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North American Morning Briefing: Dow Futures Dip -2-

12/22/2021 | 05:53am EDT

WASHINGTON-The Biden administration is preparing to distribute 500 million free at-home Covid-19 testing kits to Americans and deploy military doctors and nurses to overburdened hospitals this winter, as the Omicron variant becomes the dominant form of the virus in the U.S.

"We have to do more. We have to do better-and we will," President Biden said at the White House on Tuesday during a speech outlining the new coronavirus-response measures.

Biden Still Hopes to Strike 'Build Back Better' Deal With Manchin

WASHINGTON-President Biden expressed optimism Tuesday that he could find a pathway to an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin after the West Virginia Democrat rejected Democrats' roughly $2 trillion education, healthcare and climate proposal.

"Some people think maybe I'm not Irish because I don't hold a grudge," Mr. Biden told reporters at the White House after laying out additional steps to combat the Covid-19 Omicron variant. "Look, I want to get things done. I think there's a possibility of getting 'Build Back Better' done."

To Limit Omicron, Singapore Freezes Ticket Sales for Quarantine-Free Travel

SINGAPORE-The Asian financial hub of Singapore said it would limit the number of travelers for its quarantine-free entry program, a new setback for border-reopening plans in the region as the Omicron variant spreads.

The Ministry of Health said on Wednesday that from Dec. 23 to Jan. 20 the government would suspend the sale of airline and bus tickets for those seeking quarantine-exempt entry to Singapore to reduce the country's exposure to imported Omicron cases. Those who have already booked their tickets will be allowed to proceed with their travel plans without facing mandatory quarantine upon their return.

Omicron Spread Prompts More Interest in Booster Shots Than New Vaccinations

A recent rise in Covid-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant is prompting more vaccinated Americans to consider getting booster shots, but it doesn't appear to be persuading large numbers of the unvaccinated, survey data shows.

Among vaccinated adults who haven't had a booster shot, 54% are more likely to do so because of Omicron, according to a survey released by the Kaiser Family Foundation Tuesday. Of unvaccinated respondents, 12% said the fast-spreading variant's emergence would make them more inclined to get their first shot.

Life Expectancy in U.S. Declined 1.8 Years in 2020, CDC Says

New federal figures show a deeper than previously reported decline in U.S. life expectancy last year, as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold.

Final data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that Americans' life expectancy fell 1.8 years to 77 years in 2020. The drop was 0.3 years more than that of provisional estimates released in July 2021 and remains the biggest life-expectancy decline since at least World War II.

Prominent Harvard Professor Found Guilty of Lying About China Ties

A jury on Tuesday found Harvard professor Charles Lieber guilty on six counts related to payments he received from a Chinese government talent program, delivering a win for the U.S. government.

The closely watched trial in federal court in Boston has emerged as a key test of a Justice Department initiative meant to combat Beijing's efforts to mine U.S. universities to catapult China to the forefront of scientific development.

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

Earnings:

None scheduled

Economic Indicators:

None scheduled

Stocks to Watch:

CN: Network Productivity Returns to Normal Range, Community Support and Assistance Remains Ongoing; Capacity of Network in BC Has Nearly Returned to Pre-Washout Levels as Crews Continue to Work Around the Clock

Dye & Durham Announces Agreement To Acquire Link Group In Transformative C$3.2 Billion Transaction; Link Shareholders to Get A$5.50 Per Share in Cash Under Scheme

Expected Major Events for Wednesday

00:01/UK: Dec REC JobsOutlook survey

05:00/JPN: Nov Steel Production

07:00/UK: 3Q Balance of Payments

07:00/UK: 3Q UK quarterly national accounts

07:45/FRA: Nov PPI

08:59/JPN: Oct Final Labour Survey - Earnings, Employment & Hours Worked

09:00/ITA: Nov Foreign Trade non-EU

09:30/UK: 3Q Business investment revised results

12:00/US: 12/17 MBA Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey

13:30/US: Nov CFNAI Chicago Fed National Activity Index

13:30/US: 3Q Revised Corporate Profits

13:30/US: 3Q 3rd estimate GDP

15:00/US: Nov Existing Home Sales

15:00/US: Dec Consumer Confidence Index

15:30/US: 12/17 EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report

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

Expected Earnings for Wednesday

CarMax Inc (KMX) is expected to report $1.51 for 3Q.

Cintas Corp (CTAS) is expected to report $2.61 for 2Q.

FedEx Corp (FDX) is expected to report.

Live Ventures Inc (LIVE) is expected to report for 4Q.

MSC Industrial Direct Co Inc (MSM) is expected to report $1.18 for 1Q.

