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Enhanced $300-a-week UI benefits running out; vaccine progress: How the news could affect your money

The $300-a-week enhanced unemployment benefits are expiring, and Johnson & Johnson is a step closer to a vaccine. Here’s how the news can affect your money.

A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California.
Mike Blake | Reuters

The market showed signs of snapping its losing streak; the $300 enhanced unemployment benefits are running out; and Johnson & Johnson is making progress on a vaccine: Here's how the headlines could affect your money.

Markets may snap their losing streak

In a welcome reprieve, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq on Tuesday ended their runs of four straight down sessions. The Nasdaq's 1.7% surge was enough to lift the index out of a correction.

Dow futures also saw gains Wednesday morning, driven by a 12% rise in premarket trading for Nike, though tech losses drove the market down by midday.

$300-a-week enhanced benefits end

The Lost Wages Assistance program, which President Donald Trump created in August to offer an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits for up to six weeks, has come to an end.

The extra assistance has already expired in at least nine states: Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Texas, and Utah. In other states, including North Carolina and Tennessee, it's set to conclude this week.  

There is still hope for a nationwide enhanced unemployment assistance program as part of a new stimulus package, though talks have been stalled

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Video by Mariam Abdallah

Vaccine shows promise

The pharma giant Johnson & Johnson announced that it is entering late-stage testing for its vaccine and says the outlook is rosy for a possible "emergency use authorization in early 2021." The company's stock rose on the news. 

Wall Street analysts are watching closely to see which companies thrive in the vaccine wars, anticipating that this might boost big pharma share prices and possibly take markets up, too. A widely available vaccine could also help strengthen the economic recovery.

Words you've heard: Futures

Futures let you bet on what you think will happen soon. When you enter a futures contract, you are agreeing to buy or sell assets, like stocks, at a predetermined date and price. Investors use futures for speculation based on their anticipation of coming events. For example, if an investor expects unrest in an oil-producing country, they might buy futures anticipating rising oil prices.

Although the daily news can have an impact on your wallet, remember to take a long-term outlook when it comes to decisions on spending, saving, and investing.

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