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North American Morning Briefing: Stock Futures -2-

07/08/2021 | 06:01am EDT

Vaccine Maker AstraZeneca's Strong Drug Pipeline Could Lift the Stock Higher for Years -- Barrons.com

AstraZeneca became a household name last year with its swift roll out of a Covid-19 vaccine, one of only a handful still available globally. It has now made over 500 million doses for more than 165 countries -- and did it at cost, for zero profit.

But the publicity hasn't all been good. The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker got caught in political fights between the United Kingdom and European Union, while rare side effects and production delays have attracted criticism.


Unemployment Claims Have Continued Easing as Hiring Heats Up

New applications for unemployment benefits have trended down this summer, indicating that the labor market is healing from the Covid-19 downturn as many states end participation in enhanced jobless assistance programs related to the pandemic.

Economists estimate that first-time applications for unemployment benefits declined to a seasonally adjusted 350,000 for the week ended July 3, from 364,000 during the prior week, according to a Wall Street Journal survey. The Labor Department is set to report the latest figures at 8:30 a.m. ET. The prior week's level was the lowest recorded since jobless claims surged at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.


Borrowing Is Back as Sign-Ups for Auto Loans, Credit Cards Hit Records

Americans are borrowing again, in some cases at levels not seen in more than a decade.

Consumer demand for auto loans and leases, general-purpose credit cards and personal loans was up 39% in April compared with the same period last year, according to credit-reporting firm Equifax Inc. It was also up 11% compared with April 2019, according to Equifax, which measured how often lenders checked consumers' credit reports to make loan decisions.


Biden to Target Railroads, Ocean Shipping in Executive Order

WASHINGTON-The Biden administration will push regulators to confront consolidation and perceived anticompetitive pricing in the ocean shipping and railroad industries as part of a broad effort to blunt the power of big business to dominate industries, according to a person familiar with the situation.

As part of a sweeping executive order expected this week, the administration will ask the Federal Maritime Commission and the Surface Transportation Board to combat what it calls a pattern of consolidation and aggressive pricing that has made it onerously expensive for American companies to transport goods to market.


RBA Governor Says International Border Closure Could Fuel Surge in Wages

Australia could face a surge in wages growth and inflation if the closure of the country's international borders to foreign workers continues for some time, Reserve Bank of Australia Gov. Philip Lowe said Thursday.

In a speech to economists, Mr. Lowe said the most significant challenge to labor supply in the country was the closed border, which has normally been a major source of skilled workers for the economy over many decades.


Malaysia Central Bank Holds Policy Rate After Renewed Covid-19 Lockdown

Malaysia's central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Thursday after the imposition of stricter measures last week to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

Bank Negara Malaysia held its overnight policy rate at 1.75%, as predicted by 16 economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.


German Exports Rose in May in Line With Expectations

German exports continued their gradual recovery in May despite the continuation of some lockdown restrictions.


Fed's Bostic Says Time to Taper Is Growing Nearer, but Won't Put Date on It

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said that the time is getting closer for the U.S. central bank to pull back on its monthly $120 billion bond-buying stimulus program, but he wouldn't say when that might happen.

"We're getting close to a time when tapering will be appropriate," Mr. Bostic said Wednesday in a virtual appearance before a gathering held by the National Association of Black Journalists. "If we do this right, in the right time, this should not affect consumers in any way," he said.


Delta Covid-19 Variant Is Dominant U.S. Strain, CDC Data Show

The highly transmissible Delta variant has become the dominant strain of the Covid-19 virus circulating in the U.S., according to federal data. It is spreading rapidly as communities loosen pandemic restrictions and officials struggle to reach unvaccinated people.

The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, made up 51.7% of Covid-19 infections in the two weeks ended July 3, according to genetic sequences from positive Covid-19 tests submitted to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Biden Pitches Child-Care, Education Plan as Democrats Debate Size

WASHINGTON-President Biden sought to rally public support for a multitrillion-dollar education and child-care plan at the core of his domestic-policy agenda, as Democrats in Congress wrestle with disagreements over the size and scope of the package.

