. stocks are set to open higher to begin the busiest week of fourth quarter earnings seasons. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 64 points, or 0.2% on Sunday evening, with S&P 500 futures rising 0.2% and Nasdaq Composite futures up 0.3% ahead of a week when companies representing 39% of the S&P 500 by market value are set release their earnings results. Among the big names set to report are Apple,
and Tesla. Investors are expecting record results from both Apple and Facebook. Additionally, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will deliver the Fed’s update on the state of the economy Wednesday afternoon, and the latest data on U.S. gross domestic product is due out on Thursday.
• White House chief of staff Ron Klain said Sunday that when the Biden administration came into office, a process to distribute Covid-19 vaccine doses “did not really exist” at a federal level and blamed the Trump administration for the “chaotic” way vaccines doses have been administered. Speaking on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ Klain defended Biden’s stated goal of delivering 100 million shots in his first 100 days in office, given current data shows that doses are being administered at a rate beyond what is necessary to achieve it. “One-hundred million shots is a bold, ambitious goal, but we need to keep going after that,” he said. “That is our first goal, it’s not our final goal.”
• New Zealand, which has contained the coronavirus pandemic and resumed normal life to a remarkable extent, said it has recorded its first suspected case of community-spread Covid-19 since November, the island country’s Minister of Health announced Sunday. The patient, a 56 year-old woman who traveled to Europe in late 2020, followed the mandated testing and two-week quarantine procedures when she returned to New Zealand. Her initial Covid-19 tests were negative, but she tested positive after her 14-day quarantine. “Further testing is needed, including a serology blood test, to confirm whether the case is new or historical,” the health ministry said in a statement, but it is treating the case as new and trying to determine if other cases are present in the facility where the patient quarantined.
• President Donald Trump pressured the Justice Department to ask the Supreme Court to overturn the results of the November election, The Wall Street Journal reports. The former President’s own appointees refused to file what they viewed as a baseless legal suit and later, senior DOJ officials threatened to resign en masse if Trump fired the acting Attorney General for refusing to go ahead with the plan. The scheme was promoted by outside attorneys and opposed by White House lawyers and DOJ officials.
• Dr. Deborah Birx, the former White House Covid-19 response coordinator, said in an interview that the Trump administration did not have a full-time team working to contain the virus and that she “always” considered quitting. In an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that ran Sunday, Dr. Birx said that she still doesn’t know where President Trump was getting some of his information about the pandemic. “I saw the president presenting graphs that I never made,” Dr. Birx said. “Someone …was creating a parallel set of data and graphics that were shown to the president,” adding that “I don’t know to this day who.” Dr. Birx, an advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that she feels her tenure serving the now former president has damaged her career and that she will likely retire in the next four to six weeks.
• Dr. Anthony Fauci, now acting as the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, said in an interview that ran on CBS on Sunday that undermining trust in institutions and encouraging divisiveness has “failed us in every single way.” Dr. Fauci said that he and others are working to create “a coordinated, synergistic partnership between the federal government and the states” and that there would be a “turnaround in attitude when the federal government and the states start working together much more, as opposed to ‘You’re on your own.’”
Write to Ben Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org
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