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Warren Buffett discussed the Fed's pandemic response, small businesses, and his ukelele collection at a recent Goldman Sachs event. Here are the 10 best quotes

  • Warren Buffett discussed the federal response to the pandemic, the challenges facing small businesses, his unwavering faith in America, and his ukelele collection at a private event last week.
  • The famed investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO spoke at a virtual Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses event to celebrate the graduation of 10,000 entrepreneurs from the program, and guide alumni on how to navigate the pandemic.
  • A closer look at Buffett's comments can be found here.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Warren Buffett has barely said a word since Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting in May. The billionaire investor and Berkshire CEO finally broke his silence at a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses event last week.

Buffett — a member of the organization's advisory council — spoke at the virtual event to celebrate the graduation of 10,000 entrepreneurs from the program, and offer advice to alumni on how to weather the pandemic.

He discussed the federal government's response to the pandemic, the enormous challenges facing small businesses, his belief in a bright future for America, and his ukelele collection, according to a transcript of his comments that Goldman provided to Business Insider. A closer look at what he said can be found here.

Here are Buffett's 10 best quotes from the event, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:

1. "I would like to say to the woman that manufactures ukeleles, that I have 22 ukeleles. I can just say that, as my number of ukeleles has gone up, my net worth has gone up. So maybe that'll sell a few ukes for you."

2. "I saw those people choke up about how they felt. They were tears of joy. And I'll tell you, I choked up a little myself, and that's why I kept going to them" — explaining why he's agreed to speak at six of the small-business program's graduations so far, despite turning down scores of invitations to college and university graduations.

3. "You've run into a headwind. It's more like a hurricane in a country that's generally supplied a tailwind to entrepreneurs and to its citizenry in general" — describing the scale of the pandemic threat to small businesses.

Read more: Warren Buffett has kept quiet for months. The famed investor compared the pandemic to a 'hurricane,' praised the government's rapid response in the spring, and called for more small-business aid at a private event this week

4. "They did exactly what they should have done because we were developing truly major problems in financial markets" — praising the Federal Reserve's efforts to stabilize the US economy when the pandemic struck in the spring.

5. "Frankly, the small businesses generally need plenty of help now."

6. "I would recommend the Republicans, Democrats, whomever, go to work to help small businesses because they are the future of this country."

7. "The clouds will go away. The government should help them go away and in a hurry."

Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 14 stocks well-positioned to see surging cash flow as the recovering economy upends the market

8. "If I could pick anytime to be born, I would want to be born now, and I would want to be born in America."

9. "As long as I hear the stories of the people that talked a little earlier and the people I've met at the six graduations I've gone to, I can't help but be an enormous bull on America."

10. "I figure my next 90 years ought to be very good."

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Business

Xi says China won't seek to 'decouple,' pledges to cut tariffs

  • Chinese Xi Jinping said Thursday the world's second-largest economy would cut tariffs and sign more free trade agreements, according to state media.
  • Xi added that China would not seek "decoupling" of the Chinese and U.S. economies —a term that refers to a separation, rather than integration.
  • The Chinese leader was speaking via video at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Dialogues, a virtual gathering of government and business leaders.

BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping signaled Thursday the world's second largest economy will continue to work with other countries, including the U.S.

Trade tensions between China and the U.S. have escalated in the last two years. While the two countries reached a "phase one" trade agreement in January, their differences have spilled over into the technology and finance space, creating concerns of the two countries "decoupling."

The term refers to a separation, rather than integration, of the world's two largest economies in areas ranging from trade to technology.

"We will definitely not go down a path of historical reversal, will not seek to 'decouple' or create closed and exclusive 'small circles,‘“ Xi said Thursday, according to a CNBC translation of his remarks published in Chinese state media. He was speaking via video at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Dialogues, a virtual gathering of government and business leaders.

Xi also said China would cut tariffs and sign more free trade agreements, according to state media. He did not specifically mention the U.S. by name.

China and the U.S. have levied tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods from the other's country as trade tensions grew under the leadership of U.S. President Donald Trump.

It's unclear whether President-elect Joe Biden would roll back tariffs, but analysts have said the U.S. will likely continue to take a tough stance on Beijing under the new administration.

