The daily business briefing: December 9, 2020

Cybersecurity firm FireEye says it was hacked, the White House calls for coronavirus relief deal with $600 stimulus checks, and more

Stimulus checks
(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Cybersecurity firm FireEye hacked, allegedly by foreign government

Prominent U.S. cybersecurity company FireEye said Tuesday that it had been hacked by a foreign government with "world-class capabilities." FireEye said the hackers stole offensive tools it uses to test the defenses of its customers, which include federal, state, and local governments, and major global corporations. The company's stock dropped by 8 percent in after-hours trading after the breach was disclosed in a public filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The hack was considered the biggest blow to U.S. cybersecurity in years. It was not immediately clear when the breach occurred, but Reuters reported that a person familiar with the situation said FireEye has been resetting passwords in the last two weeks. There was no indication that client data was stolen.

The Associated Press Reuters

2. White House pushes for stimulus checks in new coronavirus relief deal

White House officials are urging Senate Republicans to include $600 stimulus checks for individuals in the next coronavirus relief package under negotiation in Congress, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing two people with knowledge of the deliberations. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) left a second round of stimulus checks out of the $600 billion proposal he unveiled last week. There were no such payments in in the $908 billion plan released by a group of bipartisan moderates, either. Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have called for including the checks, with Sanders vowing to vote against any package that excludes them. Trump had his name printed on the first round of checks distributed during the spring and summer, and a White House spokesman said they "continue to be a high priority of the president's."

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The Washington Post

3. DoorDash sells its first shares at $102, higher than expected

Food delivery service DoorDash sold shares at $102 each in its initial public offering on Tuesday, pricing the stock above the company's previously expected range of $90 to $95. The pricing valued the company at $32.4 billion. DoorDash has seen demand skyrocket during the coronavirus pandemic as customers spent more time at home to avoid the risk of infection, and ordered food delivery more frequently. The company's third quarter revenue jumped by 268 percent from a year earlier. The DoorDash IPO was the first of several in a late-2020 consumer technology wave as companies take advantage of a post-election stock rally. Airbnb comes next, with its IPO scheduled for later in the week. E-retailer Wish will follow next week. Fin-tech company Affirm and kids' game maker Roblox also plan to make their market debuts this month.


4. FDA review backs up Pfizer's case for vaccine approval

A Food and Drug Administration review published Tuesday confirmed that the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, appeared to meet the government's standard for emergency use authorization. The 53-page briefing document raised expectations that the FDA was close to allowing the two-shot vaccine to be administered in the United States. The research came out on the same day that the British government launched a massive campaign to give the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to tens of millions of people in the United Kingdom. The FDA's study backed up Pfizer's conclusion that late-stage trials had shown the vaccine to be 95 percent effective at preventing COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, once patients got both doses.

The Washington Post

5. U.S. stock futures rise as vaccine optimism fuels record-setting rally

U.S. stock index futures made modest gains early Wednesday, continuing recent momentum that has pushed Wall Street to a string of record highs. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up by 0.2 percent several hours before the start of regular trading. Those of the Nasdaq were down by less than 0.1 percent. The Dow and the S&P 500 gained roughly 0.3 percent on Tuesday, with the Dow closing comfortably above 30,000 and near its Friday record. The S&P closed at a record high, settling above 3,700 for the first time as Britain's rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine fueled optimism. Hopes that the Senate would soon reach a deal on a new round of coronavirus relief also boosted sentiment.


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