1. U.S. Stocks Set for a Rebound After Four-Day Slump

U.S. stocks are poised to open higher after a four-day slump, the longest stretch since September, with investors taking comfort in the vaccine rollout and progress on stimulus talks. While investors are pricing in optimism about the start of vaccine shots, there’s also ongoing concern over whether a stimulus bill from a bipartisan group of lawmakers will gain traction. Trading was mixed in other markets. Asian stocks fell the most in two weeks. European equities, oil and Treasuries were steady. In Europe, the pound rose and credit markets strengthened as Brexit negotiators pushed to reach a final trade deal.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index climbed 0.5% as of early morning London time.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index decreased 0.4%.

The MSCI Emerging Market Index declined 0.2%.

2. Moderna Vaccine Found Safe, Effective Ahead of Major FDA Review

Moderna’s vaccine is safe and effective for preventing Covid-19, U.S. regulators said, clearing the way for a second shot to quickly gain emergency authorization and add to the country’s sprawling immunization effort. The Food and Drug Administration’s staff said in a report on Tuesday that the experimental vaccine is 94.1% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19, confirming earlier results released by the company. The FDA got a much deeper look at Moderna’s clinical-trial data than the numbers previously released to the public by the company. Notably, the agency was able to review the shot’s effectiveness across a broad range of racial, ethnic and age groups, and look at evidence of how well the shot worked for people with pre-existing medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to severe Covid-19.

3. U.K. Urged to Ban Holiday Mixing; Sweden Shortages: Virus Update

Two medical journals published a rare joint editorial urging the U.K. government to ban household mixing over Christmas. Italy’s prime minister said he plans further curbs to slow cases during the festive season, and the Dutch government is imposing stricter rules for five weeks. Almost all of Sweden’s regional hospitals are struggling with staff shortages as the virus spreads faster than health authorities predicted. Hong Kong plans new relief measures before Christmas, and Singapore is creating a new “bubble” facility near the airport. In the U.S., New York risks a second full shutdown should the number of cases and hospitalizations continue at the current pace.

4. U.K.’s PM to Visit India in January as Trade Talks to Start

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit India in January to try to boost ties, with talks on a free-trade agreement due to start next year. The British government has made the expansion of global trading opportunities a priority after Brexit and is pursuing trade deals with countries including the U.S., New Zealand and Australia. The Indo-Pacific region is also high on the U.K.’s agenda, and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab held talks with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in New Delhi on Tuesday. India is the U.K.’s 17th-largest trading partner and total trade between the two countries was worth $16.5 billion in 2019.

5. Wave of Foreign Money Threatens India’s Tight Grip on Rupee

A relentless torrent of funds rushing into India’s markets may tip the central bank’s delicate balancing act in 2021. For most of this year, the Reserve Bank of India has capped currency gains as global investors poured around $50 billion into stocks and stakes in companies. This has boosted rupee liquidity in a banking system that’s already flush with cash from the RBI’s stimulus measures. There’s growing consensus among traders and fund managers that the mounting pressures — particularly the liquidity excess distorting money markets — may spur the central bank to consider a range of changes, from relaxing its grip on Asia’s worst-performing currency to curtailing bond purchases.

6. Apple Push Into India Dealt Setback as Protest Turns Violent

Apple’s effort to expand the manufacturing of its products in India ran into trouble after workers at a supplier’s plant rioted over unpaid wages, with many arrested for violence and vandalism. Hundreds of workers stormed Wistron Corp.’s facility in the southern city of Kolar over the weekend, damaging the property and looting thousands of iPhones and laptops, according to local media. More than 150 people were arrested. Wistron estimated damages at as much as $7.1 million and said it’s doing its best to resume operations at the factory. 

7. Airbus CEO Warns No-Deal Brexit Puts U.K. Investment at Risk

Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury said a U.K. split from the European Union without a trade deal could threaten the planemaker’s investment plans in the country. Decisions would be made based on how easy it is to conduct business after Brexit, he said at the Conference of Montreal on Monday. In the meantime, the company has no plans to close or scale down its British factories, which make wings for all of its passenger aircraft, and would find a way to manage a no-deal scenario if it came to that, he said. Airbus was vehemently opposed to Brexit under previous CEO Tom Enders, who warned that the company could pull out of the U.K. if a deal wasn’t reached.

8. Europe May Approve Covid Vaccine by Christmas as Pressure Builds

Pressure is building in Europe for quick approval of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine, with German authorities saying they’re optimistic that sign-off can be pushed forward by a week amid a rising death toll on the continent. Germany is “optimistic” that the European Medicines Agency will be able to make a decision by Dec. 23, Health Minister Jens Spahn said in Berlin on Tuesday. The EMA had previously said an advisory board would convene by Dec. 29 to make a recommendation on the application; approval would come within days after that.

9. Lawmakers Rush to Complete Relief Before Break: US Stimulus Update

Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer face pressure to allow a vote on a Covid-19 assistance plan without the aid for states they’ve said is vital, after a bipartisan group split that and liability protections from other relief spending. With the congressional session winding down and a government funding package needed by Friday, time is running out for an agreement on the two most contentious and partisan pandemic-relief issues — Covid-19 liability protections for employers and aid for state and local governments. A bipartisan group that had floated a $908 billion plan at the start of the month offered it up in two bills on Monday.

10. Abu Dhabi Turns to Poultry, Fish Farms for Food Security

The oil-rich desert emirate of Abu Dhabi is investing $143 million to boost local production of produce, fish, cattle and poultry in its push to improve food security. Much of the money will go toward using new technologies to improve large-scale production of food in climate-controlled conditions, the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office said. Abu Dhabi — like the rest of the United Arab Emirates — must import most of its food. The coronavirus pandemic, however, has laid bare the UAE’s vulnerability to disruptions in foreign food supplies.

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