Xi's speech on Thursday came after China signed a massive trade deal with 14 other countries in Asia-Pacific over the weekend.

The pact — which does not include the U.S. — is the world's largest trade deal to date, covering just under a third of the global population at around 30%.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was also signed by Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, and the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

ASEAN countries include Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines. This year, amid the coronavirus pandemic and trade tensions, the region replaced the U.S. and EU as China's largest trading partner, Morgan Stanley analysts pointed out in a note Wednesday.

The EU and China have been working on their own investment agreement, although slow progress on the negotiations have dimmed hopes of a deal by year's end. However, in a speech in early November, Xi said China would work for RCEP's early signing and "speed up" negotiations on China-EU trade, as well as a China-Japan-ROK (Republic of Korea) free trade agreement.

Maintaining good business relations with other countries is important for China, even as it has grown into an economic powerhouse. Analysts have said a Biden administration would likely allow the U.S. to work with its allies on a more cohesive strategy against China, versus Trump's more nationalistic approach.

In addition, exports still account for a significant portion of China's economy, despite authorities' efforts to boost the role of domestic consumption.

The Chinese government has also encouraged foreign direct investment, which helps create jobs and generate local revenue. For their part, multinational corporations have been interested in the Chinese market for its massive size and speed of growth.

While foreign businesses complain of policies that can give domestic players preferential treatment, Beijing has maintained it will allow greater access to the Chinese market — at its own pace.

“I would like to reiterate, China will not waver in its determination to open up, and the big door for opening up will only open wider and wider," Xi said in his speech Thursday.

"We will continue to push for the liberalization and increased convenience of trade and investment, negotiate and sign high-standard free trade agreements with more countries," he said. Xi added his country will actively participate in multilateral and bilateral trade and cooperation, and "create an open economy of higher quality."

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Business

2020 hurricane season is busiest ever recorded, and National Flood Insurance Program faces over $20 billion debt

  • The 2020 hurricane season is the busiest season ever recorded, with at least 29 named storms.
  • One inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 in damage, according to FEMA.
  • The National Flood Insurance Program is over $20 billion in debt.

With nearly two weeks left in the 2020 hurricane season, it's already been the busiest ever recorded, with at least 29 named storms. The latest is Hurricane Iota, which hit Nicaragua on Monday.

Often the most damage from a hurricane is caused by flooding.

"It's mid-intensity storms that park for long durations that are being really the facilitators of the most catastrophic losses," said Roy Wright, CEO of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety and former chief executive of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Flooding can cause massive devastation to a home. FEMA estimates one inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 in damage.

Miami Beach homeowner Curt Dyer has experienced three major floods in his home, valued at over $1 million. Dyer has placed two claims with his insurance company following the incidents.

"When you see water in your house, it's just, it's devastating. It's a miserable feeling. Luckily, I'm fortunate enough to have insurance and I can afford to pay for it," he told CNBC.

Dyer's plan is provided through the NFIP, which is now facing over $20 billion of debt.

"The program was never designed to necessarily bring in all the money needed to pay for all the programs, whether that's insurance claims, the grant program, the mapping program, or the floodplain management program. And so the program is actually functioning and operating as it was designed, it just the design needs to be updated," David Maurstad, senior executive of the NFIP, told CNBC.

The NFIP is working to make adjustments to its flood rating map in hopes of offering more actuarily priced policies. Risk Rating 2.0 is scheduled to be rolled out in October 2021.

Meanwhile, private insurance companies are starting to expand their flood insurance offerings. All of this provides interesting incentives for Americans living in a potentially risky area.

Watch the video to find out more about how flood insurance works and doesn't work for Americans.

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Markets

Index provider 'baffled' at how to add a company of Tesla's size to the S&P 500, says Cramer

  • Tesla is joining the S&P 500 in December, but given the electric vehicle company's size, adding it to the index is no easy feat, said CNBC's Jim Cramer.
  • "I think they're baffled," he said Tuesday of the index provider S&P Dow Jones Indices. "I really don't think they know how to handle this."
  • At its current valuation, Tesla is one of the ten largest S&P 500 companies.

