Here’s what you need to know about the impact of Covid-19 to navigate the markets today.
• After no police officer was charged directly over the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, President Donald Trump applauded Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s response to the case.
“He’s handling it very well,” Trump said, after reading a statement from Cameron that said justice is beholden “only to the facts and to the law.”
The president wouldn’t commit to a peaceful transfer of power in the event of his defeat on Nov. 3, referring to his complaints over mail-in ballots. The president has repeatedly railed against voting by mall, though there is little evidence it facilitates fraud.
“We’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said. “The ballots are a disaster. Get rid of the ballots, and you’ll have a very peaceful—there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there’ll be a continuation.”
• California will ban sales of new, gasoline-powered vehicles starting in 2035. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday requiring all passenger cars sold in California to be zero-emission vehicles by then. “This is an economic opportunity, the opportunity to transform our economy across sectors, the opportunity to accelerate innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit,” Gov. Newsom said. The order only applies to new car sales, meaning that residents won’t be prohibited from driving, owning or selling used gas-powered vehicles. Medium- and heavy-duty trucks will face a similar mandate by 2045. The California Air Resources Board will be charged with developing the specific regulations. Electric vehicles comprised just 2.6% of all new car sales in the U.S. in Sept. 2019, according to data from the Edison Electric Institute.
• A grand jury indicted on Wednesday one of the three officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor on charges of wanton endangerment over shots fired into three neighboring apartments. No officers were charged directly in Taylor’s shooting death, which took place in Louisville, Ky., on March 13. Taylor’s killing became, along with George Floyd’s killing, a rallying point for the Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the country in recent months. Officers burst into Taylor’s apartment without notice searching for drugs. Earlier this month, the city of Louisville agreed to a $12 million civil settlement with Taylor’s family, the largest ever of its type.
• The Justice Department will seek to limit longstanding protections for internet companies in a proposal submitted to Congress, The Wall Street Journal reports. The plan would force companies like
(TWTR) to more actively manage and moderate content on their platforms. In June, the DOJ raised the idea of rolling back some of the key legal protections that internet platform companies have enjoyed for more than 20 years after an earlier executive order signed by the president aimed at responding to conservative complaints that social media companies unfairly restrict online speech. The proposal set to be submitted Wednesday would require Congressional legislation to go into effect and that is unlikely to happen soon. It takes aim at removing the immunity provided by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which gives internet platforms broad protection against being held responsible for content published on their sites. The companies can still be held responsible for publishing relatively narrowly-defined content.
• The House of Representatives passed a spending bill on Tuesday night that funds the U.S. government through Dec. 11. Democrats and the White House struck a deal on farm aid and food assistance for needy families that helped the measure glide through the lower chamber by a 359-57 margin. The bill is expected to pass the Republican-held Senate and be signed into law by President Donald Trump quickly, averting a partial government shutdown when funding runs out next Thursday. The bill provides $21 billion in funding for the Community Credit Corporation, a New Deal-era program that helps stabilize farmers’ incomes, which the White House wanted, as well as $8 billion in nutrition aid for children and families that Democrats sought. As part of the agreement, none of the $21 billion for the CCC can go to fossil fuel refiners or importers. That, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said, “preventing funds for farmers from being misused for a Big Oil bailout.” Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had reached an agreement to avoid a shutdown almost 3 weeks ago, but the specifics of the deal were hammered out just ahead of the House’s successful vote. Additional funding for the CCC had been a point of contention in the talks, with Republicans insistent that the program needed additional funding, while Democrats said that the Agriculture Department had flexibility to continue payments to farmers.
• Chinese state-media said Wednesday that the government has no reason to approve what it labeled the “dirty and unfair” deal based on “bullying and extortion” for
(WMT) to take a stake in the popular vide-sharing app TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance. “What the United States has done to TikTok is almost the same as a gangster forcing an unreasonable and unfair business deal on a legitimate company,” the English-language China Daily newspaper said in an editorial. The terms of the deal have been disputed by the three companies, with Oracle and Walmart saying that once it is complete, they, along with current American investors, will own a majority of the newly created TikTok Global. ByteDance has denied that claim and said that they will own 80% of the new company. If Oracle and Walmart’s description of the deal terms are accurate, it would mean the deal would broadly be in accordance with an Aug. 14 executive order from President Trump requiring ByteDance to divest its ownership in TikTok in 90 days.
Johnson & Johnson
(JNJ) has started a 60,000-participant trial of its potential Covid-19 vaccine, the company said Wednesday. The trial of the company’s possible vaccine, which is administered in one dose, is being conducted in the U.S., Brazil, South Africa and other countries. The U.S. government is helping to fund the study and the company could have an initial results as soon as early in 2021. There are now four possible Covid-19 vaccines that have started Phase 3 trials in the U.S.
(MRNA) possible vaccine began final stage testing in July. The vaccine candidate developed by
(PFE) and its German-partner
(BNTX) also started Phase 3 trials in July.
(AZN) potential vaccine, which is being developed with Oxford University, started Phase 3 in August, but that trial is on hold after a participant in the U.K. developed a serious medical condition.
Write to Ben Walsh at email@example.com