Coronavirus updates: FDA clears Eli Lilly drug for emergency use; America tops 10 million cases

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The United States topped 10 million cases Monday as global cases surpassed 50 million. The 10 million number was reached just 10 days after the U.S. reached 9 million cases. Pfizer and BioNTech announced trial data indicating their Covid-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective. The positive vaccine news and NBC projections that Democrat Joe Biden defeated incumbent Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential race bolstered a post-election market rally. President-elect Biden also announced the members of his coronavirus task force on Monday.

Here are some of the biggest developments Monday:

Pfizer CEO on Covid vaccine efficacy: 'It is a great day for humanity'
Pfizer CEO on Covid vaccine efficacy: 'It is a great day for humanity'

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 50.91 million 
  • Global deaths: At least 1.26 million
  • U.S. cases: More than 10.11 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 238,251

Asia-Pacific airline and casino stocks soar on vaccine hopes

Airline and casino stocks in Asia-Pacific were among the big winners in Tuesday trade following the positive coronavirus vaccine update from Pfizer and BioNTech.

Citi Private Bank's David Bailin told CNBC he expects an "incredible rotation" away from defensive and "stay-at-home" shares toward cyclicals.

Still, Agathe Demarais of The Economist Intelligence Unit warned that "we're far from being out of the woods," with the global economic recovery still expected to be "slow and bumpy."

— Eustance Huang

Brazil suspends trials of potential vaccine being developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical firm

Clinical trials for a vaccine candidate being developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac have been suspended by Brazil's health regulator, the Associated Press reported.

Sinovac's production partner in Brazil, state-run Butantan Institute, said it was surprised by the announcement, the AP reported.

The AP noted that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has cast doubt on the prospective efficacy of the potential vaccine, CoronaVac.

The news agency noted that clinical trials are often temporarily halted, especially in studies involving thousands of participants as some can fall ill.

— Christine Wang

FDA clears Eli Lilly coronavirus drug for emergency use

The Food and Drug Administration approved Eli Lilly's monoclonal antibody drug bamlanivimab for emergency use.

The agency said the drug could be used for treating mild-to-moderate cases of Covid-19 in patients who are over the age of 12, according to a release.

In clinical trials, the Eli Lilly drug reduced hospitalizations or emergency room visits in patients at high risk for disease progression, the FDA said.

Chris Eudaily

David Bossie, the person leading Trump's push to dispute the election outcome, tests positive for Covid-19

David Bossie, who is leading President Donald Trump's push to dispute the results of the 2020 election, is the latest person connected to Trump to test positive for the coronavirus, CNBC's Dan Mangan reported, citing NBC News.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows also recently contracted cases of Covid-19.

Bossie, who is head of conservative group Citizens United, cannot be at the Trump campaign headquarters, nor in the Oval Office, and is no longer part of making decisions for the campaign in their legal challenges, NBC News reported.

Chris Eudaily

SUNY's Thomas appointed lead principal investigator for Pfizer, BioNTech vaccine, Cuomo says

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at a press conference held in LaGuardia Airport's new Terminal B on June 10, 2020 in New York City.
Scott Heins | Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that SUNY Upstate Medical University's Dr. Stephen Thomas, chief of infectious disease, was appointed the lead principal investigator for Pfizer's global Covid-19 vaccine trial.

As the lead principal investigator, Thomas will "support Pfizer and BioNTech as they prepare vaccine trial data for submission to regulatory agencies including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is expected to happen later this month," a statement from Cuomo's office said.

"It's great news that Pfizer/BioNTech is seeing positive results from its vaccine trial, and I'm proud one of New York's foremost infectious disease experts has been selected to lead its worldwide vaccine trial," Cuomo said in the statement.

—Noah Higgins-Dunn

Pfizer vaccine a 'welcomed step' for travel industry

The Carnival Paradise cruise ship arrives in port June 30, 2017 in Havana, Cuba.
Alexander Creutzmann | Mambo photo | Getty Images

Travel industry leaders cheered the news about the effectiveness of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine, seeing it as reason for optimism in a sector of the economy that has been hard hit by the pandemic.