Tesla is joining the S&P 500 in December, but given the electric vehicle company's size, adding it to the index is no easy feat, said CNBC's Jim Cramer.

"I think they're baffled," he said Tuesday of the index provider S&P Dow Jones Indices. "I really don't think they know how to handle this … they can't knock out the smallest [company from the index], it doesn't do anything. When they balance this … they almost seem to have to make everything smaller," he said on "Squawk on the Street."

During early trading on Tuesday Tesla jumped more than 9%, pushing its market capitalization to $415 billion. This places it among the top ten most valuable companies in the S&P 500.

S&P Dow Jones Indices is well aware of the challenge of adding such a large company, and on Monday night said it was considering adding Tesla to the index in two tranches. In a departure from custom, the index provider did not announce who Tesla will be replacing.

Tesla's addition to the benchmark index further concentrates the S&P 500 among just a handful of names, which Cramer said will not sit well young investors.

"The S&P 500 is old fashioned to these people," he said of young investors. He noted that young retail investors, who are more involved in the market than ever before, favor buying individual names that they believe will outperform.

"You see a lot of these younger investors say 'you know what I'm going to pick the best of the best, and this index doesn't necessarily represent what I want, which is a piece of America,'" he said. "I think the younger people are not fooled … they do like ETFs, but they like to buy individual stocks that they think are going to be right, and that's been their pattern."

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Markets

Markets soar after Pfizer vaccine news and Biden win

New York (CNN Business)The stock market, amazingly enough, is near an all-time high. Optimism about a coronavirus vaccine from Moderna is trumping renewed worries about another surge in Covid-19 cases. It seems safe to say that investors are feeling more greedy than fearful.

That’s registering on CNN Business’ index that tracks the market’s mood. The CNN Business Fear & Greed Index, which measures seven gauges of investor sentiment, is firmly in “Greed” territory and not far from a level suggesting “Extreme Greed.”
The Fear & Greed Index works like this: Each of the seven indicators are equally weighted and measured compared to how they’ve performed recently.

    The aggregate score of these weightings is then compiled into one Fear & Greed score ranging from 0 to 100, with lower numbers indicating fear and higher numbers signaling greed.
    For context, the index fell to an annual low of 2 on March 12. That was the day that stocks plunged about 10% and entered a bear market after President Trump announced a US travel ban for much of Europe because of escalating coronavirus contagion fears.


    It was the day after the NBA also announced it was suspending its basketball season because a player contracted the virus. It’s also the day after Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson said they had tested positive. In other words, it’s when Covid-19 became real for most Americans. The World Health Organization also declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic on March 11.
    But the Fear & Greed Index is now firmly in “Greed” territory as investors grow hopeful that a vaccine can help the economy return to normal. The index was in “Neutral” just last week — right before Pfizer (PFE) announced positive data for its vaccine.
    The value of the index tends to rise and fall with the broader market. So times of intense fear have often coincided with near-term market bottoms, while high levels of greed can be an indication the market is overheating and that it’s a good time to sell some stocks.
    Since the index’s inception in 2012, CNN Business has used it to help keep tabs on Wall Street sentiment and some investment firms have also cited the index in their research as a tool to track the market’s mood.
    Here is a closer look at the seven indicators in the index and what they mean for average investors.

    Market Volatility

    The most well-known measure of market sentiment is the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), or VIX. The VIX measures expected price fluctuations or volatility in the S&P 500 Index options over the next 30 days. The VIX often drops on days when the broader market rallies and soars when stocks plunge. But the key is to look at the VIX over time. It tends to be lower in bull markets and higher when the bears are in control. The F&G Index uses increasing market volatility as a signal for Fear.

    Stock Options

    Options are contracts that give investors the right to buy or sell stocks, indexes or other financial securities at an agreed-upon price and date. Puts are the option to sell while calls are the option to buy. When the ratio of puts to calls is rising, it is usually a sign investors are growing more nervous. A ratio above 1 is considered bearish. The F&G Index uses a bearish option as a signal for Fear.

    Momentum

    It’s useful to look at stock market levels compared to where they’ve been over the past few months. When the S&P 500 (SPX) is above its moving or rolling average of the prior 125 trading days, that’s a sign of positive momentum. But if the index is below this average, it shows investors are getting skittish. The F&G Index uses a slowing momentum as a signal for Fear and a growing momentum for Greed.

