Good morning investors! Today, we will continue to keep an eye on companies’ Covid-19 vaccine mandate crackdowns. Cybersecurity will also be an important issue on Wall Street after the White House security summit yesterday. So, what else will the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 is down 0.27%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.07%
- The Nasdaq Composite is down 0.23%
So what else will the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Will the Stock Market Do Today? Crack Down on Covid.
Companies aren’t playing any longer when it comes to Covid-19 vaccines. Tired of losing out on business thanks to the many variants of the virus, vaccine mandates are ratcheting up in an effort to preserve economic recovery.
Delta (NYSE:DAL) is one of those most vocally leading the charge with its particularly stringent rules for employees. You’ve likely heard about companies requiring a shot or forcing weekly testing and full-time masking. However, Delta employees who forego the vaccine are facing even more consequences. In addition to weekly testing and a mask mandate, unvaccinated employees will also face a $200 healthcare surcharge atop all other healthcare expenses.
The company states that any employees who choose to remain unvaccinated leave too big of a financial and health risk to the company. According to Delta, a hospitalization for the virus costs the company an average of $50,000; it notes that it has not seen any vaccinated employee require hospitalization for a breakthrough case. Coronavirus pay-protection programs the company is implementing are only for the vaccinated, and the company says it’s prepared to bargain with its union over a vaccine requirement.
Delta might be facing this bargaining soon, as will many other companies. According to a poll by the Associated Press, 59% of remote workers and about half of in-person workers want to see vaccine mandates within their own companies.
While Delta currently holds the spotlight for its very strict policy, other companies and institutions are requiring vaccines as well. Indeed, the Defense Secretary has required all active duty and reserve service members to be vaccinated. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is making its bankers prove their vaccination status. And Disney (NYSE:DIS) is making all nonunion employees get the shot, and it is working to reach an agreement with its unions.
Companies Emphasize Cybersecurity Amid Turbulent Year
Cyber attacks have become commonplace in the modern era. In 2020 alone, the FBI suggests Americans have lost over $4.2 billion to internet fraud and cyber crime. And with cryptocurrency becoming more ubiquitous and more likely to become the currency of the future, these cyber crimes are only ramping up.
Earlier in the year, we witnessed some of the biggest ransomware attacks ever, requiring companies to cough up millions in crypto. Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $4.5 million in Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) to hackers who ultimately were able to halt the operation. Shortly after, meat packer JBS shelled out $11 million to hackers who infiltrated its company and shut down multiple nationwide operations. Even crypto project Poly Network was hacked, with a hacker moving a whopping $611 million dollars to private wallets, before ultimately giving it back without being caught.
It’s a no-brainer, then, that companies are seeking to up their cybersecurity measures, beginning with industry giants. A cybersecurity summit at the White House yesterday brought leaders across many different sectors together to discuss beefing up protections. Talk reportedly ranged on upping hires in the cybersecurity field, developing new industry standards and creating new security tools.
Tech giants stole the show at the summit, promising big investments and new security products to help prevent future threats. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is developing a program to help bring more security to its tech supply chain. Meanwhile, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are pledging a combined $30 billion toward research and development for new security tools.
What Else We’re Watching
- Analytics software company Palantir (NYSE:PLTR) is in hot water after a glitch in its top-secret, FBI-used software allowed unauthorized personnel to access sensitive data for over a year.
- Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ:RIDE) is naming its new CEO. Daniel Ninivaggi will step into the position after its previous CEO stepped down amid allegations of fudging preorder numbers.
- Memory chip manufacturer Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) is reportedly merging with Kioxia in a deal worth $20 billion.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.