"TripAdvisor has long believed travel will recover with vigor as soon as a vaccine was widely available. Today's Pfizer news is a welcomed step in the right direction," Steve Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor, told CNBC over email.

In a statement, Carnival Corp. also touted the implications for the cruise industry. However, the company expressed some caution on the immediate impacts for resuming sailing.

"This is a very positive development for the world, and, of course, our company and our brands, as well as the cruise industry," the company told CNBC. "It is too early at this point to determine the impact this may have on the conditional sail order in the U.S., if any."

Kevin Stankiewicz, Seema Mody

Vaccine news is positive for the economic outlook

With economic expectations pegged largely to the progress of stopping the coronavirus, Monday's news from Pfizer on its vaccine means the stronger likelihood of more growth ahead. "This is very good news in both the near term and also over the longer run," said PNC Financial chief economist Gus Faucher. Some economists caution that surging cases will still pressure the economy over the winter, but fiscal and monetary stimulus should help. – Jeff Cox

Coronavirus: California Gov. Gavin Newsom says cases, hospitalizations are ticking up as residents 'let their guard down'

Gov. Gavin Newsom
Rich Pedroncelli | AP

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday said the state's coronavirus positivity rate is increasing, as well as its rate of hospitalizations.

The governor, speaking to California residents, shared that the state's 14-day coronavirus positivity rate was 3.4 percent as of Sunday, referring to the percentage of tests performed that are positive. On Oct. 19, it was 2.5 percent. According to Newsom, the total number of tests has also increased in that period.

Governor Newsom said hospitalizations have also increased by 28.6 percent, representing about 4 percent of California's health system capacity. Admissions to intensive care are also up 27.3 percent, with patients taking up 11 percent of the total available beds. 20,000 ventilators are still available.

Newsom pointed out that these numbers are "sobering," but there are also some promising signs. "The total capacity we have built out (at hospitals) and the ability to test being substantially greater than even a few weeks ago," he said.

On Tuesday, Newsom said California will provide an update on any changes, or lack thereof, to the rules around establishments and public places remaining open or closed. But he said he anticipated that some counties will be "moving backwards and not forward."

Speaking of the positive news from the Pfizer vaccine trial, Newsom reminded residents that mass distribution is still a ways off. He said it won't be readily available until "well into the next year."

- Christina Farr

UK says it will have 10 million doses of Pfizer, BioNTech's vaccine by year end

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks and takes questions during a press conference in Downing Street regarding the coronavirus outbreak, on March 9, 2020. in London, England.
Alberto Pezzali - WPA Pool | Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the U.K. had ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine candidate and expects to have 10 million doses available by the end of 2020, pending regulatory approval, Reuters reports.

Johnson has said that the prospects of a vaccine are one cause for optimism that the situation will improve by spring, but said new lockdown rules in England still needed to be obeyed, Reuters reported.

"We have cleared one significant hurdle but there are several more to go before we know the vaccine can be used," Johnson said. "We absolutely cannot rely on this as a solution. The biggest mistake we could make now would be to slacken our resolve at such a critical moment."

—Melodie Warner 

Biden advisor Osterholm says U.S. is 'about to enter Covid hell'

Dr. Michael Osterholm on joining President-elect Biden's coronavirus task force
Dr. Michael Osterholm on joining President-elect Biden's coronavirus task force

Dr. Michael Osterholm, a newly appointed coronavirus advisor to President-elect Joe Biden, told CNBC that the pandemic in the U.S. will face its darkest period so far over the next three to four months.

The U.S. is reporting a record-high weekly average of roughly 108,736 cases every day, growing more than 33% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The country has "not even come close" to descending from its latest spike in cases, and hospitals are now being overrun, he added.