    Junk bond demand

    Junk bonds carry a higher risk of default compared to other bonds. Bond yields — or the return you get on investing in a bond — dip when prices go up. If investors crave junk bonds, the yields drop. Likewise, yields rise when people are selling. So a smaller difference (or spread) between yields for junk bonds and safer government bonds is a sign investors are taking on more risk. A wider spread shows more caution. The F&G Index uses junk bond demand as a signal for Greed.

    Trading Volume

    The market is made up of thousands of stocks. And on any given day, investors are actively buying and selling them. This measure looks at the amount, or volume, of shares on the NYSE that are rising compared to the number of shares that are falling. A low (or even negative) number is a bearish sign. The F&G Index uses decreasing trading volume as a signal for Fear.

    Safe Haven Demand

    Stocks are riskier than bonds. But the reward for investing in stocks over the long haul is greater. Still, bonds can outperform stocks over short periods. Safe Haven Demand shows the difference between Treasury bond and stock returns over the past 20 trading days. Bonds do better when investors are scared. The F&G Index uses increasing safe haven demand as a signal for Fear.

      Highs vs. Lows

      A few big stocks can skew returns for the market. It’s important to also know how many stocks are doing well versus those that are struggling. This shows the number of stocks on the NYSE at 52-week highs compared to those at 52-week lows. When there are many more highs than lows, that’s a bullish sign and signals Greed.
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      Business

      Alibaba unit ramps up subsidies to export the Chinese Singles Day shopping holiday

      • AliExpress is Alibaba's e-commerce platform for selling to Europe and other markets outside China.
      • To speed up delivery and reduce costs for customers, AliExpress boosted subsidies by five times for logistics operations this Singles Day, compared with last year, Li Dawei, head of AliExpress Supply Chain, told CNBC in a phone interview this week.
      • The push for growth in Europe comes as Alibaba faces increased competition and regulatory scrutiny in its home market of China.

      BEIJING — Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is pressing into overseas markets as competition heats up around the Singles Day shopping festival the company launched 12 years ago in China.

      Akin to Black Friday or Cyber Monday in the U.S., the shopping event started as a day of mass discounts on Alibaba's online shopping platforms on Nov. 11. The promotional period has since expanded to at least Nov. 1 to 11, while other Chinese e-commerce companies such as JD.com have piled in.

      This year, JD reported 32.8% growth in transaction volume to 271.5 billion yuan ($40.4 billion) from 2019. That's faster than the 26% increase Alibaba disclosed, albeit to a far greater figure of 498.2 billion ($74.1 billion) in gross merchandise volume (GMV). GMV is a metric most commonly used in e-commerce that measures the total dollar value of goods sold over a certain period of time.

      For Alibaba, it said the GMV figure is the total value of orders and shipping charges settled through digital payments system Alipay for transactions such as ones on the company's China retail marketplaces, and international-focused e-commerce platforms Lazada and AliExpress.

      AliExpress generally connects Chinese sellers with overseas buyers, allowing foreign businesses and consumers to buy directly from factories in China. While removing middlemen can make products much cheaper to buy, sheer distance and an underdeveloped logistics network can mean weeks-long delivery times.

      To speed up delivery and reduce costs for customers, AliExpress boosted subsidies by five times for logistics operations this Singles Day, compared with last year, Li Dawei, head of AliExpress Supply Chain, told CNBC in a phone interview this week. The business unit works with Alibaba's logistics arm Cainiao as well as local delivery companies in other countries.

      In addition, Li said the company launched about 100 freight charter flights to Europe during the roughly two-week Singles Day shopping period. That's about seven flights a day, up from two during off-peak periods.

      Outside of the shopping festival, investment in logistics has cut delivery time to Spain and France by about 30% to 10 working days for some cross-border products, according to AliExpress. The company is also building out its warehouse system in Europe, through which merchants can pre-stock goods and deliver select products within three days to Spain, France and Poland, and five to seven days in other parts of Europe.

