Global stocks higher…Trump threatens COVID rescue pkg veto
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets are higher after President Donald Trump suggested he may veto a $900 billion economic aid package. In early trading, the DAX in Frankfurt gained 0.5% and the CAC 40 in France added 0.2%. The FTSE 100 in London was down 0.2%. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.8% higher and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.3%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.8%. The Kospi in Seoul advanced 1%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is threatening to torpedo Congress’ massive pandemic relief package in the midst of a raging pandemic and deep economic uncertainty. He’s suddenly demanding changes fellow Republicans have opposed, like a huge jump in the $600 payments planned for most Americans. Trump assailed the bipartisan $900 billion package in a video he tweeted out Tuesday night, and suggested he may not sign it. He said the bill would deliver too much money to foreign countries, but not enough to Americans.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal government is close to a deal to acquire tens of millions of additional doses of Pfizer’s vaccine in exchange for helping the pharmaceutical giant gain better access to manufacturing supplies. A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press that the deal is under discussion and could be finalized shortly. Pfizer’s vaccine was the first to gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration and initial shipments went to states last week. It has now been joined by a vaccine from Moderna, which was developed in closer cooperation with scientists from the National Institutes of Health.
UNDAED (AP) – Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he once considered selling the electric car maker to Apple, but the iPhone maker’s CEO blew off the meeting. In a tweet Tuesday, Musk said he reached out to Apple CEO Tim Cook “to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla for one-tenth of our current value. He refused to take the meeting.” Musk said he sought out the meeting with Cook “during the darkest days of the Model 3 program,” a reference to Tesla’s first electric car designed for the mass market. As recently as 2018, Tesla was struggling to meet its vehicle production goals and turn a profit.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Stuffed into the new emergency relief package is a morsel that President Donald Trump has long had on the buffet of his economic wish list: restoring full tax breaks for restaurant business meals. But not everyone’s happy about that. Experts say it’s not much help for an industry reeling from the pandemic. And critics deride it as an insensitive “three-Martini lunch” giveaway to business. The under-the-radar provision in the bill restores the full deductions prized by business and lobbyists for fine dining and schmoozing. Some experts say it could help at least the tonier parts of the ravaged restaurant industry – eventually, when the economy recovers from the pandemic’s dislocation.