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World Coronavirus Dispatch: US stocks at new high over Moderna vaccine data

Hungary and Poland block EU stimulus package, Citi says successful vaccines will see dollar plummet, No virus protection for jailed elderly Taxes and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Vaccine | Coronavirus Tests

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

coronavirus, wall street, markets
American drug-maker Moderna reported that its experimental covid-19 vaccine is 94.5 percent effective in preventing the disease

hit new record after Moderna vaccine data: Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index ended the day up 1.2 per cent while the Russell 2000 of US small-cap stocks — seen as a barometer of the domestic economy — also closed at a record. The tech-heavy US Nasdaq Composite advanced a more modest 0.8 per cent. Hopes that a successful vaccine could be deployed to slow the spread of in as little as a few months triggered a powerful rotation into economically sensitive sectors that began last week, as investors moved away from groups perceived as beneficiaries of the pandemic. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 54,992,571

Change Over Yesterday: 621,815

Total Deaths: 1,326,768

Total Recovered: 35,296,725

Nations hit with most cases: US (11,202,109), India (8,845,127), Brazil (5,876,464), France (2,041,293) and Russia (1,932,711)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

Moderna says Covid vaccine shows nearly 95 percent protection: American drug-maker Moderna reported that its experimental covid-19 vaccine is 94.5 percent effective in preventing the disease (see main stories). The results of a late-stage trial, involving 30,000 American adults, came a week after announced a similar level of efficacy for its jab. Moderna’s vaccine does not need to be stored at very cold temperatures, as Pfizer’s does. Read more here

Hungary and Poland block EU’s stimulus package: Hungary and Poland on Monday blocked the European Union’s sprawling stimulus package, protesting a provision that would withhold funding from member states that violate the bloc’s rule-of-law standards, an accusation regularly leveled against the two governments, which have spent years co-opting their nations’ judiciary systems. Read more here

US Supreme Court rejects request from elderly Texas prisoners for virus protections: The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a request from inmates in a Texas prison to take steps to protect them from the coronavirus pandemic. The case was brought by two prisoners said prison officials had not taken adequate steps to protect them, and that conditions at the prison violated the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishments. Read more here

Experts worry US states’ plans to conduct own vaccine reviews could sow confusion: Half-dozen states and the District of Columbia have planned an extra layer of scrutiny: committees that would vet any vaccine reviewed by the FDA, a step many public health experts and officials deem unnecessary given a federal review process they describe as meticulous.

The committees — most of them in states led by Democratic governors — are in part a response to the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic. Read more here

Citigroup says successful vaccines will send the dollar plummeting: “Vaccine distribution we believe will check off all of our bear market signposts, allowing the dollar to follow a similar path to that it experienced from the early to mid-2000s” when the currency started a multi-year downturn, Citigroup strategists including Calvin Tse wrote in a report. Strategists have been positing for months that the US election, vaccine breakthroughs and Federal Reserve policy could deal a serious blow to the currency. Read more here


Explained: How Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine stability eases distribution challenges

Moderna Inc’s experimental Covid-19 vaccine is more stable than expected at temperatures that ordinary refrigerators can provide and can be distributed using existing cold-chain shipping and storage infrastructure. Read more here

Getting out of your head and your house

Relish walking the dog or strolling without any particular destination. Volunteer to run to the store for flour, to drop a package off at the post office. Go for the outdoor run you could easily take to the treadmill. While I’d hardly suggest the era of sweatpants and comfort cooking is over, making an effort to be in fresh air while we can is still essential to keeping our days from assuming a rolling monotony. If you’re not able to go outdoors, try a different room, a new activity or recipe, something that shakes things up, that demarcates weekend from week. Read more here

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First Published: Tue, November 17 2020. 14:01 IST