      Ken Chen, who runs a Shenzhen-based LED light business called Tranyton, said Europe is his primary market and he's been pre-stocking warehouses there in anticipation of a doubling in sales this Singles Day from last year. Chen said typical monthly business revenue averages $500,000.

      It's not clear how much AliExpress contributed to Alibaba's Singles Day sales this year. The business unit said the sales of goods sold in overseas warehouses in the first minute of Nov. 11 equaled that of the first 60 minutes last year.

      International retail commerce accounted for 5% of Alibaba's revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30, marking growth of 30% from a year ago. Overall revenue for the period rose 30% from a year ago to $22.8 billion.

      The opportunity and competition in e-commerce is rising as stay-home policies enacted in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic are accelerating demand for online shopping around the world.

      Amazon reported a 37% increase in net sales to $96.1 billion in the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. The company has come under significant scrutiny from European regulators over data use that potentially gives Amazon an unfair advantage over other sellers.

      AliExpress has been trying to get local sellers to join its platform, beginning with Russia, Spain, Italy and Turkey early last year, according to the company. The platform offers the same livestreaming sales tools that have surged in popularity in China, and launched real-time translation for some languages.

      Whether these efforts to replicate success in China's e-commerce market will work in Europe remain to be seen.

      One overlooked factor for the rapid growth of the online shopping ecosystem in China is the development of digital infrastructure there, noted Felix Poh, partner at McKinsey.

      Growing competition in China

      Heavy subsidies are common in China's cut-throat internet industry, where survival often depends on a start-up's ability to quickly attract and retain a massive group of users. The strategy is to capture a large base that can then be monetized.

      Alibaba shares are down more than 10% over the last five trading days, while those of JD have fallen more than 7% after the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) released draft guidelines against internet industry practices that create monopolies.

      "The draft mentions that the use of subsidies, discounts, and traffic support provided by platforms, despite favouring consumers, may potentially deter fair competition among market participants (i.e., by setting prices below costs)," Morgan Stanley analysts said in a report Wednesday. "This could affect Alibaba's promotional activities, although to what extent such subsidies will be regarded as a violation of antitrust rules remains uncertain."

      Overall, the analysts expect the regulatory scrutiny to have less effect than it would have in previous years due to existing competition. Morgan Stanley estimates Alibaba's GMV will fall to 59% of the Chinese market this year, down from 76% — or more than three-fourths — six years ago when the company first went public.

      Indeed, the company's latest quarterly report showed new monthly active users on mobile rose 7 million from June to September, the smallest increase on record, according to analysis from Chinese tech news site 36kr and confirmed by CNBC.

      The total of 881 million accounts for well over 90% of the 932 million mobile internet users reported for June by government agency China Internet Network Information Center.

      In logistics, while there is significant growth overseas by Chinese players, the businesses often lack staff overseas with sufficient experience, and face many other challenges such as capital and regulation, Charles Guowen Wang, director at think tank China Development Institute, said. He noted the opportunity within China still remains quite large.

      Alibaba remains a giant in China, but its rival Tencent is gaining ground.

      More people are also using popular messaging tool WeChat for shopping through in-app mini programs, which now has more than 400 million daily active users, the Tencent-owned app disclosed in September. For January to August, GMV of physical products purchased through mini programs more than doubled from a year ago.

      "I think we've also seen the rise of direct to consumer program, which also the WeChat mini program," Poh said. "In terms of scale and relevance, it's exponentially increased in the last 18 months."

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      World News

      Europe welcomes Biden’s win after four fractious years of Trump

      • Trade has been one of the most contentious issues for the U.S. and Europe over the last four years.
      • As current President Donald Trump fails to get a second term in office, anti-establishment politicians in Europe "will miss … the megaphone" for their policy priorities, Enrico Letta, former prime minister of Italy, told CNBC.
      • Biden's projected win is also a welcome development for European officials as it is likely to put pressure on the U.K. government to strike a deal with the EU.

      LONDON — European leaders have warmly congratulated Democrat Joe Biden following his projected election win, a victory that comes after four years of fractious relations with President Donald Trump.

