The daily business briefing: May 5, 2021
Pfizer will seek authorization for vaccine shots for children, Trump launches blog as Facebook ban decision looms, and more
Pfizer to seek vaccine authorization for kids aged 2 to 11 in September
Pfizer said on Tuesday it expects to apply for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its COVID-19 vaccine for children between ages 2 and 11 in September. On Monday, it was reported that the Food and Drug Administration is set to authorize Pfizer's vaccine for adolescents between ages 12 and 15 by early next week. A study to examine the safety and efficacy of the vaccine among those between 6 months and 11 years old is ongoing. Additionally, Pfizer said it's expecting to seek authorization for its vaccine among children between 6 months and 2 years in the fourth quarter of 2021. Pfizer also announced Tuesday it plans to file for a full FDA approval of its COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the month, which CNBC notes would mean "the company will be able to market the shot directly to consumers."
Trump launches blog ahead of oversight board decision on Facebook ban
Former President Donald Trump, who has been banned for months from social media platforms, has launched a blog on his website. The new platform is called "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump." It will provide him with a way to communicate directly with his followers, something he has only done sporadically since being banned from Twitter and Facebook as he faced allegations that he incited the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The news came ahead of an expected Wednesday announcement by Facebook's Oversight Board on whether it will extend Trump's Facebook and Instagram suspensions indefinitely. It was assigned the task of examining the ban by Facebook, which also owns Instagram, in January.
Stock futures rebound after Tuesday's tech losses
U.S. stock index futures rose early Wednesday following a sell-off in technology stocks that dragged down the Nasdaq by 1.9 percent on Tuesday. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up by 0.3 percent several hours before the opening bell. Futures tied to the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. Big tech shares bounced back some early Wednesday after falling due to inflation and interest-rate concerns that hurt growth stocks. Apple and Tesla were up by about 1 percent after dropping sharply on Tuesday. Strong earnings reports continued to give Wall Street a boost, with ride-hailing company Lyft gaining 6 percent in premarket trading after its quarterly earnings exceeded analysts' expectations.
GE, AT&T shareholders reject companies' compensation plans
General Electric and AT&T shareholders on Tuesday rejected executive compensation plans in nonbinding votes. Such votes usually get overwhelming support at shareholder meetings, but GE and AT&T joined a growing list of major corporations whose investors have refused to support how corporate leaders are being paid during the pandemic. Nearly 58 percent of GE's shares voted against the board's compensation plans; less than half of AT&T's shares backed the telecom and media giant's compensation practices. Executives at both companies last year got special stock awards that made them some of the highest paid business leaders even as the pandemic disrupted operations. Asset manager Allianz Global Investors said it voted against AT&T's plan because of "concerns around performance linkage."
Dogecoin surges by 30 percent to record high
Dogecoin jumped by 30 percent on Tuesday to a new record high of about 54 cents, according to data from Coin Metrics. Dogecoin started in 2013 as a joke based on a viral dog meme early in the rise of cryptocurrencies, but it has soared as bitcoin and other leading cryptocurrencies gain wider acceptance as investments and forms of payment. Dogecoin's recent rise has been cited as a sign of worrying speculation, particularly among young investors who got into trading during the coronavirus pandemic. But billionaire Mark Cuban said Doge can gain real value as long as more companies accept cryptocurrencies as payment for products and services. "Yes, a joke is now legit," Cuban tweeted on Sunday.