North American Morning Briefing : Stock Futures, -2-

12/01/2021 | 06:03am

Under the offer, accepting shareholders of the U.K. automation-software company will get 1,275 pence in cash for each share held, a 53% premium to the company's closing share price of 832 pence on Aug. 27, the last day before the Vista offer period.

CNN Suspends Chris Cuomo Indefinitely Over Role in Brother's Response to Sexual-Misconduct Allegations

CNN suspended prime-time anchor Chris Cuomo indefinitely after records released this week by the New York attorney general's office provided a detailed look into his efforts to help his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, respond to allegations of sexual misconduct.

In a statement released Tuesday, CNN said that the records "raise serious questions" about Chris Cuomo's conduct. "These documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother's efforts than we previously knew," a CNN spokesman said. "As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation."

Judge Questions If Purdue's Sacklers Abused Bankruptcy System

The federal judge weighing the $4.5 billion settlement between Purdue Pharma LP and the Sackler family members who own the OxyContin maker said she had serious concerns about whether they abused the bankruptcy system by collecting billions of dollars from the company before it filed for chapter 11 protection.

Judge Colleen McMahon of the Southern District of New York said during a hearing Tuesday there was "quite a bit" of circumstantial evidence made public during Purdue's chapter 11 case to suggest members of the Sackler family transferred money out of the company to shield their wealth after the drugmaker pleaded guilty in 2007 to federal charges over how it marketed OxyContin, its flagship opioid painkiller.

Microsoft Shareholders Force Company to Disclose Sexual Harassment Data

An investor proposal to Microsoft Corp. demanding greater disclosure on its handling of sexual harassment at the company was approved at the annual shareholders' meeting on Tuesday.

The proposal requested an annual report that summarized the number of sexual harassment cases investigated and their resolution, as well as results of any independent investigation into Microsoft's executives, including co-founder Bill Gates.

Derby's Take: Powell Reiterates Importance of Diversity in Boston, Dallas Fed Searches

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated Tuesday that two regional leadership openings at the central bank could be a chance to broaden the diversity of those who help set monetary policy.

Mr. Powell, who was speaking before a Senate committee, was addressing the process under way to replace the leaders of the Boston and Dallas Federal Reserve banks. The leaders of those two institutions stepped down at the end of September after it emerged they actively traded stocks and other investments, some of which are sensitive to changes in monetary policy, while helping to set central-bank policy. The officials' trading drew disapproval from Mr. Powell and others.

Turkish Lira Plumbs Record Low on Erdogan's Continued Calls for Rate Cuts

ISTANBUL-Turkey's currency crisis deepened after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended his policy of demanding lower interest rates despite rising inflation, sparking another selloff of the lira.

The currency hit record lows after Mr. Erdogan said he hoped interest rates would continue to fall until Turkey's next national election in 2023. The president holds the unconventional view that cutting interest rates is the best way to stop soaring inflation and spur economic growth, a policy most economists say is a recipe for disaster.

Credit-Card Applications Hit Pandemic High

Americans are applying for credit cards at a rate not seen since before the pandemic.

Close to 27% of U.S. consumers said in October that they had applied for a credit card in the past 12 months, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That is the highest level since 2019 and well above the record low of 16% recorded a year ago.

China's Caixin Manufacturing Gauge Slips in November on Weaker Demand

A private gauge measuring activity in China's manufacturing sector slipped in November and fell into contractionary territory, as both domestic and overseas demand waned.

The Caixin China purchasing managers index dropped to 49.9 from 50.6 in October, indicating that overall business conditions faced by Chinese manufacturers were broadly unchanged, according to data released Wednesday by Caixin Media Co. and researcher Markit. A reading below 50 indicates contraction of activity, while a result below 50 means an expansion.

BOJ Policy Board Member Sees Path Toward Higher Prices in Japan

Bank of Japan policy board member Seiji Adachi said Wednesday that he sees a greater chance that the nation's inflation rate will increase after years of flat prices.

Mr. Adachi pointed out changes in Japanese companies' price-setting behavior and improvements in their growth expectations.

Australia Economy Shrinks in Third Quarter But Rebound Already Underway

SYDNEY-Australia's economy shrank in the July-September quarter as efforts to combat the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus forced more than half the country into strict and lengthy lockdowns.

The economy contracted by 1.9% in the third quarter from the previous quarter and grew 3.9% over the year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday. Economists had expected a 2.5% contraction in the third quarter.

OPEC+ at a crossroads as oil prices post worst monthly drop since the pandemic began

Major oil producers face a difficult decision on production levels Thursday as a recovery in energy demand hit a setback with the discovery of a new variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

"This week's meeting of OPEC+ ministers is shaping up to be one of the most significant since the pandemic demand recovery began, and the key signal will be how much more oil will be added to supply to start the new year," Peter McNally, vice president and global lead at Third Bridge, told MarketWatch.

Americans Consider China Top National-Security Threat, Survey Finds

Americans listed China as the nation's top foe and their trust in the U.S. military dropped to its lowest levels in three years, according to the first major national-security survey conducted since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

For the first time since the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute began surveying Americans about national security four years ago, a majority of Americans-52%-named China as the nation posing the greatest threat to the U.S. That is up from 21 percent four years ago. Russia came in at a distant 14%-a shift from three years ago when 30% of Americans considered that country to be the biggest risk, while China came in second place at 21%.

Stricter Covid-19 Testing Requirements for Travelers to U.S. Being Considered to Curb Omicron Spread

WASHINGTON-The Biden administration is weighing stricter Covid-19 testing requirements for travelers entering the U.S., including U.S. citizens, to slow the spread of the emerging Omicron variant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said rules under consideration would require all travelers, regardless of their vaccination status, to present a negative Covid-19 test within 24 hours of boarding a plane to the U.S., rather than the 72 hours currently allowed for vaccinated travelers. Travelers could also be required to take a second test three to five days after arriving in the U.S.

Judge Temporarily Blocks Biden Vaccine Mandate

A federal judge issued a temporary nationwide block against a Biden administration mandate that millions of healthcare workers get vaccinated against Covid-19 starting next week.

In a ruling issued Tuesday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Judge Terry Doughty said there was no question that mandating a vaccine for healthcare workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid is something that should be done by Congress and not by a government agency. Even then the judge said it was unclear whether such a mandate would be constitutional.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Landmark Mississippi Abortion Case

WASHINGTON-The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the most significant abortion case in a generation Wednesday, one that antiabortion activists hope will lead the justices to abolish what a court majority in 1973 found to be women's constitutional right to end unwanted pregnancies.

The court faced a similar crossroads in 1992, when, like today, the court's personnel had been reshaped by Republican presidents who opposed abortion rights. But instead of overruling Roe v. Wade, a troika of Reagan and Bush appointees sought middle ground, curbing but not eliminating women's power over their pregnancies. That opinion, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, allowed government to regulate abortion rights even before fetal viability so long as the restrictions didn't impose an undue burden on women.

Australia Investigates Whether Omicron Variant Spread on Flight

ADELAIDE, Australia-Australian authorities are trying to figure out how two people who traveled from Africa to Australia appear to have contracted the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and whether the virus was transmitted while they were on a plane together.

Solving that puzzle would go some way to understanding how contagious Omicron is compared with other variants of Covid-19, including the dominant Delta strain.

Andre Dickens Wins Atlanta Mayor Race, Faces Rising Crime Problem

ATLANTA-Voters elected City Councilman Andre Dickens as Atlanta's next mayor in a runoff election Tuesday, after a campaign dominated by concern over a rise in violent crime in Georgia's largest city.

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

12-01-21 0602ET

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