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DJ North American Morning Briefing: S&P 500 on Track -2-

· 02/05/2021 05:58

After the Covid Pandemic, a Surge in Demand for Meals, Entertainment and Vacations

Here's some advice for life after the pandemic: Make that restaurant reservation way in advance, prepare to pay up for that flight, get used to watching your team from the cheap seats and show up even earlier to the movie.

The slump caused by Covid-19 was unlike any other because consumer spending on services, which usually holds up well during downturns, cratered, and remains significantly below pre-pandemic levels. When the crisis eases-something that will with hope begin happening later this year, as more people get vaccinated-the recovery could be impressive.

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New U.S. Cases Edge Down but Deaths Spike on Backlog

Newly reported Covid-19 cases in the U.S. were down slightly from a day earlier, but deaths hit their highest daily tally yet, as a backlog of cases in Indiana was added to the nation's total.

The U.S. reported more than 4,900 deaths for Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The daily tally had been trending generally downward after reaching a peak of 4,466 on Jan. 12.

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Regulators Say Market Infrastructure Was Resilient in GameStop Frenzy

Top financial regulators meeting Thursday to discuss recent market volatility related to GameStop Corp. concluded that "the core infrastructure was resilient," the Treasury Department said in a statement following the meeting.

The regulators believed the infrastructure stood up "during high volatility and heavy trading volume" and agreed the Securities and Exchange Commission should release "a timely study of the events," the Treasury Department said.

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Partisan Pressures Weigh Heavily as Senate Looks for Coronavirus Relief Deal

The 50-50 Senate that is trying to find agreement on a coronavirus relief bill isn't just evenly split. It is also operating under partisan pressures that, by one measure, are greater than ever.

Some 94 senators belong to the party that won their state's presidential contest in November-a record-high level of party allegiance for at least 54 years, an analysis of data gathered by the Pew Research Center shows. That leaves a record-low six senators as political mismatches with their home state's presidential choice: Three Democratic senators represent states that backed former President Donald Trump, and three Republicans come from states that President Biden won.

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Bond Market Volatility Boosts Online Trading Platforms

A busy start to the year in bond trading has led to record volatility at electronic marketplaces.

Average daily trading volume on Tradeweb Markets Inc.'s online bond-trading platform topped $1 trillion in January, the company said Thursday. That marks the busiest month on record, beating March 2020 when plunging stock markets pushed investors into the relative safety of government debt. Tradeweb is one of the largest electronic marketplaces for Treasurys.

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New U.S. Cases Edge Down but Deaths Spike on Backlog

Newly reported Covid-19 cases in the U.S. were down slightly from a day earlier, but deaths hit their highest daily tally yet, as a backlog of cases in Indiana was added to the nation's total.

The U.S. reported more than 4,900 deaths for Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The daily tally had been trending generally downward after reaching a peak of 4,466 on Jan. 12.

Read More ->

Vaccine Shortage Sparks Fights Over Who Should Get First Shots

As a shortage of Covid-19 shots slows vaccination efforts in the West, groups that haven't been given high priority are increasingly jostling for the right to get immunized first.

In most countries that are currently deploying vaccines, those most at risk of dying or getting seriously ill from the virus-nursing home residents and those caring for them, medical workers and the elderly-have been at the front of the queue.

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FDA Plans Speedy Review of Possible Covid-19 Boosters

WASHINGTON-The Food and Drug Administration plans to develop speedy means of evaluating possible booster shots for Covid-19 vaccines to ensure that they will work against new variants, the agency's acting commissioner said Thursday.

Dr. Janet Woodcock wasn't specific about what standards the FDA will use to assess the possible booster shots but said the agency will address these questions in published guidelines over the next few weeks.

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Write to sarka.halas@wsj.com

TODAY IN CANADA

Earnings:

- Heroux-Devtek Inc. (HRX.T) 3Q

Economic Indicators (ET):

0830 Dec Stocks of Canadian grain at Dec 31

0830 Dec International merchandise trade

0830 Jan Labour Force Survey

1000 Jan Ivey Purchasing Managers Index

Stocks to Watch:

*Barrick Gold: This Improved Throughput, Combined With Cost-Reduction Initiatives, Is Expected to Have a Positive Impact on Per Ounce Costs Compared

*Theratechnologies: Phase 1 Trial Expected to Be Initiated 2Q 2021

*TransAlta Renewables COO John Kousinioris to Become TransAlta Corp.

*TransAlta CEO Dawn Farrell to Retire March 31

Other News:

SolGold: Prefeasibility Study for Ecuador's Alpala Project Needs More Work

SolGold PLC said Friday that a prefeasibility study needs additional work to address mine development, metallurgical alternatives and potential upsides on its Alpala copper-gold project, on the Cascabel concession in northern Ecuador.