      The transatlantic relationship deteriorated significantly after Trump's arrival at the White House in 2017, with disagreements over international trade, defense and technology. European officials have also struggled with Trump's direct style and his use of Twitter, which he often used as a means to communicate policy.

      However, they are hoping the relationship will improve following Biden's win, according to NBC projections.

      Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, spoke about a "renewed" partnership between the U.S. and Europe when congratulating President-elect Biden for the result over the weekend.

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy's Giuseppe Conte were among the many heads of state congratulating Biden on the result.

      Trade

      Trade has been one of the most contentious issues for the U.S. and Europe over the last four years. At the start of his presidency, Trump ended talks over a U.S.-EU trade deal, imposed higher tariffs on imported European steel and aluminum products, and threatened to do the same on European car imports.

      They have also clashed over subsidies in a long-standing dispute involving aircraft makers Boeing and Airbus. The European Union is reportedly looking at imposing tariffs worth $4 billion on U.S. goods after the World Trade Organization agreed that the U.S. granted illegal aid to Boeing.

      "We would not be surprised if the U.S. and the EU defuse or even settle this dispute shortly after the Biden administration takes office on 20 January 2021," Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg, said in a note on Monday.

      Under Trump's leadership, the U.S. changed its position on international trade, favoring bilateral agreements and using the imposition of import tariffs to put pressure on trading partners and to promote an "America First" agenda.

      "Biden will take the U.S. back to the table of multilateralism, although the U.S. will not be able to play a role remotely like it did until quite recently," Erik Nielsen, chief economist at UniCredit, said in a note.

      Populism

      The European Union has seen increased support for anti-establishment parties in the wake of the debt and migration crises that have affected the region in recent years, and Trump was an inspiration for many of these politicians.

      However, as Trump fails to get a second term in office, anti-establishment politicians in Europe "will miss a lot; I'd say, the megaphone, the echo, the strong engine and the strong vocal positions" that characterized the president, Enrico Letta, former prime minister of Italy, told CNBC's Squawk Box Europe on Monday.

      Letta, who worked with Biden when he served as vice president of the United States, also described the latest U.S. vote as "the most important European election."

      "I think the future of the U.S.-Europe relationship will be better, full of room for changing something important and I think this pandemic is the first big test, because we have never had such a crisis without a transatlantic response or a transatlantic dialogue," Letta said.

      Brexit

      The EU is still embroiled in negotiations with the United Kingdom over their future relationship, starting in 2021, after the transition period following the U.K.'s departure from the bloc ends.

      They have only a few weeks left to agree on their new trade arrangements, and it is unclear whether they will overcome their outstanding differences in this time. Failure to reach a deal would increase costs for exporters on both sides and potentially put at risk the Good Friday Agreement, a peace accord between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

      Biden's outright support for the Good Friday Agreement was a welcome development for European officials and is likely to put pressure on the U.K. government to strike a deal with the EU.

      "When it comes to Brexit, the Biden victory means that the Good Friday Agreement is now safe, and Boris Johnson will therefore now need to knock his 'hard-Brexit advisors' into place and get the deal done," UniCredit's Nielsen said on Sunday.

      Enrico Letta also said he believes the projected Biden win makes an EU-U.K. deal more likely.

      "With Trump out of the White House, it would be more difficult for Boris Johnson to get a no-deal … so if I have to bet, I bet on a deal, because it is clear that Biden won't give a sort of alliance or special alliance against the European Union," he said.

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      Markets

      Asian markets higher Tuesday as regional airline, tourism and travel stocks lead the way

      Fox Business Flash top headlines for November 9

      Fox Business Flash top headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking on FoxBusiness.com.

      HONG KONG/BOSTON - Asian share markets mostly shot higher on Tuesday driven by regional airline, tourism and travel stocks as global investors applauded progress in the development of a coronavirus vaccine which lifted confidence in a world economic recovery.

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      Pfizer Inc PFE.N said its COVID-19 vaccine, developed with German partner BioNTech SE BNTX.O, was more than 90% effective in preventing infection, marking the first successful results from a large-scale clinical trial.

      “Markets will remain on the lookout for more promising vaccine data in addition to news of a fiscal reboot,” PineBridge Investments portfolio manager Mary Nicola told Reuters.

