Apple Inc. may not have triggered the current buzz about the metaverse, but the company is reaping the benefit.
Excitement about how the iPhone maker could gain from a broad embrace of digital alternate realities has been a central facet of the rise in its share price in recent months, according to investors and analysts.
Covid-19 Pill Developer to Spend SPAC IPO Funds on Clinical Trial, Hiring
Biopharmaceutical firm Pardes Biosciences Inc. plans to spend a large chunk of the funds it raised through a public offering late last month on a pill it is developing to treat Covid-19, including on manufacturing and hiring more clinical staff.
The clinical-stage company, which is based in Carlsbad, Calif., on Dec. 27 listed on Nasdaq after merging with FS Development Corp. II, a special-purpose acquisition company sponsored by venture-capital firm Foresite Capital. Pardes said it raised $274 million, including $199 million from the SPAC's trust account and $75 million in the form of a private investment in public equity from Foresite, investment manager RA Capital Management and biotech giant Gilead Sciences Inc., among others.
Facebook Owner Meta Names DoorDash CEO Tony Xu to Board
Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. appointed DoorDash Inc. Chief Executive Tony Xu to its board of directors, adding outside executive experience to a group that has been criticized for its lack of independence.
Mr. Xu's appointment Tuesday is the first change to the board since the company rebranded itself as Meta in October. It is also the first addition to the board since the departure of Jeffrey Zients, who chose not to seek re-election to the company's board in March 2020. Mr. Zients was succeeded by Robert Kimmitt, a lawyer and former deputy secretary at the Department of the Treasury during the George W. Bush administration. Mr. Kimmitt is the lead independent director.
J.C. Penney Names Two Retail Veterans to Boost Digital Efforts
J.C. Penney Co. on Monday named two new technology executives in a move to boost its digital efforts a little over a year after emerging from bankruptcy.
The department-store chain named Sharmeelee Bala as chief information officer, responsible for building tools to serve its "evolving digital footprint," the retailer said in a press release.
2021 Is Expected to Rank as Biggest Year for Inflation in Four Decades
U.S. inflation is on track to have closed out 2021 near its highest level since 1982 as robust consumer demand exacerbated pandemic-related supply shortages.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate the Labor Department's consumer-price index-which measures what consumers pay for goods and services-rose 7.1% in December from the same month a year ago, up from 6.8% in November. That would mark the fastest pace since 1982 and the third straight month in which inflation exceeded 6%.
China's Inflation Pressure Eased in December
BEIJING--China's factory-gate prices and consumer inflation in December both eased more than expected compared with the previous month, thanks to the plunge in oil prices, as well as Beijing's efforts to ensure commodity and food supply, which gives more room for policy easing in 2022, official data showed Wednesday.
The producer-price index rose 10.3% from a year earlier in December, down from a 12.9% increase in November, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The result was lower than the 11.2% forecast by economists in a poll conducted by The Wall Street Journal.
Southern California Ports Struggle to Trim Cargo Backlog as Omicron Surges
The Covid-19 Omicron variant is hampering efforts to clear a backlog of about 100 container ships at the nation's busiest port complex as infections rise among Southern California dockworkers.
About 800 dockworkers-roughly 1 in 10 of the daily workforce at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach-were unavailable for Covid-related reasons as of Monday, according to the Pacific Maritime Association. Absentees included workers who tested positive for the virus, were quarantining or awaiting test results, or who felt unwell.
Chinese Banks' Loan Issuance Declined in December
New loans issued by Chinese banks fell in December, according to data released by the People's Bank of China on Wednesday.
Chinese banks extended 1.13 trillion yuan ($180 billion) worth of new yuan loans in December, down from CNY1.27 trillion in November, the People's Bank of China said. The result undershot the CNY1.2 trillion expected by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.
Judges Uphold North Carolina's GOP-Drawn Voting-District Maps
A North Carolina court on Tuesday upheld the state's new Republican-drawn voting maps, rejecting claims that they were illegally gerrymandered for partisan advantage.
A three-judge panel in Wake County Superior Court said while excessive partisanship in redistricting was incompatible with democratic principles and had subjected the state to many years of ridicule, the court had no basis for constraining the legislature.
