The drug company Moderna has started a large-scale test of its vaccine. This is the third and final test and it will determine whether or not the vaccine can actually prevent someone from becoming infected with the coronavirus. The last test was to find out what side effects the vaccine might produce. The new test may involve as many as 30,000 people.
Instead of using a live virus, the vaccine takes a different approach. If uses RNA from the virus’s outer layer and it is believed that it will stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies against the virus. The test subjects are divided into two groups and they are spread through 89 different locations in the U.S. One group is the test group and the other one is a control group – given only a saline solution. Two injections are necessary and the second will be given 28 days after the first one.
Stimulus Package Discussions
Many people are keeping an eye on the status of the new economic stimulus package. Since it will undoubtedly affect the market and jobs in so many ways, positive news can be expected to influence many sectors.
The news from the Senate so far – subject to much debate with the Democrats – provides some interesting additions and subtractions. One addition that millions of people are hoping and anxiously waiting for is that the rent and mortgage moratorium will be continued. This will help keep people in their homes longer. Because the current moratorium runs out on August 1, Congress needs to act fast. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said that Congress will not go on break until there is a deal. Another positive feature is that individuals will receive a personal check – the same amount as before.
The one decision that is altered is the amount that the unemployed will receive per month. Instead of the $600 as before, the Republicans want to reduce it to either $200 or to 70% of each person’s normal income. This detail is likely to be hotly contested in Congress in the next couple of days, as well as other features that the Democrats want to see added to it.
Goldman Sachs to Lay Off 10% of Employees
The investment company, Goldman Sachs, told their employees that they are going to review all of their 39,000 employees to determine which ones it can lay off. Most of their employees already work from home because of coronavirus, so that is not going to change anytime soon. Once the performance review is complete, the bottom 10% will be laid off. The company normally lays off some employees yearly, but it did not do so last year.
As more news of the upcoming new economic stimulus package was revealed and it looked like the Senate was getting closer to finalizing their bill, the markets were positively affected earlier in the day – and so was gold. Gold prices hit an all-time high on Monday – rising to $1,962.60. There was a gain of $19.60 per ounce. This brings gold much closer to the $2,000 mark – just $37.40 more to go.
Silver also climbed in value today. It is now worth $25.50 per ounce.
Oil continues to stay above $41, although it had seen a slight drop in value from Friday’s prices. WTI crude is at $41.73 per barrel and Brent Crude is currently at $43.66.