      ESTEE LAUDER TOPS ESTIMATES ON CHINA DEMAND, ONLINE BOOST

      The vaccine news sparked renewed optimism in equities around the world but oil prices slipped in Asian trade after posting the biggest one-day percentage gain in five months.

      However, some analysts sounded caution over the speed in which the vaccine could be implemented.

      Asian share markets mostly shot higher on Tuesday driven by regional airline, tourism and travel stocks as global investors applauded progress in the development of a coronavirus vaccine which lifted confidence in a world economic recovery. (AP Photo

      “Given more tests are needed, then the approval process. Manufacturing and distribution would mean the vaccine, if truly effective, is still months away from mass deployment,” said Tai Hui, chief Asia market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

      Brazil’s health regulator said on Monday it had suspended clinical trials for China’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine after adverse effects had emerged.

      Japan's Nikkei 225 .N225 rose 1.1% after reaching a 29-year high in early trade and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 .AXJO rose 1.6%.

      CHINA'S CURRENCY HITS 29-MONTH HIGH AS BIDEN PROJECTED TO WIN WHITE HOUSE

      Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures .HSI was up 1% in early trade but there was marginal weakness in China as the CSI300 Index .CSI300 slipped by 0.24%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was 0.12% higher.

      Airline, travel and tourism stocks across Asia were beneficiaries of the optimism prompted by the vaccine announcement.

      Qantas Airways QAN.AX gained 8.6% to hit its highest level since March, Japan Airlines 9201.T shot 17.6% higher and ANA Holdings 9202.T rose 16.4%.

      In Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific Airways 0293.HK shares jumped 14.9%, the best since July.

      “Markets will get ahead of themselves in the short term with the vaccine news but longer term it feels like it is going higher,” Ord Minnett advisor John Milroy said from Sydney.

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      Early Tuesday, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga instructed his cabinet to design a fresh stimulus package to help revive the nation’s flagging economy to offset the ongoing effects of coronavirus..

      The stronger performance on Asian markets followed the positive lead overnight from the United States and Europe.

      On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 2.95%, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 1.17% while the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 1.53%. E-mini futures for the S&P 500 EScv1 rose 0.47%.

      Pfizer’s announcement jolted European shares to an eight-month high, building on expectations of more stable trade policies following the U.S. election.

      While stocks have also rallied on the assumption that Democrat Joe Biden would be the next U.S. President, the top Republican in U.S. Congress on Monday did not acknowledge Biden as president-elect, raising concerns about a rough transition of power.

      Senator Mitch McConnell said in a speech President Donald Trump was well within his rights to look into charges of election “irregularities” but did not offer any evidence of fraud.

      The Australian dollar AUD= fell 0.18% versus the greenback at $0.7272.

      The yen strengthened 0.3% to 105.03 per dollar, while sterling GBP= was last trading at $1.3174, up 0.09% on the day.

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      The vaccine news also sent long-dated U.S. Treasury yields sky-rocketing in their biggest one-day jump since March. The yield curve, an indication of risk appetite, hit its steepest level since March.

      Bonds had their biggest selloff since recoiling from March peaks. The yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. government debt US10YT=RR, which rises when prices fall, jumped 10.3 basis points on Monday and held above 0.9% on Tuesday at 0.9099%

      The CBOE Market Volatility index .VIX, a barometer of investor anxiety, hit its lowest closing level since late August.

      Oil prices surged, posting their biggest daily percentage gain in more than five months as the vaccine news and an OPEC output deal fueled optimism about rebounding demand..

      However, in Asian trade some of the momentum fell away.

      Light crude oil CLc1 fell by 1.49% during the Asian session to $39.69 a barrel while brent crude LCOc1 slipped 1.25%.

      Spot gold XAU= added 0.32% to $1,867.6 an ounce.

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      Markets

      E-brokers report outages as Dow jumps 1,000 points in vaccine rally

      • Electronic brokers are experiencing outages on Monday amid record highs in the Dow and S&P 500.
      • Charles Schwab said some clients are having difficulty logging in to their accounts and hold times are longer than usual.
      • Vanguard, TD Ameritrade and Fidelity also tweeted some clients were having technical problems.

