Stock markets generally continued to grow all over the world while the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) index cracked a 30,000 psychologically powerful milestone on Tuesday, for the first time in history. DJIA went through the 20,000 mark in December 2016 when Trump became the elected president four years ago, and now the index is more than 10,000 points higher. The index is being fuelled by sharply rising oil prices, as the North Sea Brent benchmark soared above $48 per barrel, also hydrocarbon-related assets like Exxon Mobil (+6.66% on Tuesday) and Chevron (+5.04%) may be considered to be contributing factors. The manufacturing sector showed an even more impressive performance, when compared with the S&P 500 broad market index, which was still 20 points short of repeating the previous multi-month high of November 9, which is reached on the Pfizer vaccine news. After this news two more pharma companies declared their vaccine readiness is within arm's length. Moderna claims to have an almost 95% effective rate as well as Pfizer, plus the shot from AstraZeneca was developed in cooperation with the University of Oxford.
Fresh news from AstraZeneca came on Monday that its Covid-19 vaccine is 70.4% effective on average, according to an interim analysis of large Phase 3 trials conducted in the United Kingdom and Brazil. The findings were a little bit strange as two full doses of the vaccine appeared to be only 62% effective at preventing the disease, while a half dose, followed by a full dose, was about 90% effective. That latter analysis was conducted on a small subset of the study participants, only 2,741. Why would less vaccine produce a better result? “That’s a good question,” Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said, and he added “there’s going to be a lot of hand waving” as people try to explain the results. Fauci said it was possible the approach could override concerns about the use of two doses of the so-called viral-vectored vaccine, which is the type AstraZeneca is developing. Some experts, he remarked, had feared that if viral-vectored vaccines required a priming and then a boosting dose, the immune system might recognise the viral vector and shut down the immune response before the vaccine has a chance to boost the response to the spike protein. Fauci said the smaller initial dose may “tickle” the immune system enough to generate T-cells, but not trigger development of antibodies that might work to suppress the response.
If a final analysis, conducted after the inclusion of additional data, concludes that the vaccine’s actual efficacy is really around 70%, this could be a problem. “If it’s 70%, then we’ve got a dilemma,” said Fauci. “Because what are you going to do with the 70% when you’ve got two [vaccines] that are 95%? Who are you going to give a vaccine like that to?” This vaccine may be less effective than two others, but it's much cheaper. So, AstraZeneca’s information is also promising, because lower and middle income countries look at AstraZeneca, and they depend more on the U.K. drug maker. The vast majority of the global population does not represent the inhabitants of the richest countries. More than 50 countries would receive Astra and Oxford’s shots, in regions including Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe, along with wealthy governments too, Airfinity research group found, cited by Bloomberg. AstraZeneca doses make up 40% of all preliminary vaccine orders in the world, according to Bloomberg’s rating.
AstraZeneca pre-estimated the cost between $4 and $5 a dose, while Pfizer and BioNTech set the price at $19.50 a dose, or $39 for a two-shot immunisation, a U.S. contract level which could become a benchmark for developed nations. Moderna said it’s charging $32 to $37 a dose for smaller deals and less for bigger purchases. “Those prices really risk putting vaccines out of reach for a lot of the world,” said Margaret Wurth, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch in New York. When it comes to the rollout in low- and middle-income countries, the level of refrigerator temperatures for different vaccines is also important.
Going back to expectations of a bright future for the entire global economy after mass vaccination begins, the assets of the banking sector have also got their bearings. For example, the Citigroup shares rose 7.05% yesterday, while JPMorgan Chase & Co, which is also in the list of DJIA index, added 4.62% more to its capitalisation yesterday, approaching the highest price level since March, as the market community expects less volumes of bad loans. Goldman Sachs even touched its pre-coronavirus price achievements at $237.50 per share on wide expectation of better investment profit.
The Walt Disney Company, which has been on the Dow Jones 30 list since 1991, climbed again above $150 per share, the price area of November 2019. More families are waiting for opportunities to share a live experience in theme parks with Disney cruises and in the cinema halls next year when the pandemic horror and restrictions may fade. Boeing, which is also an essential part of Dow Jones, rose 4.4% on similar hopes and after EU regulators moved closer to follow the U.S. authorities, which means allowing the 737 MAX back into the skies after an absence of 20 months.
