US stocks close lower

By CNN Business

Updated 6:28 p.m. ET, November 18, 2020
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10:14 a.m. ET, November 18, 2020

Washington needs to 'get the job done' on stimulus, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon says

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Jamie Dimon vented his frustrations with Washington at the virtual New York Times Dealbook conference this morning.

“We need to help the citizens of America," the JPMorgan (JPM) CEO said. "We need fiscal stimulus, we need to help the unemployed and small businesses until [...] a vaccine is here.”

The pandemic has disproportionately affected lower-income earners, he added. "That part of society is suffering." His message to lawmakers in DC was clear: "Just get it done."

"Thank god we have these vaccines coming. Thank god," Dimon said.

But first, "we need a peaceful transition" to the next administration, whether you like the election outcome or not, he said.

On the role of business in policy making, Dimon made an appeal for collaboration between the private and public sectors.

"You’re not going to get diversity and inclusion without companies doing it," he said. "I’m a patriot before I’m the CEO of JPMorgan."

9:32 a.m. ET, November 18, 2020

Stocks open mixed

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Wall Street started mixed on Wednesday, following more good news on the vaccine front.

Pfizer announced its Covid-19 vaccine was 95% effective in preventing infection according to a final analysis of its Phase 3 trial.

The Dow opened higher, gaining 0.2%, or 61 points. The S&P 500 was flat at the opening bell. Both indexes closed in the red in the prior session but hit new record highs on Monday.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite also opened flat.

8:51 a.m. ET, November 18, 2020

Trump's controversial Fed pick gets stuck in Congress

From CNN's Ted Barrett and CNN' Business Anneken Tappe

President Donald Trump's controversial Federal Reserve nominee Judy Shelton failed to get enough votes in the Republican-led Senate on Tuesday.

The final vote was 47-50.

Shelton, a supporter of the gold standard, is an unorthodox pick for the central bank, and has attacked the Fed's independence.

It has now been nearly a year since Shelton was nominated. After the Senate Banking committee approved her 13-12 along party lines in July, her nomination lacked support for a full floor vote for months.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell -- who initially voted for Shelton -- switched his vote against her. That gives him procedural right to bring her up for another vote in the near future, but it’s not clear when that might happen. 

Read more about Judy Shelton here.

7:46 a.m. ET, November 18, 2020

Boeing's 737 Max gets approval to fly passengers again

From CNN Business' Chris Isidore

The Federal Aviation Administration Wednesday gave approval for the Boeing 737 Max to carry passengers again, ending the jet's 20-month grounding.

The plane, the best-selling jet in Boeing's (BA) fleet, was grounded in March 2019 after two fatal crashes that killed 346 people. It was discovered that a safety feature meant to stop the plane from climbing too fast and stalling had improperly forced the nose of the plane down, causing the crashes.

Boeing shares are up 5% in premarket trading.

Read more here.

7:00 a.m. ET, November 18, 2020

Pfizer and BioNTech shares climb after more good news for Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) shares moved higher in premarket trading following more good news about its Covid-19 vaccine.

A final analysis released Wednesday of the Phase 3 trial of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine shows it was 95% effective in preventing infections, even in older adults, and caused no serious safety concerns.

Pfizer said it will seek US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization "within days."

Pfizer's shares were up 3% and BioNTech stock climbed nearly 7%.

6:55 a.m. ET, November 18, 2020

Target just had another blowout quarter

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

People can't get enough of Target (TGT). The store's third-quarter earnings beat analysts' expectations as pandemic shopping shows no sign of slowing.

  • Total sales soared 20.7%
  • Digital sales shot up 155%
  • Same-store sales grew 9.9%
  • Average receipt increased 15.6%

Target shares rose nearly 3% in premarket trading.

6:56 a.m. ET, November 18, 2020

US stock futures point to a higher opening

From CNN Business' David Goldman

US stock futures are trying to bounce back after a rough day on Wall Street. The rally has been choppy and will continue to be on a roller coaster as investors balance optimism about vaccine development with surging Covid cases. 

Here's were things stand this morning:

  • Dow futures were up 91 points, or 0.31%
  • S&P 500 futures were 0.26% higher
  • Nasdaqfutures rose 0.25%

6:25 a.m. ET, November 18, 2020

We're never going back to the old economy, Fed Chairman says

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell doubled down on his remarks that the economy as we know it is over during a virtual appearance Tuesday at the Bay Area Council Business Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony.

"We're not going back to the same economy, we're going back to a different economy," Powell said, echoing comments he made at the European Central Bank's Forum on Central Banking last week.

The pandemic has accelerated ongoing trends, including the increasing use of technology, automation and telework, Powell said last Thursday. And while these changes will be beneficial for some, they will hurt certain groups in the short-term.

Read more here.

6:23 a.m. ET, November 18, 2020

SoftBank billionaire Masa Son is stockpiling cash for a 'worst-case scenario'

From CNN Business' Sherisse Pham

Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son says the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to wreak havoc on companies in the short term, and that he is stockpiling cash to prepare for a "worst-case scenario."

While effective vaccines and Covid-19 treatments could soon be coming, the SoftBank CEO said he is pessimistic about second and third wave outbreaks currently playing out around the world.

"In the next two [to] three months, any disaster could happen," Son said on Tuesday, speaking from Tokyo at The New York Times' Dealbook Conference held online this year.

Read more here.