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Stock Market Today: Dow Jones, S&P 500 Ease Lower; Roku Stock Surges After Report Of Potential Takeover From Netflix

Markets are down today as inflation concerns persist.
The post Stock Market Today: Dow Jones, S&P 500 Ease Lower; Roku Stock Surges After Report Of…



Stock Market Today Mid-Morning Updates

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down by 200 points after back-to-back gains on Wall Street. Mortgage rates are increasing after a brief decline in May. However, mortgage demand has also fallen to the lowest in 22 years as slowing home sales and rising rates continue to be at bay. U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen says that despite persistent inflation, it was not because of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 spending legislation that caused it. She will also address a House panel today.

Shares of Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) is up after it announced a modified version of its Covid-19 booster shot prompted stronger immune response than the company’s original vaccine against the omicron variant. The company will prepare data for the FDA in the coming weeks. DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU) is also up after the company announced an expanded global partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). The deal will enhance the integration of DocuSign technology into Microsoft’s family of software applications.

Among the Dow Jones leaders, shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are up by 0.59% today while Microsoft is down by 0.12%. Meanwhile, Disney (NYSE: DIS) and Nike (NYSE: NKE) are trading higher on Wednesday. Among the Dow financial leaders, Visa (NYSE: V) is up by 0.33% while JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) is down by 0.67%

Shares of EV leader Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) are up by 4.21% on Wednesday. Rival EV companies like Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) are also up by 4.58%. Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID) is up by 4.69% today. Chinese EV leaders like Nio (NYSE: NIO) and Xpeng Motors (NYSE: XPEV) are trading higher today as well. 

Dow Jones Today: U.S. Treasury Yields Breaches 3% Again; Fed GDP Tracker Indicates A Possible Recession

Following the stock market opening on Wednesday, the S&P 500 and Dow are trading lower at 0.48% and 0.67% respectively. The Nasdaq, however, is trading higher by 0.34%. Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) is up by 0.42% while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: SPY) is down by 0.14%. 

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is above 3% today. This comes as investors eagerly await a key inflation indicator this Friday and also access the signs that the economy is slowing down. The Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow tracker indicates an annualized gain of just 0.9% for the second quarter, down from estimates of a 1.3% increase. 

With first-quarter growth already down 1.5%, a second consecutive quarter of negative growth is defined as a recession. GDPNow utilizes economic data in real-time and uses it to project how the economy will fare. Talks of recession have become recent in the last few months amid rising inflation that has also eaten into the profits of many companies. However, there are also those that believe that a combination of resilience in consumer spending and job growth could keep the U.S. out of a recession.

[Read More] Top Stock Market News For Today June 8, 2022 

Roku Stock In Focus After News Of Potential Netflix Takeover Surfaces

In other news, Roku (NASDAQ: ROKU) is front and center in the stock market today. For the most part, this follows a Business Insider report about leading streaming firm Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) looking to acquire it. After considering ROKU stock’s general year-to-date losses thus far, this would not be all too surprising. According to the report, the company has “abruptly,” closed the trading window for its employees. This would forbid them from selling stock even “when they should normally be able to do so.” Without any official explanations from Roku, most would begin to speculate the meaning behind such a move.

Notably, this would be where mentions of Netflix begin to spring up. According to the Business Insider source, the two companies have been having active discussions over recent weeks. For one thing, Roku’s industry-leading streaming hardware offerings would synergize well with Netflix’s portfolio. Pair all this with the sudden trading halt and talks of a potential takeover would grow. Accordingly, ROKU stock is now gaining by over 7% at the stock market open today. While time will tell if this deal solidifies, there could be plenty of eyes on the company’s shares today.

ROKU stock
Source: TradingView

[Read More] 5 Consumer Staples Stocks To Watch In June 2022

Novavax Stock Rises Following Green Light From FDA Panel On Coronavirus Shot

Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) would be another firm to consider in the stock market now. Overall, the vaccine maker’s stock could be worth noting following the result of its latest regulatory evaluation. Getting straight into it, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) advisory committee now recommends Novavax’s coronavirus vaccine. This approval is for the use of the company’s 2-shot regimen in individuals aged 18 years old and above. In detail, the current recommendation for an emergency use authorization (EUA) would make Novavax’s coronavirus vaccine the fourth to receive this regulatory nod. 

Worth mentioning, that during the Vaccines and Related Biological Product Advisory Committee meeting, the panel voted 21 to 0 to grant the treatment EUA status. Providing further commentary on this is CEO Stanley Erck. He states, “The advisory committee’s positive recommendation acknowledges the strength of our data and the importance of a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine developed using an innovative approach to traditional vaccine technology.” Erck continues, “Consistent with submissions to regulatory authorities worldwide, we have already submitted an amendment with updated manufacturing information for the EUA to the FDA for review.” All in all, it seems like Novavax is kicking into high gear on the operational end now.

