BY THE NUMBERS
IN THE NEWS TODAY
The U.S. reported a record number of new Covid cases Monday, with more than 1 million new infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The record single-day total may be due in part to delayed reporting from over the holiday weekend. President Joe Biden on Tuesday is scheduled to meet with the White House Covid response team. (CNBC)
The FDA on Monday expanded eligibility for Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) booster shots to children 12 to 15 years old. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still has to sign off. The CDC’s expert advisory panel will meet Wednesday. (CNBC)
Also on Monday, the FDA shortened the time between the second Pfizer dose and the booster to five months, down from six months. The agency authorized a third vaccine dose as part of the primary series of shots for kids 5 to 11 with compromised immune systems.
Biden’s overall disapproval rating reached a new high in December as more voters signaled unhappiness with his handling of the economy and the pandemic. The latest CNBC/Change Research poll showed 60% of respondents said they disapproved of Biden on the economy and 55% disapproved of his leadership during the Covid.
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, a one-time billionaire and darling of Silicon Valley who promised a revolutionary blood-testing technology, has been found guilty of four of 11 charges in her criminal fraud trial. Deliberations lasted more than 50 hours over seven days. Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison. (CNBC)
Ford (F) will start accepting purchase orders this week for its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck. It had previously shut down its reservation system for the truck due to an overwhelming response. Ford added 1.4% in the premarket. Ford said it will nearly double the annual production the F-150 Lightning. (AP)
Tesla (TSLA) has opened a new sales and service center in the Xinjiang region of China, home to a Muslim population known as the Uyghurs, whom the U.N. and rights organizations identified as a repressed ethnic group. China has repeatedly dismissed those claims as “lies and disinformation.” (CNBC)
Warner Music (WMG) slid 4% in the premarket following news of an 8.6 million share sale by affiliates of stakeholder Access Industries. Warner Music will not receive any proceeds from the sale. Separately, Warner Music’s publishing unit has purchased late British rock star David Bowie’s entire catalog . (Reuters)
Michael Rubin’s e-commerce company Fanatics has acquired Topps trading cards, sources close to the deal confirmed to CNBC last night. Terms of the agreement were not available, but industry sources put the deal at roughly $500 million. (CNBC)
A judge ruled against BlackBerry‘s (BB) bid to have a more than eight-year-old investor lawsuit thrown out. The suit claims BlackBerry, which now focuses on cybersecurity, inflated the success and profitability of its BlackBerry 10 smartphone. Separately, BlackBerry will end service for its classic devices Tuesday. (NBC News)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Foot Locker (FL) dropped 3.9% in the premarket after J.P. Morgan Securities downgraded the athletic footwear and apparel retailer to “underweight” from “neutral,” pointing to cost pressures and tougher competition.
Under Armour (UAA) rose 2.5% in premarket trading after a Baird upgrade to “outperform” from “neutral.” Baird said the athletic apparel maker’s stock would benefit from a cyclical recovery in earnings.
Coca-Cola (KO) rose 1% in the premarket after Guggenheim upgraded the stock to “buy” from “neutral,” citing a number of factors including strong emerging market performance and a faster-than-expected recovery in on-premises sales.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) was upgraded to “overweight” from “equal weight” at Barclays, which points to a number of factors including an attractive valuation for the enterprise technology company. Hewlett Packard Enterprise gained 2.3% in the premarket.
General Electric (GE) gained 1.4% in premarket trading after it was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse, with a price target of $122. Credit Suisse said a recent sell-off in GE shares gives investors the opportunity to benefit from a cyclical aerospace industry recovery.