Saturday, 15 Aug 2020

Stock Alert: Apple 6% Higher On Q3 Results

Merck aims to start 'large pivotal' studies on coronavirus treatment in September

Merck has scheduled "very large pivotal studies" for its oral coronavirus treatment in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics as early as September, a company executive said on Friday. 

"We will be embarking, probably in September, on very large pivotal studies, and so those are going to be the important ones," Dr. Roger Perlmutter, president of Merck Research Laboratories, said on the company's second-quarter earnings call. 

The experimental oral therapeutic, known as MK-4482, that would fight against Covid-19 is currently in phase two trials. The drug, if approved, would join Gilead's remdesivir in helping critically ill coronavirus patients. 

"The good news about MK-4482 is that because it's an oral drug given in capsules, it can be easily administered from the time that people have symptoms," Perlmutter said. 

This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates. 

Pelosi Makes Masks Compulsory For House Members, Staff

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made it compulsory for members of the U.S. House of Representatives and congressional staff to wear face mask inside the chamber.

“The chair expects all members and staff to adhere to this requirement as a sign of respect for the health, safety, and wellbeing of others present in the chamber and surrounding areas,” she said.

The Democratic leader said representatives can remove their masks while speaking in the House. She reminded members that they will be removed from the chamber if the new rule is breached.

“The chair would…like to remind members that the speaker has the authority to direct the sergeant at arms to remove a member from the floor as a matter of decorum,” Pelosi told the House.

Pelosi made the decision after Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday.

He is reportedly the tenth member of Congress to have tested positive for the deadly virus.

UNGA 2020: Some leaders to settle for virtual speeches

The US ambassador to the United Nations says President Donald Trump will probably still come in person.

The United States president has signalled he is likely to turn up for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September.

But that could cause problems for organisers who want to make it a mostly virtual event in New York because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Al Jazeera’s James Bays reports.

Watch live: Dr. Fauci and other top health officials testify on plan to contain the coronavirus

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The House Select Subcommittee is holding a hearing Friday with Dr. Anthony Fauci and other key Trump administration health officials on the U.S. government’s plan to contain the coronavirus.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is joining Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield and Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of Health and Human Services, before the committee.

The U.S. has the worst outbreak in the world with more than 4 million cases and at least 152,075 deaths as of Friday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. reported 67,619 new cases of the virus on Thursday, according to Hopkins data. The seven-day average of new cases is now down more than 1% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of the data from Hopkins.

On Thursday, The Department of Health and Human Services said that it is seeing “signs of progress” in Southern states fighting the coronavirus pandemic, though the number of deaths remains high.

Read CNBC’s live updates to see the latest news on the Covid -19 outbreak.

Stock Alert: Amazon Shares Up 4%

Shares of the online retail giant Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) are rising over 4% Friday morning, after the company issued upbeat Q3 revenue guidance, while reporting stellar Q2 results.

The stock has been trading in the range of $1,626.03 – $3,344.29 for the past one year, and is currently trading at $3,196.92, up $145.04 or 4.75% in the regular session.

For the third quarter, the company expects sales to be in the range of $87.0 billion – $93.0 billion. Analysts currently estimate revenues of $86.29 billion.

The company reported Q2 net income of $5.24 billion or $10.30 per share versus $2.63 billion or $5.22 per share last year. On average, 39 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.46 per share for the quarter.

Sales for the quarter increased 40% to $88.91 billion from $63.40 billion last year. Analysts expected revenue of $81.53 billion for the quarter.

Amazon also said it would invest more than $10 billion in satellite-based broadband services in the United States, following approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the project.

Amazon’s ambitious project called Kuiper is the company’s plan to launch a constellation of 3,236 low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to provide high-speed, affordable broadband service to people around the world, who are not able to access such facility.

The project would also serve wireless carriers extending LTE and 5G service to new regions, Amazon said.

Stock Alert: Apple 6% Higher On Q3 Results

Shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) are up more than 6% Friday morning on upbeat third-quarter results. The stock touched a new high of $412 this morning.

Earnings per share for the third quarter were $2.58, up 18 percent from the last year.

The company posted quarterly revenue of $59.7 billion, an increase of 11 percent from the year-ago quarter, driven by double-digit growth in both Products and Services.

Apple’s Board has declared a cash dividend of $0.82 per share to be payable on August 13 to shareholders of record on August 10.

The Board also has approved a four-for-one stock split and each Apple shareholder of record at the close of business on August 24 will get additional three shares and trading will begin on a split-adjusted basis on August 31.

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