"To truly win the 21st century and once again lead the world, to truly build an economy from the bottom up and the middle out, to truly deal everybody in this time, we need to invest in our people," Mr. Biden said at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Ill.


Tokyo Olympics to Be Held Under Covid-19 State of Emergency

TOKYO-Japan declared a new state of emergency due to Covid-19 that will continue through the Summer Olympics, making it likely the organizers will drop plans to allow some spectators at the Games.

Japan and some other countries in Asia that have been slow to roll out vaccinations are experiencing new waves of infection, exacerbated by the more contagious Delta variant. On Thursday, Tokyo reported 896 new cases, up 27% from a week earlier.


Write to paul.larkins@wsj.com TODAY IN CANADA


Richelieu Hardware 2Q

Economic Indicators:

Nothing scheduled

Stocks to Watch:

Uranium Participation May 31 NAV/Shr C$4.87

Expected Major Events for Thursday

00:01/UK: Jun KPMG and REC UK Report on Jobs

04:30/JPN: Jun Corporate Insolvencies

05:00/JPN: Jun Economy Watchers Survey

06:00/GER: May Foreign Trade

08:30/UK: 1Q Business Finance Review

10:00/FRA: May OECD Harmonised Unemployment Rates

12:30/US: 07/03 Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report - Initial Claims

13:00/RUS: Weekly International Reserves

13:45/US: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index

14:30/US: 07/02 EIA Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

15:00/US: 07/02 EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report

16:00/US: Jun Monthly U.S. Retail Chain Store Sales Index

19:00/US: May Consumer Credit

20:30/US: Foreign Central Bank Holdings

20:30/US: Federal Discount Window Borrowings

23:01/UK: Jun BRC-Sensormatic IQ Footfall Monitor

23:50/JPN: Jun Money Stock, Broadly-defined Liquidity

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

Expected Earnings for Thursday

A. M. Castle & Co (CTAM) is expected to report for 1Q.

Accolade Inc (ACCD) is expected to report for 1Q.

Art's Way Manufacturing (ARTW) is expected to report for 2Q.

Avalon Advanced Materials is expected to report for 3Q.

Bank Of South Carolina (BKSC) is expected to report for 2Q.

Buckle Inc (BKE) is expected to report.

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

Caldwell Partners International Inc (CWL.T) is expected to report for 3Q.

Commercial National Fincl (CNAF) is expected to report for 2Q.

Costco Wholesale Corp (COST) is expected to report.

Duck Creek Technologies Inc (DCT) is expected to report for 3Q.

Educational Development Corp (EDUC) is expected to report for 1Q.

FP Newspapers is expected to report for 1Q.

Goodfellow is expected to report for 2Q.

INDUS Realty Trust Inc (INDT) is expected to report for 2Q.

Kewaunee Scientific (KEQU) is expected to report for 4Q.

Levi Strauss & Co (LEVI) is expected to report $0.11 for 2Q.

Park Aerospace Corp (PKE) is expected to report for 1Q.

Postmedia Network Canada (PNC.A.T,PNC.B.T) is expected to report for 3Q.

PriceSmart (PSMT) is expected to report $0.64 for 3Q.

Richelieu Hardware is expected to report $0.46 for 2Q.

Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.


Alkaline Water Cut to Sell From Hold by Canaccord Genuity

Allegheny Technologies Raised to Neutral From Underperform by B of A Securities

Boston Beer Raised to Outperform From Neutral by Credit Suisse

Cerence Cut to Market Perform From Outperform by Raymond James

ChemoCentryx Raised to Buy From Hold by Stifel

Denbury Cut to Neutral From Buy by Roth Capital

Energy Recovery Cut to Market Perform From Outperform by Raymond James

Evoqua Water Technologies Cut to Outperform From Strong Buy by Raymond James

Flowserve Raised to Outperform From Market Perform by Cowen & Co.

