Top Stories, Sports and Business News — July 31

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Here are the stories making headlines in the world of sports and business on Friday, July 31.

Upcoming Sports Games

The NBA returned to action on Thursday night with LeBron James and the Lakers defeating the Clippers 103 to 101 and the Jazz squeaking by the Pelicans 106-104.

There are six more games scheduled for Friday in the NBA, including the Celtics and Bucks.

Originally there were supposed to be five MLB games on Friday but three of them got postponed due to coronavirus outbreaks. The Cardinals and Brewers, Phillies and Blue Jays and Nationals and Marlins will not play each other as originally scheduled. However, the Red Sox will take on the Yankees and the Mets are traveling to Atlanta to play the Braves.

There’s also a big UFC fight scheduled for Saturday. Also on Saturday, the NHL makes a return with the start of its post-season. Plus the FedEx St. Jude Invitational wraps up on Sunday.

DraftKings is sinking in intraday trading, down 4% to $33 a share. It's taken quite a hit from the MLB news, down around 11% in the past five days. Penn is being pounded, down around 8% in intraday trading to $33 a share. MGM is down nearly 5% to $15 a share.

Daily Coronavirus Update

There are 17.3 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 674,000 deaths. The U.S. has 4.4 million cases with over 152,000 deaths. According to the COVID-19 Tracking Project, there were 69,415 new cases reported Thursday. 803,000 new tests were done. And 1,262 deaths were reported yesterday. Florida reported a record new amount of deaths, with 257 new deaths and the department of health reported 9,007 new cases of COVID-19. This is the fourth day of record deaths for Florida.

We have another deal for Operation Warp Speed, which is the Trump Administration's effort to help find a vaccine for the coronavirus. Sanofi and GalaxoSmithKline were selected under Operation Warp Speed to supply the U.S. government with 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The government will be providing up to $2.1 billion for development, which includes manufacturing scale-up, clinical trials and delivery.

Thomas Triomphe executive vice president and global head of Sanofi’s vaccine division, said in a statement, “The global need for a vaccine to help prevent COVID-19 is massive, and no single vaccine or company will be able to meet the global demand alone.”

Sanofi said it plans to begin accelerated early- and middle-stage clinical tests in September, which would be followed by a final-stage study by the end of 2020. If the results are successful, the companies can seek U.S. regulatory approval in the first half of 2021.

And Dr. Fauci reiterated, in front of Congress and the public on Friday, that the United States is likely to have a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine by either the end of the year or by early 2021.

He also called a study that’s being touted by President Donald Trump and other conservatives on hydroxychloroquine “flawed”. The study was conducted at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

New Professional Women’s Soccer Team

A number of female celebrities, athletes, and businesswomen have formed an ownership group and founded a women’s professional soccer team. Led by Natalie Portman, Serena Williams, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Garner, and others, the group secured the exclusive rights to create a women’s soccer team in Los Angeles that will compete in the National Women’s Soccer League starting in the spring of 2022.

According to reports, the group is calling the team “Angel City” but that has yet to be made official.

When the announcement was made, Portman said, “Sports are such a joyful way to bring people together, and this has the power to make tangible change for female athletes both in our community and in the professional sphere.” The Angel City team will be the 11th franchise in the National Women’s Soccer League.

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