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Shaw Commun 1Q
Expected Major Events for Wednesday
05:00/JPN: Dec Economy Watchers Survey
07:00/GER: Dec WPI
12:00/US: 01/07 MBA Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey
13:30/US: Dec CPI
13:30/US: Dec Real Earnings
15:00/US: Dec Online Help Wanted Index
15:30/US: 01/07 EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report
16:59/GER: Nov Balance of Payments
17:00/US: World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates (WASDE)
19:00/US: Dec Monthly Treasury Statement of Receipts & Outlays of the U.S. Govt
19:00/US: U.S. Federal Reserve Beige Book
23:50/JPN: Dec Money Stock, Broadly-defined Liquidity
All times in GMT. Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.
Expected Earnings for Wednesday
Aritzia is expected to report $0.34 for 3Q.
CHS Inc (CHSCP) is expected to report for 1Q.
Caldwell Partners International Inc (CWL.T) is expected to report for 1Q.
Concrete Pumping Holdings Inc (BBCP) is expected to report $0.10 for 4Q.
E2open Parent Holdings Inc (ETWO) is expected to report for 3Q.
FedEx Corp (FDX) is expected to report.
Jefferies Financial Group Inc (JEF) is expected to report $1.34 for 4Q.
KB Home (KBH) is expected to report $1.77 for 4Q.
Platinum Group Metals Ltd (PLG,PTM.T) is expected to report for 1Q.
Postmedia Network Canada (PNC.A.T,PNC.B.T) is expected to report for 1Q.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Inc (RMCF) is expected to report for 3Q.
Shaw Communications Inc - Class B (SJR,SJR.A.V,SJR.B.T) is expected to report $0.33 for 1Q.
SouthGobi Resources Ltd (1878.HK,SGQ.T,SGQRF) is expected to report $-0.04 for 4Q.
Timberline Resources Corp (TBR.V,TLR) is expected to report for 4Q.
Velan Inc (VLN.T,VLNSF) is expected to report for 3Q.
Volt Information Sciences Inc (VOLT) is expected to report $0.04 for 4Q.
Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.
ANALYST RATINGS ACTIONS
Advanced Micro Devices Raised to Overweight From Sector Weight by Keybanc
Alcoa Cut to Hold From Buy by Deutsche Bank
Allegheny Technologies Raised to Outperform From Market Perform by Cowen & Co.
American Airlines Group Raised to Equal-Weight From Underweight by Morgan Stanley
Apria Cut to Neutral From Buy by UBS
Brighthouse Financial Raised to Equal-Weight From Underweight by Barclays
Certara Raised to Buy From Hold by Jefferies
Citizens Financial Group Raised to Buy From Neutral by Citigroup
Cogent Communications Cut to Sell From Neutral by Goldman Sachs
Dell Technologies Raised to Outperform From Market Perform by Bernstein
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Raised to Outperform From Market Perform by BMO Capital
IBM Cut to Sell From Neutral by UBS
Illumina Raised to Equal-Weight From Underweight by Barclays
Intel Cut to Sector Weight From Overweight by Keybanc
Intercept Pharmaceuticals Raised to Buy From Neutral by B. Riley Securities
iRhythm Technologies Raised to Outperform From Perform by Oppenheimer
Juniper Networks Raised to Buy From Underperform by B of A Securities
L3Harris Technologies Raised to Outperform From Peer Perform by Wolfe Research
Las Vegas Sands Raised to Overweight From Neutral by JP Morgan
Monolithic Power Raised to Overweight From Sector Weight by Keybanc
Northern Trust Raised to Outperform From Market Perform by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods
Northrop Grumman Cut to Peer Perform From Outperform by Wolfe Research
Nucor Cut to Underperform From Peer Perform by Wolfe Research
Old Dominion Freight Cut to In-Line From Outperform by Evercore ISI Group
Paychex Raised to Outperform From Market Perform by Cowen & Co.
Regions Financial Raised to Buy From Neutral by Citigroup
Reynolds Cnsmr Products Cut to Neutral From Buy by Citigroup
STAG Industrial Cut to Neutral From Outperform by Baird
Steven Madden Raised to Buy From Hold by Loop Capital
Take-Two Interactive Cut to Neutral From Buy by MoffettNathanson
Take-Two Interactive Raised to Overweight From Sector Weight by Keybanc
Terreno Realty Cut to Neutral From Outperform by Baird
US Steel Cut to Underperform From Peer Perform by Wolfe Research
ViewRay Raised to Buy From Neutral by B. Riley Securities
WW International Cut to Hold From Buy by Craig-Hallum
Zynga Cut to Sector Weight From Overweight by Keybanc
Zynga Raised to Neutral From Underperform by Credit Suisse
This article is a text version of a Wall Street Journal newsletter published earlier today.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires