• President Donald Trump to hold 3:30 p.m. ET news conference Saturday in Bedminster, N.J. after coronavirus talks flounder
    on August 8, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    President Donald Trump was set to hold a news conference on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., following a week of failed talks to hash out a deal to provide additional stimulus to out-of-work Americans. The planned event comes after the president held a surprise news conference at the golf club on Friday noting that he was contemplating signing a raft of executive orders that would place a moratorium on evictions, expand some unemployment benefits, defer student loan payments and defer payroll taxes for the rest of 2020. Those executive orders, however, fall short of what Congress can enact to help millions who have been economically hurt by business closures due to the novel strain of coronavirus from which COVID-19 is derived.On Friday, Democratic congressional leaders and Trump administration negotiators emerged from last-ditch coronavirus aid bargaining meetings empty-handed. Disagreement centered on the enhanced federal jobless benefits, $600 weekly add-on payments to the unemployed that lapsed in July, and how much to give to states. It's unclear what Trump's executive orders, should he decide to take that tacked, would do to negotiations between parties going forward. Friday served as a self-imposed deadline for a deal to be achieved before Congress goes into a summer recess. If lawmakers do not return to Washington later in August, the next likely window for negotiations is either September, when they will be focused on passing a temporary spending bill to keep the government open past Sept. 30, or after the Nov. 3 election. Investors have been keenly watching negotiations, with U.S. benchmarks trading as if a deal of some kind will be struck. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended Friday trade with weekly gain of 3.8%, the S&P 500 index booked a weekly gain of 2.5%, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index also notched a roughly 2.5% gain for the five-session period. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • FDA approves Roche's new spinal muscular atrophy drug
    on August 8, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    Roche Holding AG said Friday that the Food and Drug Administration had approved Evrysdi, a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy in adults and most children. It's the second drug to be approved by the regulator to treat the rare disease. The therapy was developed by PTC Therapeutics Inc. and will be marketed by Genentech, a division of Roche. "We believe Evrysdi, with its favorable clinical profile and oral administration, may offer meaningful benefits for many living with this rare neurological disease," Roche's Levi Garraway said in a news release. A spokesperson said in an email that the treatment will cost about $340,000 per year, which is a lower price point than Biogen's Spinraza and AveXis Inc.'s Zolgensma; however the lower-than-expected price "could help increase market share and rapidity of adoption, though will produce lower revenue per patient than we had estimated," RBC Capital Markets' Brian Abrahams wrote in a note to investors. Since the start of the year, PTC's stock is down 0.4%, shares of Roche have gained 6.2%, and the S&P 500 is up 3.7%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • Chinese EV maker X Peng files for IPO; real estate giant KE Holdings sets IPO terms
    on August 7, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    Chinese electric-vehicle maker X Peng Inc. has filed for an initial public offering, seeking to sell $100 million worth of American depositary shares, although that number is often a placeholder used to calculate fees. The company seeks to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol XPEV, it said in a filing late Friday. Credit Suisse, BofA Securities, and J.P. Morgan are among the underwriters. X Peng, founded in 2015, dubbed itself as "one of China's leading" smart electric-vehicle makers. It makes the G3, an SUV, and the P7, a four-door sports sedan. The G3 entered production in November 2018; as of last week, X Peng had delivered 18,741 vehicles to customers. Deliveries of the P7 sedan began in May, with the company delivering 1,966 units as of last week. A third EV, a sedan, is planned for next year, the company said. X Peng's plan to tap U.S. equity markets comes on the heels of a success for Li Auto's ADS, which soared 50% on their first day of trading, but also as President Donald Trump has dialed up his criticism of Chinese tech and related companies, recently issuing executive orders aimed at banning U.S. company from dealing with TikTok and WeChat. Also Friday, China-based real estate company KE Holdings Inc. set the terms for its IPO, aiming to raise around $1.9 billion by offering 106 million ADSs between $17 and $19 a piece. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • Nasdaq's 7-session win streak halted but Dow, S&P 500 log 6th gain in a row as stock market ends big week of jobs and earnings
    on August 7, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    U.S. stocks ended's Friday choppy session with meager gains but enough for the the sixth straight gain for the Dow and S&P 500, as Wall Street watched Congress get down to brass tacks on another coronavirus aid package before the summer recess, which looked in doubt as reports suggested that talks may spill over into the weekend. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2% at 27,434, the S&P 500 index edged up 2 points to about 3,351, gaining less than 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index finished solidly lower off 0.9%, ending a streak of seven gains in a row that had taken the tech-heavy index to a series of record closes and a finish about the psychologically significant mark at 11,000 for the first time on Thursday. On display on Friday, and throughout the week, were signs that a rotation out of stocks as again percolating. The small-capitalization Russell 2000 index finished up more than 1% on the day and marked a weekly advance of more than 5%. The benchmark is composed of companies that are viewed as more sensitive to weakness in the economy so rotation there is viewed as a bet on a better outlook for the business environment in the U.S. Similarly, the Dow Jones Transportation Average gained 2.4% on the day and 5.8% on week, with the average consisting of airlines, truckers, railroads and shippers that are also viewed as economically sensitive. The moves for stocks came after the U.S. added 1.76 million jobs in July-just one-third of the unexpected 4.8 million gain last month-with the unemployment rate falling to 10.2% from 11.1% in June. Consensus estimates from economists polled by MarketWatch had been for an increase of 1.7 million jobs on the month. Wall Street is still awaiting a resolution between Democrats and Republicans that might pave the way for an additional coronavirus aid package which is viewed as necessary for limiting the harm from the COVID-19 pandemic. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • Talks on coronavirus aid package fail to produce deal Friday
    on August 7, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    A last-chance effort to salvage a deal on a big new coronavirus aid package collapsed Friday, with both White House negotiators and congressional Democrats blaming the other side. "Unfortunately, we did not make progress today," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters after meeting for more than an hour with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. "I've told them to come back when you're ready to give us a higher number," Pelosi told reporters. The House Democrats had offered a $3.4 trillion bill in May, while Senate Republicans, with the White House's blessing, put forward proposals scored independently at $1.1 trillion. Mnuchin said he and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows were willing to return if Democrats made new proposals.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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