1. Vaccine pushes stock markets higher
International stock markets have rallied on further vaccine optimism, with London’s FTSE 100 up 0.31% and Germany’s DAX up 0.52%. Driving this positivity was the final data on Pfizer’s vaccine, which showed the effectiveness of its vaccine was actually 95%, which was better than the original 90% reported a week ago, which resulted in a 5.6% surge in stocks in a little over a week.
2. Crown of thorns
Casino and resorts business Crown should see its share price hit today following a trading halt ahead of some bad news. Yep, the James Packer dominated Crown Resorts was put into a trading halt ahead of news that’s bound to be negative for the company’s share price today.
The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority has put the kibosh on the new casino at Barangaroo opening in December, while there is an ongoing inquiry into the operation of the business, which has heard that money laundering and other criminal behaviour has gone unchecked in Crowns gambling operations.
Chairman Philip Crawford, of the Liquor & Gaming Authority said allowing gambling at the site before the final report “would pose unacceptable risks on the community against the public interest”.
This can’t be good for Crown’s share price today or until it gets the nod to open!
3. Banking on good news
Good news from bankers — the economy is recovering faster than expected. The AFR’s banking summit yesterday heard that the nation’s big bank CEOs and the Treasurer were giving our economic recovery out of the Coronavirus crash in March, which forced us into recession, a big thumbs up.
CBA’s CEO Matt Comyn says the rapidly improving economic conditions led the bank to substantially upgrade its forecasts for next year. He said his economics team thinks out economy now grows next year at 4.5%, which is a lot bigger than the bank’s original forecast of 2.75%. This is great news for anyone looking for a job but it does pose the question: if the economy recovers faster than expected, will the Reserve Bank Governor be able to keep his promise to keep the cash rate of interest at 0.1% for three years? If he can’t because the economy is stronger than expected, then home loan interest rates will have to rise.
4. Bird of the Year announced despite evidence of voter fraud
Arguably the most controversial vote of the year came to a close this week when New Zealand conservation organisation Forest & Bird named the Kakapo (a nocturnal flightless parrot) as the Bird of the Year. Last week, the organisation revealed it had "spotted" and removed more than 1,500 fraudulent votes for the little-spotted kiwi that came from a single IP address.
5. Wall Street drops again
The three major US indexes all posted falls on Wednesday. The Dow Jones fell by 344.93 points or 1.16% to 29,483.42, the S&P 500 was down 41.74 points or 1.16% to 3,567.79 and the Nasdaq moved 97.74 points or 0.82% lower to 11,801.60.
Click here to subscribe to the Switzer TV channel on YouTube and keep up to date with all of our shows.