Masco Cut to Underweight From Neutral by JP Morgan

Oasis Petroleum Raised to Outperform From Sector Perform by RBC Capital

Phibro Animal Health Cut to Underweight From Equal-Weight by Barclays

Santander Consumer USA Cut to Hold From Buy by Jefferies

Shenandoah Telecom Cut to Underperform From Market Perform by Raymond James

Sunnova Energy Intl Raised to Strong Buy From Outperform by Raymond James

TopBuild Raised to Neutral From Underweight by JP Morgan

Vistra Raised to Outperform From Peer Perform by Wolfe Research

This article is a text version of a Wall Street Journal newsletter published earlier today.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

07-08-21 0600ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ACCOLADE, INC. -1.13% 44.79 Delayed Quote.3.67%
ASTRAZENECA PLC 0.28% 8150.64 Delayed Quote.11.25%
AVALON ADVANCED MATERIALS INC. -8.33% 0.11 Delayed Quote.0.00%
BARCLAYS PLC 1.57% 181.76 Delayed Quote.24.54%
CANACCORD GENUITY GROUP INC. 2.01% 15.18 Delayed Quote.36.74%
CERENCE INC. -2.60% 105.35 Delayed Quote.5.30%
CHEMOCENTRYX, INC. -1.69% 15.66 Delayed Quote.-74.63%
COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION -0.72% 456.74 Delayed Quote.22.28%
DENBURY INC. -2.61% 69.68 Delayed Quote.171.70%
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.49% 34547.57 Delayed Quote.12.97%
DUCK CREEK TECHNOLOGIES, INC. 0.36% 49.82 Delayed Quote.15.40%
ENERGY RECOVERY, INC. -5.03% 19.3 Delayed Quote.50.07%
EQUIFAX INC. -0.73% 271.47 Delayed Quote.42.01%
EVOQUA WATER TECHNOLOGIES CORP. -1.06% 37.27 Delayed Quote.38.10%
FLOWSERVE CORPORATION -1.17% 35.38 Delayed Quote.-2.39%
FP NEWSPAPERS INC. 0.00% 1.4 Delayed Quote.125.81%
GOODFELLOW INC. -1.02% 9.7 Delayed Quote.19.16%
INDUS REALTY TRUST, INC. 0.22% 67.5 Delayed Quote.7.76%
KEWAUNEE SCIENTIFIC CORPORATION -0.23% 13.22 Delayed Quote.5.97%
LEVI STRAUSS & CO. -0.08% 26.22 Delayed Quote.31.27%
MASCO CORPORATION 0.12% 58.45 Delayed Quote.6.57%
OASIS PETROLEUM INC. 3.22% 96.47 End-of-day quote.160.31%
PARK AEROSPACE CORP. -1.25% 13.385 Delayed Quote.0.15%
PHIBRO ANIMAL HEALTH CORPORATION -1.64% 21.04 Delayed Quote.8.24%
POSTMEDIA NETWORK CANADA CORP. 4.02% 2.07 Delayed Quote.34.42%
PRICESMART, INC. -0.61% 80.46 Delayed Quote.-11.21%
RAYMOND JAMES FINANCIAL, INC. -0.44% 134.66 Delayed Quote.40.26%
RICHELIEU HARDWARE LTD. 0.20% 45.05 Delayed Quote.36.08%
S&P 500 -0.56% 4445.18 Delayed Quote.18.29%
S&P GSCI NATURAL GAS INDEX -1.62% 251.6622 Delayed Quote.110.44%
SANTANDER CONSUMER USA HOLDINGS INC. 0.02% 41.42 Delayed Quote.88.10%
THE ALKALINE WATER COMPANY INC. -1.83% 1.57 Delayed Quote.62.38%
THE BOSTON BEER COMPANY, INC. -2.68% 521 Delayed Quote.-48.09%
THE BUCKLE, INC. 1.83% 40.48 Delayed Quote.36.03%
TOPBUILD CORP. -0.14% 221.68 Delayed Quote.20.51%
UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INC -0.53% 192.06 Delayed Quote.14.82%
URANIUM PARTICIPATION CORPORATION 0.00% 5.11 End-of-day quote.4.07%
VISTRA CORP. -2.30% 18.036 Delayed Quote.-6.21%
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