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Shelter in place

Evening Briefing

They are words rarely heard since the dark days of spring: Shelter in place, stay at home, lockdown. California was the first state to impose such an order during the initial fight against Covid-19, and may be the first to do so again as the pandemic spirals out of control both there and across America. Los Angeles already has. Indeed, both the first wave nine months ago and the second over the summer are starting to pale in comparison with the widely predicted carnage now befalling the U.S. Infections are spiking in Massachusetts and Vermont. Deaths hit records in Arizona and Iowa. Hospitalizations in New York, the original ground zero of the scourge in America, are approaching critical levels. Some 2,733 Americans died from Covid-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total to 275,000. And across the globe, 65 million have been infected and 1.5 million are dead. Here is the latest on the pandemic. —David E. Rovella 

Bloomberg is mapping the pandemic globally and across America. For the latest news, sign up for our Covid-19 podcast and daily newsletter.

Here are today's top stories

Pfizer shares dropped as much as 3.1% on Thursday following a report that the drugmaker expects to ship only half of the vaccines it had planned to distribute this month. Meanwhile, U.S. infectious-disease specialist Anthony Fauci slammed the U.K.'s drug regulator, saying it rushed to clear the Pfizer vaccine without the same safeguards employed by the Food and Drug Administration, which is still reviewing it. There is good news about Moderna's candidate: tests show it will confer immunity for at least three months, and maybe longer. But health care workers could be temporarily out of commission when they receive their first vaccinations, thanks to side effects.

Anthony Fauci

A second financial rescue package is beginning to attract Republican support in Congress after more than six months of opposition. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has yet to budge. President-elect Joe Biden endorsed the proposal as a "down payment."

New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by the most in almost two months, and total unemployment declined 569,000 to 5.52 million. But there's a catch: the data is from Thanksgiving week, which tends to play havoc with data

Washington seems to be on a bipartisan path to keeping pressure on China, but Wall Street is betting as it usually does that cash will win out. Global banks and fund houses have continued to increase their presence there this year while a record $212 billion of foreign funds poured into Chinese bonds and stocks.

So Jim Chanos has been shorting Tesla stock for five years. One might think those were some very long years, but Chanos said it made sense for four of them. As for the last 12 months, with Tesla climbing more than 700%? "It's been painful, clearly," Chanos said.

Jim Chanos

Northeastern states including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut want to reverse part of a 2017 Republican tax overhaul limiting state and local tax deductions (SALT for short) they argue was intended to punish residents of Democratic-leaning states. A federal appeals court seemed to indicate that its hands are tied.

Had enough of Brexit? Oh no you haven't. Trade talks that were on the verge of a breakthrough descended into a spat between the U.K. and France on Thursday as the British said prospects of what was an imminent deal had fallen backwards.

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Can This Influencer Sell You an Apartment?

With work from home making tiny apartments hard to sell and the luxury market drowning in condos, desperate New York City real estate agents have been resorting to Instagram influencers to lure both young, first-time buyers and wealthier prospects amid the pandemic. Sealing the deal with newbie homeowners is requiring even more effort these days—a smile and some hustle are no longer enough. Enter Instagram.

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