Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Wall Street looks steady after last week's delta-driven Covid concerns
- El Salvador becomes first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender
- Pfizer Covid booster shots may be ready as early as week of Sept. 20
- Biden to tour Ida flooding damage in New Jersey and New York
- Deutsche Telekom lifts T-Mobile US stake in SoftBank swap deal
U.S. stock futures were flat Tuesday after a much weaker-than-expected August jobs report, reflecting the impact of the delta-driven Covid resurgence in the U.S., knocked the S&P 500 slightly lower Friday from a record close. The Nasdaq, however, managed a small gain and another record finish. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell Friday, heading into the new trading week 0.7% away from last month's record close. Over the weekend, Goldman Sachs downgraded its estimate for U.S. economic growth to a 5.7% annual rate in 2021, below the 6.2% consensus. The U.S. stock market was closed Monday for Labor Day.
Bitcoin retreated 1.5% on Tuesday after topping $52,000 on Monday, a level not seen since May, as El Salvador revealed it bought 400 bitcoins worth nearly $21 million. The announcement came as El Salvador's bitcoin law, which was passed in June, took effect Tuesday, making bitcoin legal tender there. El Salvador is the first country to do so. But since bitcoin is known for its volatility at times, the move raised concerns about its effectiveness as a currency. Bitcoin hit an all-time high over $64,000 in April but sold off heavily in June and July, even dipping briefly below $30,000. But since mid-July, bitcoin has been gaining ground again.
As total Covid cases in America topped 40 million over the holiday weekend, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said the U.S. will likely start to widely distribute Pfizer vaccine booster shots during the week of Sept. 20. The Biden administration has announced plans to offer third doses to people who received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, pending approval from public health officials. The U.S. recommends an additional shot eight months after the second dose. However, only Pfizer may get FDA and CDC approval in time for the rollout, Fauci said Sunday.
President Joe Biden will survey damage in parts of the Northeast that suffered catastrophic flash flooding last week from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Biden on Tuesday is set to tour Manville, New Jersey, and the New York City borough of Queens. At least 50 people were killed in six Eastern states as record rainfall last week overwhelmed rivers and sewer systems. Some people were trapped in fast-filling basement apartments and cars, or swept away as they tried to escape. The storm also spawned several tornadoes. More than a half of those deaths were in New Jersey. Biden toured Ida damage on the Gulf Coast last week.
Deutsche Telekom has struck a $7 billion share-swap deal with SoftBank to increase the German group's stake in T-Mobile US. Deutsche Telekom also sold its Dutch unit. As a result of the two moves announced Tuesday, Deutsche Telekom will raise its stake in T-Mobile by 5.3% to 48.4%, bringing CEO Tim Hoettges closer to his goal of securing direct control over the $170 billion U.S. mobile phone operator. SoftBank will in return receive cash and a 4.5% stake in Deutsche Telekom after the Japanese group sold its U.S. Sprint unit to T-Mobile in a deal that closed in early 2020.