The London- and Toronto-listed company said that it will spend extra time on the pre-feasibility study to reduce the risk of a large initial capital expenditure, and that the publication of the study isn't expected until late 2021.

The company said the committee drafting the study has identified the key work required and has recommended adjusting the current draft mine development and production plans to derisk the project.

Canada Extends Cruise Ban by a Year Until February 2022

There won't be any large cruises in Canada this year, as the Canadian government extended its ban on cruise operations through February 2022.

The extended ban complicates cruise operators' efforts to restart sailings in North America this year, prolonging their hiatus since voyages came to a halt in March 2020 due to coronavirus outbreaks on ships. The ban had been scheduled to expire later this month.

The Canadian measure applies to cruise vessels carrying 100 or more people and prohibits passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people from entering Arctic coastal waters, including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast, Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said. Adventure-seeking pleasure craft are also prohibited from entering Arctic waters, he added.

"Temporary prohibitions to cruise vessels and pleasure craft are essential to continue to protect the most vulnerable among our communities and avoid overwhelming our health-care systems," Mr. Alghabra said. "This is the right and responsible thing to do."

Market Talk:

No items published

Expected Major Events for Friday

00:01/UK: Jan BRC-ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor

01:01/UK: Jan KPMG and REC UK Report on Jobs

05:00/JPN: Dec Indexes of Business Conditions - Preliminary Release

07:00/GER: Dec Manufacturing orders

07:00/GER: Dec Manufacturing turnover

07:45/FRA: Dec Foreign trade

07:45/FRA: Dec Balance of payments

07:45/FRA: 4Q Flash estimate of job creation

08:30/UK: Jan Halifax House Price Index

09:00/ITA: Dec Retail Sales

11:00/FRA: Dec OECD CPI

13:30/CAN: Dec Stocks of Canadian grain at Dec 31

13:30/CAN: Dec International merchandise trade

13:30/US: Dec U.S. International Trade in Goods & Services

13:30/CAN: Jan Labour Force Survey

13:30/US: Jan U.S. Employment Report

15:00/CAN: Jan Ivey Purchasing Managers Index

20:00/US: Dec Consumer Credit

All times in GMT. Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.

Expected Earnings for Friday

1st Constitution Bancorp (FCCY) is expected to report $0.50 for 4Q.

Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc (ARCT) is expected to report for 4Q.

Array Technologies Inc (ARRY) is expected to report for 4Q.

Berry Global Group Inc (BERY) is expected to report $0.94 for 1Q.

CSW Industrials Inc (CSWI) is expected to report $0.34 for 3Q.

Cardinal Health Inc (CAH) is expected to report $1.33 for 2Q.

Cboe Global Markets Inc (CBOE) is expected to report $1.10 for 4Q.

Civista Bancshares (CIVB) is expected to report $0.44 for 4Q.

Community Financial Corp (TCFC) is expected to report $0.69 for 4Q.

Construction Partners Inc (ROAD) is expected to report $0.13 for 1Q.

Daily Journal (DJCO) is expected to report for 1Q.

Estee Lauder (EL) is expected to report $1.68 for 2Q.

First Guaranty Bancshares (FGBI) is expected to report $1.31 for 4Q.

FirstEnergy Corp (FE) is expected to report $0.57 for 4Q.

Gencor Industries (GENC) is expected to report for 1Q.

Gorman-Rupp Co (GRC) is expected to report $0.30 for 4Q.

GrafTech International Ltd (EAF) is expected to report $0.38 for 4Q.

Harmony Biosciences Holdings Inc (HRMY) is expected to report for 4Q.

Heroux-Devtek (HRX.T) is expected to report $0.15 for 3Q.

Hill-Rom Holdings Inc (HRC) is expected to report $0.59 for 1Q.

IES Holdings Inc (IESC) is expected to report for 1Q.

Illinois Tool Works (ITW) is expected to report $1.77 for 4Q.

Johnson Outdoors (JOUT) is expected to report $0.89 for 1Q.

LiveXLive Media Inc (LIVX) is expected to report $-0.11 for 3Q.

Luminar Technologies Inc (LAZR) is expected to report for 4Q.

MEI Pharma Inc (MEIP) is expected to report $-0.13 for 2Q.

Meridian Bioscience Inc (VIVO) is expected to report $0.43 for 1Q.

Nathan's Famous Inc (NATH) is expected to report for 3Q.

Orgenesis Inc (ORGS) is expected to report for 4Q.

Pioneer Bancorp Inc (PBFS) is expected to report for 4Q.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (REGN) is expected to report $6.98 for 4Q.

SAExploration Holdings Inc (SAEXQ) is expected to report for 3Q.

Shift4 Payments Inc (FOUR) is expected to report for 4Q.

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

February 05, 2021 05:58 ET (10:58 GMT)

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