Ministers are considering a half-term lockdown as they scramble for a plan to stem rising infection rates.

Boris Johnson has been told that he has little more than a week to find a plan B if the “rule of six” does not bring the epidemic under control. He has accepted advice from the chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, that rising case numbers must be reversed in the coming weeks but has not decided how to do this.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, this morning refused to rule out a second national lockdown, saying that it was “the last line of defence” but one that was proven to work.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies is understood to have modelled a two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown to break chains of infection and prevent a return to rapid exponential growth.

It came as further restrictions are due to be announced across the North … Read the rest

Stocks fell on Friday to end a volatile week as investors continued to dump shares of high-flying tech companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 244.56 points to 27,657.42.

The S&P 500 dipped 37.54 points, or 1.1%, to 3,310.47.

The NASDAQ ditched 117 points, or 1.1%, to 10,793.28.

The major averages fell for a third straight week, notching their longest weekly losing streaks since last year. The Dow posted a slight week-to-date loss. The S&P 500 lost 0.7% and the NASDAQ dropped 0.6% over that time period.

Shares of Apple dropped more than 3% on Friday. Microsoft dropped 1.2%, and Alphabet pulled back 2.4%. Netflix dipped 0.1%. Facebook fell 0.9%.

Big Tech was also down broadly week to date. Facebook and Amazon have each dropped more than 5% this week. Alphabet, Netflix, Apple and Microsoft are also down sharply over that time period.

For the month, all six stocks are … Read the rest

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The reception area at the Aston Martin Red Bull Formula 1 Racing team’s headquarters in the English city of Milton Keynes, a commuter-belt town about 55 miles north of London, features a soaring two-story display case packed with silver, gold, and glittering glass cups, tombstones, and trophies—a visual, in-your-face reminder of the team’s prowess since the energy-drinks company took over the team in late 2004.

Last season, the team’s top driver, the brash 22-year-old Dutchman Max Verstappen, finished third overall, behind Mercedes’s two drivers, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton—who, for most of the past decade, has dominated his sport the way Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods once dominated theirs.

The Red Bull team thought they were coming into this season with a shot at displacing Mercedes … Read the rest

There has been lots of talk this year of the COVID-19 benefits reaped by streaming services. As a result of the stay-at-home culture, OTT leader Roku (ROKU) has been a prime beneficiary, experiencing large account growth.But according to Rosenblatt analyst Mark Zgutowicz, Roku is particularly well placed to benefit from another trend: the move from linear to connected TV (CTV).Following discussions within OTT/CTV programmatic venues, the 5-star analyst notes there is clear indication “the demand picture for Roku will soon climb to new heights.” Zgutowicz believes the big 5 Ad agencies are “making a concerted effort to negotiate volume commitments for OTT/CTV inventory.”Importantly, Zgutowicz adds, the budgets for these advertising needs will come from “long-standing linear spend.”In other words, the agencies are realizing the untapped potential of CTV, as consumers move from the “decades old model” of linear TV to more flexible CTV services. This is great for CTV services … Read the rest

Some of Britain’s biggest travel and leisure companies retreated sharply this morning as the government confirmed that it was considering a second national lockdown.

The number of new coronavirus cases is doubling every seven to eight days, and Boris Johnson and his team are mulling the reintroduction of tougher restrictions. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said that the government would do “whatever is necessary to keep people safe”.

Travel and leisure companies bore the brunt of the first lockdown, with many starved of income for months. Investors, wary of a repeat, were quick to ditch airlines, pubs groups and restaurant owners this morning.

IAG, the British Airways owner, dropped 12¾p, or 9.9 per cent, to 116¾p; shares in Restaurant Group, Wagamama’s parent, fell 3½p, or 6.2 per cent, to 52½p; and JD Wetherspoon, the no-frills pub chain, was marked down 39p, or 4.5 per cent, to 822½p.

Banking stocks … Read the rest

eResearch Corp. (www.eresearch.com) published an updated Research Report after EQ Works (TSXV: EQ ; OTC: CYPXF) released its second quarter of 2020 financial statements.

EQ Works (“EQ”) enables businesses to understand, predict, and influence customer behavior. Using unique and third-party data sets, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, EQ creates actionable insights for businesses to attract, retain, and grow customers.

EQ’s proprietary SaaS platform mines insights from location and geospatial data, enabling businesses to close the loop between digital and real-world consumer actions. EQ is one of the largest providers of location-based data in Canada with over 1 petabyte of data and growing at 7 terabytes daily.

Revenue in the second quarter was C$1.73 million, a decrease of 22%, compared to C$2.21 million in the same quarter in 2019, but in-line with our estimate of C$1.77 million. Advertising revenue in the quarter was negatively impacted by the outbreak of … Read the rest

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Happy Friday, everyone. Can stocks stage a comeback to avert another down week? It’s not looking promising.

Asia is higher, Europe is mixed and Nasdaq futures are off their lows. That’s good news, particularly for tech bulls, as the Nasdaq flirts with a new correction and some FAAMG stocks even threaten to fall into bear territory.

Let’s check in on the action.

Markets update

Asia

  • The major indexes are solidly in the green with Shanghai leading the way, up 2%.
  • President Trump has yet to give the green-light (nor has Beijing, for that matter) to the OracleTikTok tie-up, but there’s already talk of an IPO as early as next year.
  • Coronavirus hit a grim toll in the past day, topping 30
Read the rest

Shares of Dave & Buster’s Entertainment tumbled over 26.1% on Thursday, after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company might have to file for bankruptcy if it fails to strike a deal with a lender.Meanwhile, shares of the dining and entertainment company rose 4.8% in the extended trading session as Truist Financial said that investors are overreacting to the news.According to the Wall Street Journal report, Dave & Buster's (PLAY) is planning to layoff about 1,300 employees across seven US states in a move to cut costs.Truist Financial analyst Jake Bartlett called the share plunge during the regular trading session a "severe overreaction". Bartlett said that the Wall Street Journal referred to the company's disclosure made in its 2Q 10-Q filing that if it is not in compliance with debt covenants, it may file a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.Bartlett continues to believe that the company's lenders will … Read the rest