NeuBase Therapeutics Inc (NBSE) is expected to report for 4Q.

Paychex Inc (PAYX) is expected to report $0.80 for 2Q.

Raymond James Financial (RJF) is expected to report.

Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.

ANALYST RATINGS ACTIONS

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Cut to Neutral From Buy by Guggenheim

American Finance Trust Raised to Buy From Neutral by Colliers Securities

Arena Pharmaceuticals Cut to Neutral From Overweight by Cantor Fitzgerald

Bluerock Res Growth REIT Cut to Market Perform From Market Outperform by JMP Securities

Centrus Energy Raised to Buy From Neutral by Roth Capital

Cerner Cut to Market Perform From Outperform by SVB Leerink

Cerner Cut to Sector Perform From Outperform by RBC Capital

Cigna Cut to Neutral From Overweight by JP Morgan

Comerica Raised to Neutral From Sell by Compass Point

HCA Healthcare Cut to Neutral From Overweight by JP Morgan

Herc Holdings Cut to Neutral From Outperform by Baird

KLA Raised to Overweight From Equal-Weight by Wells Fargo

Micron Technology Raised to Buy From Hold by Summit Insights Group

Micron Technology Raised to Buy From Neutral by B of A Securities

Oracle Cut to Sector Weight From Overweight by Keybanc

Patterson-UTI Raised to Overweight From Neutral by Piper Sandler

ResMed Raised to Overweight From Sector Weight by Keybanc

UMB Financial Raised to Buy From Neutral by Janney Montgomery Scott

United Rentals Cut to Neutral From Outperform by Baird

Vir Biotechnology Cut to Underperform From Neutral by Baird

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

12-22-21 0553ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ACADIA PHARMACEUTICALS INC. -1.87% 16.79 Delayed Quote.-26.69%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (AUD/USD) 0.59% 0.71033 Delayed Quote.-3.14%
BRITISH POUND / US DOLLAR (GBP/USD) 0.66% 1.25859 Delayed Quote.-7.70%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (CAD/USD) 0.39% 0.78285 Delayed Quote.-1.59%
CARMAX, INC. -1.70% 90.89 Delayed Quote.-29.00%
CENTRUS ENERGY CORP. 2.29% 24.1 Delayed Quote.-52.80%
CHAINLINK (LINK/USD) 4.01% 7.323 End-of-day quote.-64.71%
CINTAS CORPORATION 1.83% 370.28 Delayed Quote.-17.95%
COMPASS, INC. 4.37% 5.73 Delayed Quote.-39.60%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) 1.13% 1.06889 Delayed Quote.-7.23%
FEDEX CORPORATION 1.89% 204.69 Delayed Quote.-22.32%
HCA HEALTHCARE, INC. 0.13% 205.04 Delayed Quote.-20.29%
HERC HOLDINGS INC. 2.52% 109.38 Delayed Quote.-31.85%
INDIAN RUPEE / US DOLLAR (INR/USD) 0.43% 0.012899 Delayed Quote.-4.36%
KLA CORPORATION 1.70% 341.18 Delayed Quote.-22.00%
MICRON TECHNOLOGY, INC. 1.00% 69.59 Delayed Quote.-26.03%
MSC INDUSTRIAL DIRECT CO., INC. -0.02% 81.67 Delayed Quote.-2.82%
MSCI SINGAPORE (GDTR) 1.76% 5645.21 Real-time Quote.-10.08%
NEUBASE THERAPEUTICS, INC. 0.00% 1 Delayed Quote.-64.41%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (NZD/USD) 0.70% 0.64634 Delayed Quote.-6.31%
PAYCHEX, INC. 0.75% 118.21 Delayed Quote.-14.04%
PIPER SANDLER COMPANIES 0.98% 122.14 Delayed Quote.-32.24%
RAYMOND JAMES FINANCIAL, INC. 2.64% 94.19 Delayed Quote.-8.60%
RESMED, INC. 0.40% 198.46 Delayed Quote.-24.12%
S&P 500 1.86% 3973.75 Real-time Quote.-18.14%
THE NECESSITY RETAIL REIT, INC. 0.80% 7.6 Delayed Quote.-17.42%
UMB FINANCIAL CORPORATION 1.65% 88.96 Delayed Quote.-17.52%
UNITED RENTALS 1.57% 274.15 Delayed Quote.-18.77%
VIR BIOTECHNOLOGY, INC. -0.90% 24.14 Delayed Quote.-41.82%
WELLS FARGO & COMPANY 5.16% 43.82 Delayed Quote.-13.15%
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