Out of sheer joy or cold-blooded premeditation to troll his enemies, the sitting U.S. President Donald Trump made an urgent announcement on Tuesday that he would hold a speech just several minutes after the media pool became aware of his appearance. Many of them just thought that maybe Mr Trump is ready to give up to reluctantly recognise Joe Biden as the next President. That looked like a possible move after Trump certified Emily Murphy, his steely supporter and the head of the General Services Administration (GSA), "in the best interest of our Country" to formally "do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols" and told his team "to do the same" regarding an access for some transitionary resources and procedures by Biden's team. But Trump wouldn't be Trump if he would do it now. Instead, he was talking just 64 seconds, and all about this fresh Dow Jones record. Making the shortest news conference of his presidency, and just his third since major media outlets called the election for Biden. He started with the phrase: "I just want to congratulate everybody". And then continued: "The stock market Dow Jones Industrial Average just hit 30,000, which is the highest in history. We’ve never broken 30,000, and that’s despite everything that’s taken place with the pandemic... Never been broken, that number. That’s a sacred number, 30,000... I just want to congratulate all the people within the administration that work so hard, and most importantly I want to congratulate the people of our country". He then thanked the reporters who had hastily assembled and walked out.
Nobody had time to figure out whether he was really talking about the stock market or if he was just aiming to make a shocking remark. Then Trump tweeted: "What does GSA being allowed to preliminarily work with the Dems have to do with continuing to pursue our various cases on what will go down as the most corrupt election in American political history? We are moving full speed ahead. Will never concede to fake ballots & “Dominion”. He also added: "Remember, the GSA has been terrific, and Emily Murphy has done a great job, but the GSA does not determine who the next President of the United States will be." And before Trump wrote that he thanked Emily Murphy "for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country... she has been harassed, threatened, and abused – and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA". In addition, he wrote that "our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!" So, Donald Trump and his close circle are not going to concede, and they will probably put all their efforts into getting the righteous Supreme Court decision.
Yesterday Trump and his wife Melania participated in a funny ceremony of pardoning the live Thanksgiving turkey chosen by people's online votes, to decide which turkey avoids the axe. Pardoning a turkey has been an annual tradition since 1940, and this time it was held as usual but on the same day a viral video was distributed on different social networks. The video was made in 2018, and with Trump pardoning the turkey named Peas that was marked for the First Family’s Thanksgiving dinner table two years ago. In 2018, when two turkeys named “Peas” and “Carrots” were vying for the presidential pardon, Trump revealed that Peas had won the vote in “a fair and open election", and he called out Carrots for refusing to accept the results. “This was a fair election,” Trump said at the time. “Unfortunately, Carrots refused to concede and demanded a recount, and we’re still fighting with Carrots.” The audience can be heard laughing at the president’s remarks. “And I will tell you, we’ve come to a conclusion: Carrots, I’m sorry to tell you, the results did not change,” Trump continued. “Too bad for Carrots!” said the sitting president. This year, CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski posted a clip of this on Twitter again.
The name “Carrots” was trending on Twitter with more than 14,000 retweets and counting. The clip has been viewed more than 1 million times. Fact-checking site Snopes even posted an article verifying that the “Carrots” event actually happened. "Cannot make this up," Sarah Boxer, CNN senior producer just tweeted near the phrase "Carrots, I'm sorry to tell you, the results did not change." Many people were wondering, was the video some kind of a prophecy , or a simple-minded manifestation of Trump's hidden thoughts even then on the foreseen situation with the elections in 2020. Meanwhile, Sidney Powell, an American lawyer, and Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, including the date of September 11, 2001, as well as Donald Trump's current lawyer, share revealing details almost every day but only on few TV channels, where they are welcomed, and both are preparing for a decisive battle in the Supreme Court within the next couple of weeks.
Joe Biden said on Tuesday that Trump’s administration has already begun to reach out to his transition team, and he described the effort as "sincere". Immediately, we've gotten outreach from the national security shop to just across the board," Biden said in an exclusive interview with NBC News' Lester Holt. "And they're already working out my ability to get Presidential Daily Briefs. We're already working out meeting with the Covid team in the White House and how to not only distribute but get from a vaccine being distributed to a person able to get vaccinated, so I think we're going to not be so far behind the curve as we thought we might be in the past." He added, "And I must say the outreach has been sincere - it has not been begrudging so far, and I don't expect it to be." Biden said, his administration will not be "a third Obama term," as "we face a totally different world than we faced in the Obama-Biden administration... President Trump has changed the landscape. It's become America first. It's been America alone."
Biden has already begun to build plans for his possible first 100 days in the Oval Office. He said he wants to get a Covid-19 relief package quickly through Congress, and an immigration reform: "I will send an immigration bill to the United States Senate with a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people in America. I will also be moving to do away with some of the, I think, very damaging executive orders that have significantly impacted on making the climate worse and making us less healthy, from methane to a whole range of things the president has done."
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