"What America has to understand is that we are about to enter Covid hell," Osterholm, director of the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNBC's "Squawk Alley." — Noah Higgins-Dunn

U.S. coronavirus cases cross 10 million mark

Medical workers put on personal before starting shifts at a Covid-19 drive-thru testing site in El Paso, Texas, on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020.
Joel Angel Juarez | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The U.S. has now reported more than 10 million cases of Covid-19, a bleak milestone just 10 days after reaching the 9 million mark.

According to Johns Hopkins data, the total number of deaths is now at 237,742.

That comes as the U.S. sets record one-day spikes in cases, spurring some officials to reinstate restrictions in efforts to contain the coronavirus. "You have to be really worried what January is going to look like, what December is going to look like right now given the way this is rising," former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Friday.

-- Riya Bhattacharjee, Christine Wang

Biden pleads with Americans to wear a mask

President-elect Joe Biden on Monday implored Americans to wear a mask as the country heads toward a "very dark winter."

"Please, I implore you, wear a mask," Biden said. "Do it for yourself. Do it for your neighbor. A mask is not a political statement, but it is a good way to start pulling the country together."

Biden's remarks stand in stark contrast to those of President Donald Trump, who resisted wearing a mask in public for months at the start of the pandemic.

"I want to be very clear: The goal of mask-wearing is not to make your life less comfortable, or to take something away from you," Biden said. "It is to give something back to all of us, a normal life."

—Will Feuer

New Jersey governor announces series of Covid restrictions

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy: We have a six-month window to keep Covid-19 spread in check
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy: We have a six-month window to keep Covid-19 spread in check

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy told CNBC's "Squawk Box" that he would announce new Covid-19 restrictions on businesses that will "shave at the edges" as the state tries to suppress climbing cases.

The Democrat governor also welcomed Pfizer's promising early Covid-19 vaccine data, saying it's "really really good news" for the long term.

Later Monday, Murphy announced those restrictions, including the stoppage of all interstate indoor youth sports, saying, "It is simply not safe for teams to be crossing state lines at this time to participate in indoor competitions."

—Noah Higgins-Dunn

HUD chief Ben Carson tests positive for Covid-19

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson tested positive for Covid-19, according to NBC News.

Carson is the latest person in the administration to contract the virus, and his positive test comes less than a week after White House chief of staff Mark Meadows tested positive for Covid-19, CNBC's Kevin Breuninger reports.

Carson and Meadows both attended an in-person election night party at the White House last week, NBC confirmed.

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and several others in and around the administration contracted the coronavirus in early October.

Chris Eudaily

Where the other Covid vaccines stand

Pfizer released positive early results from its phase three vaccine trial, saying its vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 among volunteers who had no evidence of prior infection.

The phase three trials are the critical last step needed to get the vaccines submitted to the FDA for potential authorization. There are currently four U.S.-backed frontrunners in phase three: PfizerModernaAstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson's. A fifth drugmaker, Novavax, said it expects to begin its late-stage trial in the U.S. by the end of this month.

Pfizer and Moderna are slightly ahead of the other three companies and are seen as the likely companies to get the first approvals. Moderna announced last month that it had completed enrollment in its 30,000-person late-stage trial, and Pfizer is already delivering key results in its trial.

–Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Advocates warn of an eviction crisis as 2021 approaches without a new stimulus deal

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "historic" nationwide eviction moratorium protects tenants across the country from losing their homes in the middle of a global health crisis — through the end of 2020.

The order requires tenants to sign a declaration stating that they cannot afford their rent because of Covid-19 and have used their best efforts to apply for all governmental housing aid. And just over a month after its implementation, the moratorium is working for tenants, says Caitlin Cedfeldt, an attorney at Legal Aid of Nebraska's Housing Justice Project.

That's good, experts say, but the news could turn sour soon: Without another stimulus deal or continuation of the moratorium into 2021, experts say the U.S. could face a housing crisis just after the holidays.

—Alicia Adamczyk

Movie theater stocks rally on promise of effective vaccine

Movie theater chains got some good news on Monday morning — trial data indicated Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective.

