Here’s what you need to know to navigate the markets today.
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to recommend Tuesday that people who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, in areas of the US with high transmission rates of Covid-19, wear masks indoors again, CNBC and the New York Times both reported, citing people familiar with the case. That would reverse the recommendation since May that people who have been vaccinated should not wear masks in most indoor settings. The change follows reports of an increasing number breakthrough infections of the Delta variant of the virus in people who have been fully vaccinated. A day after the announcement in May, the CDC released results of a major study that found the mRNA vaccines made by
-BioNTech and Moderna were 94% effective in preventing symptomatic disease in those who received two doses, and 82% effective in those who received one dose, according to the Times. But those results and the CDC’s masking guidelines were based on previous virus strains before the Delta variant became the most common strain in the country. Federal public health officials still believe that fully vaccinated people represent a small risk of transmission, but some vaccinated people may carry higher levels of the virus than previously believed and could pass it on to others, CNBC said.
• Major pharmaceutical companies are quietly pushing back against a deal by: 130 countries to establish a minimum corporate tax rate of 15%, which lawyers and corporate officials say could cost companies hundreds of millions of dollars a year, The Wall Street Journal reported. US-based Pfizer, which provided a Covid-19 vaccine with Germany’s Germany BioNTech SE, has joined peers in warning that higher taxes could weaken U.S. companies and make them vulnerable to foreign takeovers. Pharmaceutical companies are particularly vulnerable to the proposed tax changes because they operate globally, pay taxes where they operate, spend large amounts of money on research and development, and sell their products around the world. Over the past decade, the world’s 20 largest pharmaceutical companies reported a global effective tax rate of approximately 17%, compared to approximately 21% for the world’s 20 largest technology companies – both lower than rates reported by very large companies in other sectors, with the exception of China, according to an analysis for The Wall Street Journal by Aswath Damodaran, a professor of finance at New York University. “Pharma will be hit hard,” said a senior tax official at
Johnson & Johnson
who has been closely involved in policy discussions.
• Republican Representative Liz Cheney said the House select committee investigating the deadly invasion of the Capitol on Jan. 6 must find out everything that happened that day in former President Donald Trump’s White House. Investigators need to find out “what happened every minute of that day in the White House — every phone call, every conversation, every meeting before, during, and after the attack,” Wyoming’s statement said. cheney said: in Tuesday’s opening speech to the committee committee first public hearing. “If those responsible are not held accountable and if Congress does not act responsibly, this will continue to be a cancer for our constitutional republic and undermine the peaceful transfer of power at the heart of our democratic system,” she said. Cheney, one of two Republicans on the nine-member panel, told ABC News Tuesday that the committee could subpoena Trump and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, saying, “The committee will go where we need to go to get to the facts.”
Before the mob broke into the Capitol, Trump held a rally outside the White House and pressured Republicans, including Vice President Mike Pence, to challenge key states’ electoral college results. He urged the crowd to march to the Capitol, saying, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re out of land.” On Tuesday, Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the US Capitol Police told the commission that they had been crushed by a group of rioters who broke into the building. “I felt I was losing oxygen and remember thinking to myself, ‘This is how I’m going to die, defending this entrance,’ he said.
• The worst frost in more than 25 years in Brazil’s coffee-producing region has pushed global coffee bean prices to their highest level in six years, threatening to drive up costs in cafes and breakfast tables around the world. The Wall Street Journal reported. For the cold snap, a drought in the world’s largest coffee-producing country, the 2021 harvest dried up. Traders have pushed arabica bean futures to $2.08 per pound, the highest level in New York since late 2014. Coffee futures jumped 30% in July and nearly doubled in the past year after years of low prices causing many farmers to leave their fields. Temperatures in Sul de Minas, the region in Brazil that produces the most coffee, dropped to 23 degrees Fahrenheit in some cities, and the region as a whole had its coldest weather since 1994, said Anete Fernandes, a meteorologist with the Brazilian National Institute. of Meteorology. The weather won’t hurt the current 2021 crop, but could cause the loss of 4 million to 5 million bags of coffee from the 2022 crop, nearly 10% of Brazil’s production levels from last year. Prices rose 10% on Monday as another cold-weather front loomed. Forecasters expect temperatures to fall close to or below freezing again later this week.
• Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue Airways, said on Tuesday: “The aviation recovery has come faster than we expected.” With increased vaccinations encouraging a greater number of customers to fly, including a boost from a Northeast alliance with
that helped attract more corporate clients in New York and Boston,”
is well positioned for success,” he said during a conference call about the results. Despite the outlook, the airline’s shares fell 7.7% as of Tuesday afternoon. JetBlue posted a profit of $64 million for the second quarter, compared to a net loss of $320 million in 2020, MarketWatch reported. Earnings were 20 cents per share, compared to a loss of $1.18 per share in the year-ago quarter. The airline reported an adjusted loss of 65 cents per share, less than the adjusted loss of 74 cents per share that analysts polled by FactSet had expected. “In the second quarter, we saw strong signs of a return of consumer confidence and travel demand,” he said. “We expect continued improvement in our operational performance as we move towards a full recovery. We are creating a path to restore our profitability to above 2019 levels.”
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