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MarketWatch MarketPulseApr 16, 2021
Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 139 million and U.S. death toll is above 565,000
The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness rose above 139 million on Friday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, as the death toll climbed above 2.98 million. The U.S. leads the world in cases and deaths by wide margins, with 31.5 million cases, or about 23% of the global total, while the 565,289 death toll makes up about 19% of the global toll. The U.S. added at least 74,312 new cases and 909 new deaths on Thursday, according to a New York Times tracker. The U.S. has averaged 70,514 cases a day in the past week, up 8% from the average two weeks ago. Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Albert Bourla said it is likely that people who receive Covid-19 vaccines will need booster shots within a year afterward, and then annual vaccinations, to maintain protection against the virus as it evolves, the Wall Street Journal reported. "The variants will play a key role. It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus," Bourla said during a virtual event hosted by CVS Health Corp. that aired Thursday but was recorded April 1. Outside of the U.S., India has replaced Brazil as the country with the second highest number of cases at 14.3 million, and is fourth globally by deaths at 174,308. Brazil is third by cases at 13.7 million and second with a death toll of 365,444. Mexico is third by deaths at 211,213 and 14th highest by cases at 2.3 million. The U.K. has 4.4 million cases and 127,438 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world.

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MarketWatch MarketPulseApr 15, 2021
Dow ends at 34,000 for first time; S&P 500 notches record as jobless claims hit pandemic low, retail sales surge
The S&P 500 and Dow clinched fresh records Thursday, after economic reports continued to affirm a healthy recovery from the pandemic, highlighted by retail sales surging in March on the back of fiscal stimulus checks to consumers and jobless benefit claims falling to a fresh low for the COVID period. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up more than 300 points at a fresh milestone at 34,000, on a preliminary basis, the S&P 500 index notched a 1.1% advance to log its all-time closing high at around 4,170 and the Nasdaq Composite Index finished 1.3% higher at about 14,039, marking its first finish above 14,000 since February and its third-highest close in its history. U.S. retail sales surged almost 10% in March thanks to $1,400 stimulus checks paid to consumers by the federal government. Sales climbed 9.8% last month, the government said Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 6.1% increase.Adding to the market's optimism, weekly jobless benefit claims fell to a pandemic-era low. U.S. unemployment claims sank by 193,000 in the week of April 10, an unusually large decline that likely reflects both an improving economy but also continuing problems in processing applications for jobless benefits.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit for more information on this news.

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