In the larger scheme of things, the endorsement of Novavax’s coronavirus treatment could be a push by U.S. officials to bolster vaccination rates. This could be plausible as the company’s shot is essentially a more conventional protein vaccine. The likes of which have been used for decades to prevent hepatitis B and shingles among other illnesses. As such, I could understand if NVAX stock gains attention from investors today.

NVAX stock
Source: TradingView

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War, peace and security: The pandemic’s impact on women and girls in Nepal and Sri Lanka

The impacts of COVID-19 must be incorporated into women, peace and security planning in order to improve the lives of women and girls in postwar countries…



Nepalese girls rest for observation after receiving the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19 in Kathmandu, Nepal. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Attention to the pandemic’s impacts on women has largely focused on the Global North, ignoring countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka, which continue to deal with prolonged effects of war. While the Nepalese Civil War concluded in 2006 and the Sri Lankan Civil War concluded in 2009, internal conflicts continue.

As scholars of gender and war, our work focuses on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. And our recently published paper examines COVID-19’s impacts on women and girls in Nepal and Sri Lanka, looking at policy responses and their repercussions on the women, peace and security agenda.

COVID-19 has disproportionately and negatively impacted women in part because most are the primary family caregivers and the pandemic has increased women’s caring duties.

This pattern is even more pronounced in war-affected countries where the compounding factors of war and the pandemic leave women generally more vulnerable. These nations exist at the margins of the international system and suffer from what the World Bank terms “fragility, conflict and violence.”

Women, labour and gender-based violence

Gendered labour precarity is not new to Nepal or Sri Lanka and the pandemic has only eroded women’s already poor economic prospects.

Prior to COVID-19, Tharshani (pseudonym), a Sri Lankan mother of three and head of her household, was able to make ends meet. But when the pandemic hit, lockdowns prevented Tharshani from selling the chickens she raises for market. She was forced to take loans from her neighbours and her family had to skip meals.

Some 1.7 million women in Sri Lanka work in the informal sector, where no state employment protections exist and not working means no wages. COVID-19 is exacerbating women’s struggles with poverty and forcing them to take on debilitating debts.

Although Sri Lankan men also face increased labour precarity, due to gender discrimination and sexism in the job market, women are forced into the informal sector — the jobs hardest hit by the pandemic.

Two women sit in chairs, wearing face masks
Sri Lankan women chat after getting inoculated against the coronavirus in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in August 2021. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

The pandemic has also led to women and girls facing increased gender-based violence.

In Nepal, between March 2020 and June 2021, there was an increase in cases of gender-based violence. Over 1,750 incidents were reported in the media, of which rape and sexual assault represented 82 per cent. Pandemic lockdowns also led to new vulnerabilities for women who sought out quarantine shelters — in Lamkichuha, Nepal, a woman was allegedly gang-raped at a quarantine facility.

Gender-based violence is more prevalent among women and girls of low caste in Nepal and the pandemic has made it worse. The Samata Foundation reported 90 cases of gender-based violence faced by women and girls of low caste within the first six months of the pandemic.

What’s next?

While COVID-19 recovery efforts are generally focused on preparing for future pandemics and economic recovery, the women, peace and security agenda can also address the needs of some of those most marginalized when it comes to COVID-19 recovery.

The women, peace and security agenda promotes women’s participation in peace and security matters with a focus on helping women facing violent conflict. By incorporating women’s perspectives, issues and concerns in the context of COVID-19 recovery, policies and activities can help address issues that disproportionately impact most women in war-affected countries.

These issues are: precarious gendered labor market, a surge in care work, the rising feminization of poverty and increased gender-based violence.

A girl in a face mask stares out a window
The women, peace and security agenda can help address the needs of some of those most marginalized. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Policies could include efforts to create living-wage jobs for women that come with state benefits, emergency funding for women heads of household (so they can avoid taking out predatory loans) and increasing the number of resources (like shelters and legal services) for women experiencing domestic gender-based violence.

The impacts of COVID-19 must be incorporated into women, peace and security planning in order to achieve the agenda’s aims of improving the lives of women and girls in postwar countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Luna KC is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Research Network-Women Peace Security, McGill University. This project is funded by the Government of Canada Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) program.