      Stocks are surging on Monday but some customers of online brokers Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Vanguard and others could be missing out on the record market highs.

      E-brokers are experiencing technical issues with their trading systems while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 hit all-time highs from optimism around a Covid-19 vaccine. It was so far unclear how many customers of the brokers were unable to get timely access and make trades.

      "Due to a technical issue, clients may have difficulty logging in to http://schwab.com website and mobile apps. We're working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Hold times may be longer than usual," Schwab Vice President of Trading and Derivatives Randy Frederick tweeted shortly after the opening bell.

      U.S. equities are soaring after pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech announced that their Covid-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 during trials. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded more than 1,300 points higher, or 4.7% and hit an all-time high. The S&P 500 also reached a record, gaining more than 3.5%.

      "There are login issues with our apps. Until this is resolved, please use a browser and log in at https://invest.ameritrade.com or use our TOS desktop platform. We appreciate your patience," TD Ameritrade tweeted from its company twitter account.

      Vanguard tweeted some clients were experiencing difficulty accessing their accounts. Fidelity said it is "experiencing high volumes this morning which impacted processing speeds."

      Robinhood's status remained "operational" according to the company's website however, some Robinhood customers tweeted about issues with the app on Monday.

      Retail investors from Robinhood, Fidelity and Schwab have been excluded from big market days several times this year. In March during the record market volatility, the stock-trading sites and apps experienced day-long outages. Clients are taking to twitter on Monday to express their frustration with the outages.

      Interactive Brokers did not appear to be having technical issues.

      Schwab said around midday the technical issues have been resolved.

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      Categories
      Business

      Here's where the jobs are — in one chart

      • CNBC studied the net changes by industry for October jobs based on data contained in the employment report.
      • The leisure and hospitality industry continued its rebound after the coronavirus walloped spending at restaurants, hotels and bars earlier in the year.
      • The professional and business services sector was also a bright spot in October with a net addition of 208,000 jobs.

      Zoom In IconArrows pointing outwards

      The U.S. economy added more jobs than expected in October and the unemployment rate fell sharply even as Americans continue to grapple with Covid-19 and its dampening impact on business.

      The Labor Department reported Friday that nonfarm payrolls increased by 638,000 and the unemployment rate was at 6.9%, both better than expectations of 530,000 jobs added and an unemployment rate of 7.7%.

      CNBC studied the net changes by industry for October jobs based on data contained in the employment report.

      The leisure and hospitality industry continued its rebound after the coronavirus and efforts to contain its spread walloped spending at restaurants, hotels and bars earlier in the year.

      Zoom In IconArrows pointing outwards

      The sector, which added 271,000 jobs last month, saw about 80% of that growth from restaurants and bars that rehired workers even as the U.S. set records for new daily Covid-19 infections. Despite the labor market's stronger October, employment was below its February level by 10.1 million, or 6.6%.

      While much of the month's upside came from the food service industry, some of the largest losses came from the public sector. Government employment fell by 268,000 across federal, state and local levels.

      Government hiring has been choppy in recent months thanks to a combination of volatility in federal hiring for the 2020 Census as well as weak demand for workers at public schools and universities.

      On the federal level, the Labor Department said government employment decreased by 138,000 thanks toa loss of 147,000 temporary 2020 Census workers. On the state and local levels, education employment fell by 61,400 and 97,800, respectively.

      Zoom In IconArrows pointing outwards

      The professional and business services sector was a bright spot in October with a net addition of 208,000 jobs. The government said about half of that gain was thanks to the hiring of temporary help workers.

      Employment also increased in services to buildings and dwellings (+19,000), computer systems design and related services (+16,000), and management and technical consulting services (+15,000).

      "Notable job gains occurred over the month in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction," the government said in a release.

      "Retail trade added 104,000 jobs, with almost one-third of the gain in electronics and appliance stores (+31,000)," the Labor Department added. "Employment also rose in motor vehicle and parts dealers (+23,000), furniture and home furnishings stores (+14,000), clothing and clothing accessories stores (+13,000), general merchandise stores (+10,000), and nonstore retailers (+9,000)."

      CNBC's Nate Rattner and Crystal Mercedes contributed reporting.

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