The news sent AMC shares soaring as high as 80% in premarket trading before settling around a 50% gain after the opening bell. Cinemark shares were trading up about 52%, while Marcus Theatres and IMAX were gaining about 18% in early morning trading.

The hope is that with a vaccine, Covid-19 cases will decrease substantially and audiences will be more willing to return to theaters. This, in turn, will give studios confidence to keep major film titles on the calendar. Without fresh content, moviegoers won't return in droves.

Still, a vaccine might not be widely available to the public until mid-2021. So, while the news is promising, it does not fix the near-term issues for movie theaters.

—Sarah Whitten

U.S. average daily coronavirus cases set another record

The United States on Sunday set a new record for the seven-day average of daily new Covid infections, with an average of 108,736 new cases reported each day, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. The nation has topped its prior day high for at least 10 straight days, and Sunday's record marks a 34% rise from a week earlier.

—Melodie Warner 

Dow opens up more than 5% as Pfizer says Covid-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective

U.S. stocks opened higher as investors cheered positive Covid vaccine trial data and the news of a projected winner of the U.S. presidential election, reports CNBC's Fred Imbert and Yun Li.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 1,563 points higher, or 5.5%, and hit an all-time high. The S&P 500 also rose to a record, popping 3.7%. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative underperformer, trading 1.3% higher. The small-cap Russell 2000 index gained 4.6%.

—Melodie Warner 

Former CDC director says Pfizer vaccine could have 'dramatic effect'

Dr. Richard Besser, a former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under President Barack Obama, said Pfizer's early Covid-19 vaccine data showing more than 90% effectiveness is "exciting news."

"I always like to take some caution until drug company data has been reviewed by scientists," Besser told ABC's "Good Morning America."

"A vaccine, if it truly is 90% effective, could have a dramatic effect on this pandemic in the long run. It's not going to help us this winter, but it could be a real game changer," he added.

Pfizer's vaccine won't help with the surge of Covid-19 cases the U.S. is reporting ahead of the winter season, he cautioned.

"This is a worst-case scenario. We see cases surging around the country, we see the country divided in terms of what needs to happen, in terms of control. We see the supports for people, people of color in particular, that have evaporated," Besser said.

— Noah Higgins-Dunn

Pfizer CEO says he would like to take vaccine first

Albert Bourla, chief executive officer of Pfizer pharmaceutical company, waits to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Thursday afternoon, January 17, 2019 in New York City.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC that he would like to take the company's Covid-19 vaccine first to ease any concerns about safety.

But there are ethical considerations for that, he told "Squawk Box." "If we have a limited number of doses, I'm not sure if people would recommend people of my age ... or work capacity to be among the first to get a vaccine. So, I want to respect that," said Bourla, who is in his 50s.

That being said, he expects demand for the pharmaceutical company's vaccine will much be "higher than anything we can produce" given how effective it is. Bourla said the company is on track to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020, and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.

Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Here's how President-elect Biden plans to tackle Covid-19

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden attends a briefing on Covid-19 at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware, on October 28, 2020.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

Once President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20, the U.S. can expect changes to the nation's coronavirus response strategy. Biden's plan, in contrast to the Trump administration's response, calls for a more coordinated national strategy, experts say. 

The Biden-Harris campaign laid out a step-by-step plan for addressing the coronavirus pandemic that includes increasing use of the Defense Production Act to make protective equipment for frontline workers, instituting a nationwide mask policy and restoring the U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization. 

The plans also suggest significantly increasing the nation's testing by doubling the number of drive-through sites — at least 10 per state — and investing in at-home tests. When it comes to lockdowns, Biden has repeatedly said he would listen to scientists like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

—Noah Higgins-Dunn, Chrissy Farr

Retailers expect pandemic pet boom to inspire gift-giving this holiday

Pet merchandise is expected to be one of the most popular gift-giving categories this year as dogs, cats and other pets top the holiday gift lists for many Americans, according to a survey by consulting firm Deloitte.

