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What to Watch Today: Dow Set to Extend Losing Streak to Three Sessions

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BY THE NUMBERS

Dow futures pointed to a decline at Thursday's open after two straight down sessions for the 30-stock average. The Dow on Monday rallied to its first record closing high since February following preliminary phase three trial data that showed Moderna's coronavirus vaccine was more than 94% effective. AstraZeneca and Oxford on Thursday released encouraging phase two data on their Covid-19 vaccine candidate. However, with virus cases spiking all across the U.S., Wall Street has since become more cautious. (CNBC)

The Labor Department this morning reported 742,000 new filings for unemployment benefits for the week ending Nov. 14. That's a higher initial jobless claims number than economists had expected. It's also an increase of 31,000 new claims from the previous week's upwardly revised level. (CNBC)

Macy's (M) shares fell 3% in the premarket after the company Thursday reported a third-quarter same-store sales decline of more than 20%. However, Macy's did report a much smaller-than-expected loss of 19 cents per share and higher-than-expected revenue of $3.99 billion. Digital sales for the quarter rose 27%, but those gains were not enough to offset losses at its stores. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

The coronavirus vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford was safe and triggered a similar immune response among all adults, according to preliminary findings of a peer-reviewed phase two trial published Thursday in The Lancet, one of the world's top medical journals. Unlike the high efficacy data from the phase three trials of vaccine candidates from Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech collaboration, AstraZeneca's phase two vaccine trial did not look at effectiveness. (CNBC)

* Covid vaccines must be ‘a global, public good,’ WHO says (CNBC)
* Coronavirus vaccine shots could go to U.S. health workers in about a month (CNBC)
* Ex-Obama FDA chief says she trusts integrity of agency’s approval process (CNBC)

Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. exceeded 250,000 as fatalities Wednesday totaled 1,848, the worst single-day since May 7. The seven-day average of daily new U.S. cases rose to another all-time high of 161,165, with Wednesday's single-day record tally topping 170,000 for the second time in a week. Cumulative cases in the U.S. topped 11.5 million as of Thursday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

New York City schools have gone back to full remote learning, starting Thursday. The announcement Wednesday from Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio had been anticipated for days as Covid cases in the city surged and the seven-day average threshold of 3% testing positivity was reached. De Blasio was forced to delay the start of in-person learning at the nation's largest school system twice earlier this fall. (CNBC)

* NYC subway service could be cut 40% if no federal aid arrives (NY Times)

Starbucks (SBUX) plans to hike pay for U.S. employees by at least 10%, effective Dec. 14. The coffee chain will also raise starting pay to help attract new workers in the age of Covid and as the restaurant industry braces for a higher minimum wage when Biden takes office. (CNBC)

For the first time in 55 years, cash will not be accepted at the Super Bowl. The NFL will make its championship game all-digital with the backing of its corporate partner, Visa (V). While Covid-19 helped accelerate ditching paper currency, the decision to go cashless was in the works before the pandemic. (CNBC)

* All NFL teams to enter intensive COVID-19 protocol Saturday (AP)

Georgia election officials expect to release a report Thursday on a hand tally of about 5 million votes in the presidential election. The count stemmed from an audit required by a new state law and was not in response to any suspected problems with the state's results or an official recount request. Georgia election officials have repeatedly said they expect the hand count to affirm Joe Biden's narrow lead over President Donald Trump. (AP)

* Approval of Wisconsin recount marked by partisan fight (AP)
* Trump targets vote certification in late bid to block Biden (AP)
* Biden approaches 80 million votes in historic victory (AP)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Sonos (SONO) earned 15 cents per share for its latest quarter, compared to expectations of a breakeven quarter. The maker of smart speakers and other audio equipment saw revenue beat estimates as sales jumped 15%, including 67% growth in its direct-to-consumer business. The stock surged 18% in premarket trading.

L Brands (LB) earned $1.13 per share for its latest quarter, well above the 9 cents a share consensus estimate. Revenue exceeded estimates as well. L Brands saw record sales growth at its Bath & Body Works chain, and a rebound at its Victoria's Secret operation. The shares jumped 16% in premarket trading.

BJ's Wholesale (BJ) earned 92 cents per share for the third quarter, beating the 64 cents a share consensus estimate. Revenue topped estimates as well. Comparable-store sales rose 18.5%, compared to a FactSet estimate of up 16.7%.

Nvidia (NVDA) reported quarterly earnings of $2.91 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $2.57 a share. The graphics chipmaker's revenue also beat forecasts, however the shares are coming under pressure after the company said data center chip revenue would fall slightly during the current quarter.

Nuance Communications (NUAN), a provider of artificial intelligence services for a variety of businesses, beat estimates by 2 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of 18 cents per share. Revenue also came in above Wall Street forecasts.

Nasdaq (NDAQ), The exchange operator, is buying Verafin for $2.75 billion in cash. Verafin is a provider of technology designed to detect and fight financial crimes.

GoPro (GPRO), the high definition camera maker, is planning to raise $100 million through the sale of senior convertible notes.

Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) is partnering with casino operator and sports betting company Bally's (BALY) to rebrand its 21 regional sports networks under the Bally name. Sinclair had acquired regional Fox Sports networks from Walt Disney (DIS) last year, in a deal that cleared the way for Disney's purchase of 21st Century Fox's film and TV assets.

Coca-Cola (KO) was ruled to have placed too much of its profit in foreign operations rather than its higher-taxed U.S. unit, according to a ruling from a U.S. Tax Court judge. The IRS has been seeking more than $3.3 billion in taxes for the years 2007 through 2009. Coca-Cola has maintained that the IRS claims are without merit.

Jack In The Box (JACK) earned $1.61 per share for its latest quarter, compared to a $1.14 a share consensus estimate. The restaurant chain's revenue topped forecasts as well. Comparable-restaurant sales were up 12.2%.

WATERCOOLER

AT&T-owned Warner Bros. is taking a page out of Universal's theatrical playbook. On Wednesday, HBO Max announced that "Wonder Woman 1984" would arrive on its streaming service on Dec. 25, the same day it hits theaters. (CNBC)

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