Coronavirus, Capital Gains Tax Cut, NIO, Inovio - 5 Things You Must Know Tuesday

President Trump is considering a capital gains tax cut; hospitalizations from the coronavirus fall in Texas and California; Uber and Lyft are ordered to classify drivers as employees.
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Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, Aug. 11:

1. -- Stock Futures Rise as Trump Mulls Capital Gains Tax Cut

Stock futures were higher Tuesday after President Donald Trump suggested he was considering a capital gains tax cut to help create more U.S. jobs.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 281 points, S&P 500 futures gained 23 points and Nasdaq futures were up 57 points.

Trump told reporters Monday at a briefing that he was "looking very seriously at a capital gains tax cut and also at an income tax cut for middle-income families."

The statement from the president came after he issued executive orders over the weekend that would include continued payments of up to $400 a week of supplemental federal unemployment benefits and a payroll tax deferral.

Investors also embraced news that hospitalizations from the coronavirus declined in the most populous U.S. states and that new cases have fallen 18% over the last 14 days and new deaths have dropped 6%, according to The New York Times.

“Markets are looking forward to better days ahead,” said Jeff Buchbinder, an equity strategtist with LPL Financial. “Although the timing is uncertain, the stock market is expressing confidence that the pandemic will end eventually with a vaccine - or multiple vaccines - and with help from better treatments in the interim.”

On Monday, the Dow rose 358 points, or 1.3%, to close at 27,791 and the S&P 500 gained 0.27% to finish at 3,360, putting the index within 1% of its record high. The Nasdaq finished the session down 0.39%.

2. -- NIO, BioNTech and Kodak Report Earnings

NIO  (NIO) - Get Report, the Chinese electric carmaker and Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report competitor, moved closer to profitability in its second quarter as rising demand for electric vehicles helped the Shanghai company narrow its losses for the fourth quarter in a row.

Earnings reports are also expected Tuesday from Sysco  (SYY) - Get Report, BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get Report, Macerich  (MAC) - Get Report, Eastman Kodak  (KODK) - Get Report and Huya  (HUYA) - Get Report.

The economic calendar Tuesday includes the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for July at 6 a.m. ET and the Producer Price Index for July at 8:30 a.m.

3. -- Coronavirus - The Latest

Russia registered its first coronavirus vaccine, according to President Vladimir Putin. He said his daughter was given the vaccine.

The number of confirmed global cases of the coronavirus has risen to 20,092,855, according to Johns Hopkins University, and deaths increased to 736,254.

According to Bloomberg, it took just six weeks for coronavirus infections globally to double to more than 20 million. It took six months to reach 10 million.

The U.S. has 5,094,565 cases of the coronavirus, the most in the world, according to Johns Hopkins. Deaths in the U.S. have risen to 163,465, also the most in the world.

In Texas, virus hospitalizations dropped almost 2% on Sunday to 7,304, the lowest since July 1, Bloomberg reported, citing state health department data. Hospitalizations have fallen by 33% since peaking on July 22.

Hospitalizations in California have dropped 19% in the last 14 days, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals  (INO) - Get Report said Monday it expects its Covid-19 vaccine candidate to enter mid-to-late stage human trials in September.

4. -- Uber and Lyft Ordered to Classify Drivers as Employees

A California judge issued a preliminary injunction requiring Uber Technologies  (UBER) - Get Report and Lyft  (LYFT) - Get Report to stop classifying their drivers as independent contractors, and potentially setting the stage for a major shift in their business models.

Judge Ethan Schulman of San Francisco Superior Court granted a 10-day stay before the preliminary order takes effect. If the order is upheld, Uber and Lyft could be required to reclassify drivers as employees eligible for certain benefits and protections, rather than as contractors who work for themselves.

Judge Schulman said the ride-hailing companies  use "circular" reasoning in arguing that their tech developers are employees, while their drivers are not.

"Were this reasoning to be accepted, the rapidly expanding majority of industries that rely heavily on technology could with impunity deprive legions of workers of the basic protections afforded to employees by state labor and employment laws," Schulman wrote in the order. "To state the obvious, drivers are central, not tangential, to Uber and Lyft’s entire ride-hailing business."

Uber and Lyft likely will appeal the order. 

Is Uber Technologies a Buy?

5. -- New York CEOs Pledge to Hire Minorities

CEOs from 27 major companies including JPMorgan Chase  (JPM) - Get Report, Goldman Sachs  (GS) - Get Report, IBM  (IBM) - Get Report, Verizon  (VZ) - Get Report, Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Report and Amazon.com  (AMZN) - Get Report have formed the New York Jobs CEO Council, a group that aims to hire 100,000 low-income and Black, Latino and Asian workers in New York City by 2030.

“Many New Yorkers are stuck in low-paying jobs that could be lost in the future or are struggling to navigate the labor market” during the coronavirus pandemic, said JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who will serve as a co-chair of the organization. “We are using our collective power to prepare the city’s workforce with the skills of the future and helping New Yorkers who have been left behind get a foot in the door.”

The CEO Council plans to work with universities and New York to help companies hire people for entry-level jobs and apprenticeships.

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