About half of the more than 4,000 people surveyed by the firm said they plan to purchase pet foods and supplies during the holiday season. On average, they plan to spend $90 on pet items, such as gifts for their own dog or for a family member or friend's pet.

Retailers have stocked up with a wide variety, from candy cane-shaped chew toys for dogs to a Santa-themed costume for bearded dragons.

Stacia Andersen, PetSmart's executive vice president of merchandising and customer experience, said shopping for pets, rather than people, comes with another perk: They're easier to please.

"There's nothing more fun than giving a gift to a pet because nobody is going to return it," she said. "Other than maybe they spit it out, you're in pretty good shape."

—Melissa Repko

Airlines, Boeing rally on positive vaccine news

Boeing and shares of U.S. airlines soared after Pfizer and BioNTech reported positive results from a coronavirus vaccine trial.

The news raised hopes that the pandemic could be brought under control, a protracted battle that has hammered airline stocks, aircraft suppliers and travel-related companies this year.

American Airlines shares were up more than 24% in premarket trading, United Airlines gained 19% and Delta Air Lines was up more than 17%.

U.S. carriers have lost more than $20 billion in the last two quarters as demand remains a fraction of last year's levels. Executives have warned a full recovery could take years and that revenue will plateau without a vaccine.

Leslie Josephs

Grocers may see sales gains evaporate if they don't freshen approach: Bain

Getty Images

Grocers' pandemic-related sales gains could fade, if they don't freshen up their approach, according to a new Bain & Co. report.

U.S. grocery sector revenue has risen by as much as 10% year over year in 2020, according to the consulting firm. That rate may shrink to 2% to 5% next year — or could even drop by as much as 7 percentage points if a Covid-19 vaccine is widely available and diners return to restaurants in early 2021.

Pharmaceutical companies are in a race to develop a vaccine for the virus. Pfizer and BioNTech announced a late-stage trial that showed their vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19.

Steve Caine, a retail expert at Bain and one of the report's authors, said grocers must fend off competitive threats — including fast-casual restaurants like Chipotle and Panera and third-party grocery delivery companies like Instacart. For example, he said, grocers can put together their own meal kits or partner with a restaurant to add a popular entree to their store coolers.

"If they [grocers] take advantage of this moment, you can retrain some customers to shift more of their share of wallet to you," he said.

—Melissa Repko

Pfizer, BioNTech say Covid vaccine is more than 90% effective

Injection syringe of the phase 3 vaccine trial, developed against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by the U.S. Pfizer and German BioNTech company, are seen at the Ankara University Ibni Sina Hospital in Ankara, Turkey on October 27, 2020.
Dogukan Keskinkilic | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech announced their coronavirus vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 among those without evidence of prior infection, CNBC's Sam Meredith reports.

The results were based on the first interim efficacy analysis conducted by an external and independent Data Monitoring Committee from the phase three clinical study. The independent group of experts oversees U.S. clinical trials to ensure the safety of participants.

The analysis evaluated 94 confirmed Covid-19 infections among the trial's 43,538 participants. The companies said the case split between vaccinated individuals and those who received a placebo indicated a vaccine efficacy rate of above 90% at seven days after the second dose.

It means that protection from Covid-19 is achieved 28 days after the initial vaccination, which consists of a two-dose schedule. The final vaccine efficacy percentage may vary, however, as safety and additional data continue to be collected.

—Melodie Warner 

Biden announces Covid task force

Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign speech in which he never removed his mask while discussing the death toll from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States exceeding 200,000 people, at the Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, U.S., September 21, 2020.
Mark Makela | Reuters

President-elect Joe Biden announced the members of his Covid task force, set to advise the transition team and next administration on how to tamp down the virus in the U.S.

Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith of Yale University will co-chair the group, which also includes Dr. Atul Gawande and Dr. Rick Bright, among others.

"Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts," Biden said in the announcement.

—Sara Salinas

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