Stocks were higher to start Tuesday with the Dow adding 56 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 traded just above the flatline, while the Nasdaq rose 0.4%.
The House is expected to issue a futile ultimatum to Vice President Mike Pence today, demanding he invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office ahead of the chamber’s vote on impeaching the president for the second time. Pence and Trump met for the first time since the Capitol insurrection on Monday night where they agreed to work together through the end of their term, indicating that Pence is unlikely to move to remove Trump from office. The vote to compel Pence invoke the 25th Amendment serves as a mostly symbolic effort by Democrats to demonstrate that they have exhausted all options before moving on to impeachment, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expected to go through with a vote on a single article of impeachment as soon as Wednesday, with measure expected to pass.
Senate Democrats demanded on Monday that the Trump administration make changes to its COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy, saying that it has “failed” states by not providing detailed guidance on how to effectively distribute doses of the vaccine across the country. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and 44 other Democrats said in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar that the U.S. “cannot afford this vaccination campaign to continue to be hindered by the lack of planning, communication, and leadership we have seen so far. The metric that matters, and where we are clearly moving too slowly, is vaccines in arms. A vaccine allocated on a spreadsheet, or even a vaccine distributed and sitting on a shelf, is not enough to protect anyone.” This morning, the Trump administration said it will issue new guidelines that expand coronavirus vaccine eligibility to everyone age 65 and older. “The states are being told immediately they need to expand to 65-plus as well as those under 65 with co-morbid conditions,” a senior official said, adding that the administration will also stop holding back millions of doses reserved for the second round of shots for Pfizer’s and Moderna’s two-dose vaccines.
Shake Shack shares are up nearly 7% this morning after the burger chain said its fiscal fourth-quarter revenue grew following several quarters of sales declines. The company announced its preliminary sales results at the virtual ICR conference and said that for its quarter ended December 30, net sales rose 4% to $157.5 million even as same-store sales fell 17.4%, with its urban stores seeing the biggest sales declines. CEO Randy Garutti didn’t give a timeline for Shake Shack’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, but said that he expects customers will return to the chain once they are no longer working from home.
Boeing shares are down today after the company said it had its worst year for net aircraft sales on record in 2020 amid the pandemic. The plane-manufacturer said it had gross orders for 184 aircraft in 2020, with customers canceling orders for more than 650 planes last year. Boeing delivered just 157 planes in 2020. “As we continue navigating through the pandemic, we’re working closely with our global customers and monitoring the slow international traffic recovery to align supply with market demand across our wide body programs,” said CFO Greg Smith in a statement.
And General Motors said today that it plans to launch an all-electric delivery van this year. GM will push into the electric commercial-delivery space with a new wholly-owned company called BrightDrop, which will supply the battery-powered vans and offer fleet-management services to customers including FedEx. “We believe in an all-electric future, and we think it will take more than electrification of our consumer vehicles to get there,” said Pam Fletcher, GM’s chief innovation officer. “The game changer about BrightDrop is that it’s a one-stop shop ecosystem. End-to-end, BrightDrop could help with the deliveries fleets need.”
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GameStop Corp (NYSE: GME): GameStop shares rose as much as 16.7% yesterday after the gaming retailer reported a 309% increase in e-commerce sales over the holidays and announced that it has entered into an agreement with activist RC Ventures LLC that will include three new directors to GameStop’s board, including RC Ventures manager Ryan Cohen. “We appreciate the constructive dialogue we have had with Ryan over the past several months. Together, we have reached an outcome that is in the best interest of all stockholders and can enable GameStop to accelerate efforts to deliver enhanced value for the Company,” said GameStop CEO George Sherman in a statement. “GameStop is in a solid market position with substantial room to run. We are leveraging our omni-channel capabilities, increasing our e-commerce sales and demonstrating our unique ability to serve our customers, wherever, whenever and however they choose to shop and experience gaming. In addition, we have delivered strong progress optimizing our business through a purposeful focus on efficiently managing our expenses, stores and inventory. We are confident that GameStop will continue to accelerate its progress and transformation in the quarters to come.”