Stocks mostly lower…CEOs on hot seat…Sony profits surge
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are mostly lower as countries tighten precautions to try to stem rising numbers of coronavirus infections. European shares fell sharply in early Wednesday trading, while Japan’s and Hong Kong’s benchmarks also declined. Shares rose in South Korea and Australia and in Shanghai. The uncertainty surrounding the upcoming U.S. election also has market players hesitant to make big moves.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google are facing a grilling by Republican senators making unfounded allegations that the tech giants show anti-conservative bias. The Senate Commerce Committee has summoned Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai to testify for a hearing Wednesday. The executives agreed to appear remotely after being threatened with subpoenas. With the election looming, Republicans led by President Donald Trump have thrown a barrage of grievances at Big Tech’s social media platforms. They accuse the platforms without evidence of deliberately suppressing conservative, religious and anti-abortion views.
LONDON (AP) – Drugmakers Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline have agreed to provide 200 million doses of their potential COVID-19 vaccine to the COVAX Facility, a collaboration designed to give countries around the world equal access to vaccines targeting the global pandemic. The Sanofi-GSK vaccine candidate is in early stage trials, with results expected in early December. The drugmakers said today that they plan to begin phase three trial by the end of the year and request regulatory approval of the vaccine in the first half of 2021.
TOKYO (AP) – Profit at Japanese electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. more than doubled in the last quarter on healthy gains in its video game sector, as people stayed home during the pandemic. Tokyo-based Sony today reported a $4.4 billion July-September profit. Quarterly sales at the maker of the PlayStation game machines, Bravia TVs and Spider-Man movies inched down slightly to about $20 billion. Sony raised its forecast for the full fiscal year, anticipating strong sales of games.
LONDON (AP) – London’s Heathrow Airport says it has lost its place as Europe’s busiest air hub to Paris Charles de Gaulle after the COVID-19 pandemic grounded flights and Britain failed to approve passenger testing that could scale back quarantine requirements. Heathrow said today that it expects passenger numbers to fall more than previously forecast this year and rebound more slowly in 2021.