1. Australia's Big Four banks have launched "COVID wards" to specifically handle companies that have been impacted or stressed by COVID-19, or expect to be when government stimulus falls off at the beginning of 2021.
2. Only 69% of ASX 200 companies will pay a dividend (August 2020), amounting to around $21.6 billion paid to shareholders. This compares to 87% of companies that paid dividends in February 2020 and 88% that paid in August 2019.
3. AstraZeneca, one of the global frontrunners for a COVID-19 vaccine, has seen its share price drop over 6% after a participant experienced an "adverse reaction" in its phase 3 trial. The Australian government announced a deal to secure doses of these vaccines last week. Australia's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth explained this was a "standard process" on Seven’s Sunrise this morning.
4. Tech stocks on the ASX are expected to plummet today after US tech stocks were hit hard yesterday. Tesla shares fell 21% overnight, while Apple dropped 6.7%, Microsoft fell 5.4%, Amazon fell 4.4% and Facebook dropped 4.1%.
5. The Dow fell 2.25% yesterday, closing at 27,500.89. The S&P 500 dropped 2.78% to 3,331.84 and the Nasdaq plummeted 4.11% to 10,847.69.
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