Crystal Whetstone does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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CDC Announces Overhaul After Botching Pandemic

CDC Announces Overhaul After Botching Pandemic

After more than two years of missteps and backpedaling over Covid-19 guidance that had a profound…



CDC Announces Overhaul After Botching Pandemic

After more than two years of missteps and backpedaling over Covid-19 guidance that had a profound effect on Americans' lives, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Wednesday that the agency would undergo a complete overhaul - and will revamp everything from its operations to its culture after failing to meet expectations during the pandemic, Bloomberg reports.

Director Rochelle Walensky began telling CDC’s staff Wednesday that the changes are aimed at replacing the agency’s insular, academic culture with one that’s quicker to respond to emergencies. That will mean more rapidly turning research into health recommendations, working better with other parts of government and improving how the CDC communicates with the public. -Bloomberg

"For 75 years, CDC and public health have been preparing for Covid-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations," said Director Rochelle Walensky. "I want us all to do better and it starts with CDC leading the way.  My goal is a new, public health action-oriented culture at CDC that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication and timeliness."

As Bloomberg further notes, The agency has been faulted for an inadequate testing and surveillance program, for not collecting important data on how the virus was spreading and how vaccines were performing, for being too under the influence of the White House during the Trump administration and for repeated challenges communicating to a politically divided and sometimes skeptical public."

A few examples:

Walensky made the announcement in a Wednesday morning video message to CDC staff, where she said that the US has 'significant work to do' in order to improve the country's public health defenses.

"Prior to this pandemic, our infrastructure within the agency and around the country was too frail to tackle what we confronted with Covid-19," she said. "To be frank, we are responsible for some pretty dramatic, pretty public mistakes — from testing, to data, to communications."

The CDC overhaul comes on the heels of the agency admitting that "unvaccinated people now have the same guidance as vaccinated people" - and that those exposed to COVID-19 are no longer required to quarantine.

Tyler Durden Wed, 08/17/2022 - 12:22

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Why Is No One at Nike Working This Week?

And will the move gain broader acceptance among American employers?



And will the move gain broader acceptance among American employers?

You go into an office, pull at the door and find that it doesn't give and nobody's there. 

It may sound like the start of the common rushing-to-the-office-on-a-Saturday nightmare but, more and more, collective time off is being embraced by employees as part of a push for a better work culture.

While professional social media platform LinkedIn  (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report and dating app Bumble  (BMBL) - Get Bumble Inc. Report had already experimented with collective time off for workers, the corporate ripples truly began with Nike  (NKE) - Get Nike Inc. Report.

In August 2021, the activewear giant announced that it was giving the 11,000-plus employees at its Oregon headquarters the week off to "power down" and "destress" from stress brought on by the covid-19 pandemic.

"In a year (or two) unlike any other, taking time for rest and recovery is key to performing well and staying sane," Matt Marrazzos, Nike's senior manager of global marketing science, wrote to employees at the time.

Nike Is On Vacation Right Now

The experiment was, not exactly unexpectedly, very well-received — a year later, the company instituted its second annual "Well-Being Week." Both the corporate headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., and three Air Manufacturing design labs with over 1,500 employees are closed for a collective paid vacation from Aug. 15 to 19.

"We knew it would be impactful, but I was blown away by the feedback from our teammates [...]," Nike's Chief Human Resources Officer Monique Matheson wrote in a LinkedIn post.

"Because everyone was away at the same time, teammates said they could unplug – really unplug, without worrying about what was happening back at the office or getting anxiety about the emails piling up."


Of course, the time off only applies to corporate employees. To keep the stores running and online orders fulfilled but not exacerbate the differences between blue and white collar workers, Nike gave its retail and distribution employees a week's worth of paid days off that they can use as they see fit.

Nike has tied the change to its commitment to prioritize mental health. In the last year, it launched everything from a "marathon of mental health" to a podcast that discusses how exercise can be used to manage anxiety and depression.

Rippling Through the Corporate World?

But as corporations are often criticized for turning mental health into positive PR without actually doing much for employees, the collective week off was perhaps the most significant thing the company did for workers' mental health.

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The practice of set office closures has long been common practice in many European countries. In France, not only corporate offices but even restaurants and retail stores empty out over the month of August for what is culturally considered sacred vacation time. 

But as American work culture prioritizes individual choice and "keeping business going" above all else, the practice has been seen as radical by many corporate heads and particularly small businesses that may find it more difficult to have such a prolonged drop in business. 

But in many ways, the conversations mirror some companies' resistance to remote work despite the fact that one-fourth of white-collar jobs in the U.S. are expected to be fully remote by 2023

"This is the kind of perk that makes employees want to stay," industry analyst Shep Hyken wrote in a comment for RetailWire. "And knowing they can’t completely shut the entire company down, I like the way they are compensating the distribution and retail store employees."

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