Financial Daily Dose 8.19.2020 | Top Story: S&P 500 Erases Pandemic Losses Despite U.S. Failure to Control Virus

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Unlike much of the world, the U.S. has not turned the corner on the coronavirus outbreak. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at the markets. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 topped out at its highest level ever, “capping a remarkable rebound fueled by unprecedented government stimulus and optimism among investors about the world’s ability to manage the coronavirus epidemic” – WSJ and MarketWatch and NYTimes and Marketplace

Streetwise on why it’s not really an “everything bubble” so just calm down already – WSJ

The White House has indefinitely canceled planned trade talks with China, “raising questions about the future of a trade deal that is now the most stable point in an increasingly tense relationship.” Phase One of that deal had called for regular follow-up talks to coordinate implementation of the deal every six months – Bloomberg

Boeing’s planned cuts are going deeper than first expected “after a summer recovery in air travel faltered as coronavirus cases flared up again.” The moves would “further reduce its workforce by an unspecified number beyond the cut of 19,000 already announced in July” – WSJ and MarketWatch

Longtime NBCUniversal exec and current Vice Chair Ron Meyer announced his abrupt departure from the company after 25 years, “saying he was the victim of an extortion scheme” related to an affair Meyer has admitted to having “many years ago” – NYTimes and WSJ

Federal authorities have accused Teva Pharmaceuticals of using a pair of copay foundations to “funnel more than $300 million in illegal kickbacks to Medicare patients using its multiple sclerosis drug, effectively subsidizing the treatment while steadily boosting its price” – Law360

Calpers’ trustees met this week to talk next steps for the country’s biggest pension fund after the unexpected departure of its chief investment officer, Ben Meng, earlier this month – NYTimes

Big early win for Citi in its battle with Revlon investor Brigade Capital Mgmt over a mistaken transfer of $175 million, as SDNY Judge Jesse Furman granted the bank’s motion for a temporary restraining order “blocking Brigade from doing anything with the funds pending resolution of the lawsuit” – Bloomberg and Law360

Walmart reported another solid quarter of sales, as the “retail behemoth continued to use its scale, e-commerce supply chain and grocery business to attract shoppers buying food and household goods during the coronavirus pandemic” – WSJ

Target saw its sales (especially in the digital realm) soar last quarter, too – WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

A ransomware attack against cruise operator Carnival Corp. has exposed passenger and employee personal information to hackers who have accessed, encrypted, and downloaded at least some of that stored data – Law360

SoftBank is sending a team of execs to help Oyo Hotels—“one of the largest startups in its portfolio”—weather the Covid storm in Japan, where it has “slashed its regional presence” and is “looking to downsize its Tokyo headquarters” – Bloomberg

ViacomCBS is reportedly in talks to shed its holdings in tech site CNET to Red Ventures for something in the ballpark of $500 million.  The media conglomerate is also shopping around its Simon & Schuster book-publishing company – WSJ

Sure, you come here for business and virus news. But I know you by now. You stay because of the in-depth exploration of metrology and the recent dust-up over the standardization of the U.S. foot.  Right? – NYTimes

Stay safe.

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