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Money

Pfizer good news on coronavirus vaccine moves stocks ahead

Just in case you were wondering if the market is counting on a coronavirus vaccine in the nearer term, wonder no longer. (Expectations, for the moment, look to a vaccine by January, if I can judge by comments I'm seeing.) News from Pfizer (PFE) and partner BioNtech that an early stage vaccine candidate had passed trials for safety and had produced antibodies against the virus was enough today to turn an early flat performance into a modest gain. The Standard & Poor's 500 was essentially flat at 10 a.m. before moving to a 0.70% gain by 10:31 a.m. New York time.

Apple says it will close 30 more stores

I'm using Apple (AAPL) as one indicator for the state of the re-opening economy. Apple's decision today to re-close 30 more of its stores in seven states, including Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah, is a sign that the re-opening economy is taking another step backward. Apple has now closed 77 stores out of the 271 it has in the United States.

Royal Dutch Shell to take $15 to $22 billion second quarter write down

It's a measure of how dire things are in the oil sector that Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A) has announced a write down of between $15 billion and $22 billion for the second quarter. The write down is larger than the $17.5 billion write down that BP (BP) took in June or the $15 billion that Baker Hughes took in April 2020. It does not exceed, however, the $32 billion write down BP took in 2010 after the explosion and oil release in the Gulf of Mexico.

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