Stocks were lower to start Monday with the Dow dropping 145 points, or 0.5%. The S&P 500 slid 0.7%, while the Nasdaq fell 1.3%.
House Democrats have introduced an article of impeachment that charges President Donald Trump with high crimes and misdemeanors for inciting an insurrection at the Capitol last week and disrupting the peaceful transfer of power. In a letter to Democrats on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the party would also attempt to pass a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. “In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both,” Pelosi wrote. “As the days go by, the horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”
In other fallout from last week’s deadly attack on the Capitol, Twitter permanently banned Trump from the platform “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Twitter’s shares were down as much as 12% this morning in its first trading day since announcing the ban on Trump. On Wall Street, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup were among the first major financial firms to say they will put a hold on political donations following the deadly siege on Capitol Hill. The moves represent a short break with the past and comes as leaders across corporate America rush to distance themselves from President Trump. “A lot of business people don’t want to get involved because they don’t want to bring politics into the workplace,” said Morgan Stanley lead independent director Tom Glocer. “This goes beyond the politics.”
More than $200 billion has been wiped off the cryptocurrency market in the last 24 hours as bitcoin has slid more than 21% to $30,805, and ether—the second-largest digital coin—fell nearly 28% to $923. The sell-off comes after a massive rally in the cryptocurrency space and may signal some profit-taking. “the correction we saw was expected as we believe the BTC price surge recently from under $20,000 to $40,000 in the past four weeks will induce sell pressure,” said Simons Chen, executive director of investment and trading cryptocurrency financial services firm Babel Finance. Guggenheim Investments chief investment officer Scott Minerd said in a tweet, “Bitcoin’s parabolic rise is unsustainable in the near term. Vulnerable to a setback. The target technical upside of $35,000 has been exceeded. Time to take some money off the table.”
The U.S. continues to report record numbers of deaths from COVID-19, recording an average of 3,239 deaths from the virus per day, even as the vaccine rollout begins to pick up some steam nationwide. BioNTech said its vaccine with Pfizer appears to be effective against new variants of the coronavirus discovered in recent weeks in the U.K. and South Africa. “We are confident that based on the mechanism of our vaccine even though there are mutations, we believe that the immune response which is induced by our vaccine could also deal with mutated virus,” said Dr. Ugur Sahin, co-founder and CEO of BioNTech. “Last week, we reported another mutation which is present in the U.K. variant and also in the South African variant and this mutation is considered to be important because it could change structurally the protein. But it appears the immune response against our vaccine also neutralizes this mutation.”
And Crocs shares are up nearly 14% this morning after the retailer raised its outlook for the fourth quarter. The company said it expects revenue for 2020 will climb more than 12% to about $1.4 billion, and that it expects sales in 2021 to accelerate as much as 25%. The comfy shoes maker is also calling for fourth-quarter sales to rise roughly 55% year-over-year to between $407 and $410 million. “Amidst a global pandemic in 2020, we will deliver the strongest revenue in Crocs’ history,” said CEO Andrew Rees in a statement. “Our brand momentum is exceptional, and we anticipate another record year in 2021. We remain focused on continuing to deliver sustainable, profitable growth for years to come.”
Stocks We’re Watching
Kazia Therapeutics Ltd (NASDAQ: KZIA): Kazia shares have gained more than 15% over the last week after the biotech announced that it has begun recruitment for its GBM AGILE study. “We are delighted to have recruitment underway, and this marks an important milestone for Kazia as we begin the new year,” Kazia CEO Dr. James Garner said in a statement. “The GBM AGILE study has secured the support of leading clinicians in the glioblastoma field, and has increasingly won the confidence of regulators and industry participants, so we are excited to be a part of it. If the data from GBM AGILE is positive, we expect it to provide a basis for registration in glioblastoma, and it therefore represents an important step towards commercialisation of the drug.”