European shares bounce back…COVID relief pkg goes to Trump
European shares and U.S. futures have bounced back after Congress approved a $900 billion package of measures to help the economy get through the pandemic. Stocks rose in Paris, London and Frankfurt but fell Tuesday in Tokyo and other Asian markets. The Shanghai Composite index dropped nearly 2%. S&P futures are up 0.2% and Dow futures are 0.1% higher.
WASHINGTON (AP) – A $900 billion pandemic relief package has been sent to President Donald Trump for his signature. Congress easily passed legislation last night. It promises to deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals and resources to vaccinate a nation confronting a frightening surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
MOSCOW (AP) – Developers of the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V have announced signing an agreement with AstraZeneca to test a combination of the British drugmaker’s COVID-19 shots and a component of the vaccine created in Moscow. Russia proposed the approach to AstraZeneca last month, suggesting it could increase the effectiveness of the British vaccine. AstraZeneca signed a memorandum of cooperation on Monday with a medical research institute based in Moscow, the investment fund that bankrolled Sputnik V’s development and with Russian drugmaker R-Pharm.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia’s competition regulator has delayed for three months its decision on Google’s plan to buy fitness gadget maker Fitbit for $2.1 billion despite the European Union giving conditional approval. European Union regulators approved the deal after Google promised to restrict user data and ensure Android phones work with other wearable devices for at least 10 years. But the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it was not prepared to accept a similar court-enforceable undertaking.
CHICAGO (AP) – An Illinois woman who ordered a department store gift for her grandmother got a surprise when the package arrived: someone’s apparent COVID-19 test specimen. The Quad City Times reports that Andrea Ellis found the test in a biohazard bag when she opened a padded envelope containing garden flags from Kohl’s. There was also identifying information of a person from Virginia. Rock Island County health officials have picked up the bag and are determining their next steps. Kohl’s says it is aware of this “very unusual and inexplicable” situation and is investigating the package, which it says was sent by a third-party vendor.