Wednesday Morning Reads
- This Isn’t A Repeat Of 2000
- More Tech Executives Than Tech Critics
- The Husband-and-Wife Team
- Federal Judge Dismisses Some Claims
- China’s Tech Giants Have Lost More Than $280 Billion
- Quibi Founders’ $1.7 Billion Failure
- Amazon Lures Food-Stamp Shoppers
- Pandemic Firings Lead to Wave of Bias Claims
- Could the Bond Market Derail the Stock Market?
- The First Time In A Long Time
Investors are still assessing whether trends like working from home will continue after a vaccine arrives, but some are more confident they are not going to reverse themselves. Remote work is "here to stay," according to former IBM (NYSE:IBM) CEO Ginni Rometty, and will become part of a "hybrid" work model that sees some people travel to the office, while others stay at home. "The digital acceleration will continue because people have now seen what is possible," she added. Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are allowing employees to work from home until summer 2021, while Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and Square (NYSE:SQ) are among tech names that have announced staff members could WFH permanently.
Following in the footsteps of the U.K., the European Union is next to secure an experimental vaccine from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX), shortly after it was announced to be 90% effective in preventing COVID-19. "This is the most promising vaccine so far," the bloc declared, announcing a contract for up to 300M doses. "Once this vaccine becomes available, our plan is to deploy it quickly, everywhere in Europe. This will be the fourth contract with a pharmaceutical company to buy vaccines. And more will come. Because we need to have a broad portfolio of vaccines based on different technologies."
Health insurers and hospital operators staged a modest rally on Tuesday in apparent reaction to comments from Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts surrounding the Affordable Care Act. "It's hard for you to argue that Congress intended the entire act to fall if the mandate was struck down," said Roberts, who authored 2012 and 2015 rulings that upheld Obamacare in previous Republican legal challenges. The Trump administration had argued that the individual mandate, ruled as unconstitutional by an appeals court almost a year ago, is not "severable," therefore Obamacare is unconstitutional and should be repealed.
UPS (NYSE:UPS) is lifting a longstanding ban on facial hair, as well as Afros and braids, as part of an effort to "celebrate diversity rather than corporate restrictions," according to an announcement on an internal website and reviewed by the WSJ. The delivery giant said the changes, which also include eliminating gender-specific rules, reflect our "values and desire to have all UPS employees feel comfortable, genuine and authentic." With more than 500,000 workers globally, UPS has a long list of personal appearance guidelines that impact everything from hairstyles to length of shorts, piercings and tattoos.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and General Motors' (NYSE:GM) Cruise are planning to test using self-driving cars to deliver customer orders, which will take place in the early part of next year in Scottsdale, Arizona. If the program works well, the two companies could expand it to other stores. "You've seen us test drive with self-driving cars in the past, and we’re continuing to learn a lot about how they can shape the future of retail," said Tom Ward, SVP of Customer Product, Walmart U.S. "We're excited to add Cruise to our lineup of autonomous vehicle pilots as we continue to chart a whole new roadmap for retail."
On Monday, the Golden Arches said it had developed a plant-based patty called the McPlant - "crafted exclusively for McDonald's, by McDonald's" - that will be tested in 2021 on a market-by-market basis. The news sent shares of Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) - a previous Mickie D's partner in Canada - tumbling that morning, as well as later in the session as weak pandemic demand hit its Q3 results. Following the moves, a spokesperson for Beyond Meat said that both the company and McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) "co-created the plant-based patty," but that part was likely the one that shouldn't have been said aloud. "All the investment we're making here, all the scaling we're doing here, would suggest the relationship [with McDonald's] is really strong," Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown told Jim Cramer. "That's really all I could say."
Hong Kong's government dismissed four opposition lawmakers overnight after China passed a law permitting the disqualification of officials deemed "unpatriotic" without having to go through the courts. The news also prompted the en masse resignation of 16 remaining opposition lawmakers in the city's 70-seat Legislative Council. Back in June, Beijing also bypassed the Legislative Council to impose controversial national security legislation, causing G7 nations to accuse China of violating the terms of the "1997 handover agreement" and the U.S. to sanction local officials.
What else is happening...
Chinese tech selloff wipes over $260B after new antitrust rules.
Nord Stream 2 sanctions to be part of must-pass U.S. defense bill.
Tuesday's Key Earnings
In Asia, Japan +1.8%. Hong Kong -0.3%. China -0.5%. India +0.7%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.7%. Paris +0.4%. Frankfurt +0.4%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.7%. S&P +0.7%. Nasdaq +1.1%. Crude +3.1% to $42.66. Gold -0.2% at $1871.90. Bitcoin +1.9% to $15579.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 0.96%
Today's Economic Calendar